'We’re just excited even if it’s half’: South Carolina restaurants reopen for outdoor dining
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Restaurants across South Carolina welcomed customers back Monday by way of outdoor dining.
“We’re just excited even if it’s half," Deann Sarvar, co-owner of Boardwalk Coffee House along Ocean Boulevard, said. "I think it’s just a process and we just have to be patient with the process and rejoice in each step.”
Ahead of opening Monday, restaurants like The Bowery, also located along Ocean Boulevard, were rearranging the tables in order to adhere to certain restrictions.
Tables must be at least eight feet apart and no more than eight people can sit at a table. Tables and chairs should be sanitized after every customer as well.
Victor Shamah, the owner of The Bowery, said outdoor dining will help bring in more revenue to his business, which has suffered since the pandemic hit.
But, Shamah said partially reopening the area does come with some concern.
“The crowds were on the Boulevard, the beach was full," he said, referring to the past weekend. "So it’s very scary to know what we’re going to be in for for the future, but we got to do what we got to do and these people want to get back to work.”
The same goes for Captain Archie’s in North Myrtle Beach, which is widely known for their outdoor dining. Marc McDowell, co-owner of Captain Archie’s, said they looked forward to reopening, but a lot of prep has gone into it.
“At first we were very excited and then when reality hits that we only have a couple of days to get ready to open,” he said. “There’s so much to do with food prep, food ordering, beer and liquor ordering and the big thing is getting our employees back."
Weldon Boyd, the owner of Buoys on the Boulevard, also located in North Myrtle Beach, took extra safety precautions and spaced out the tables further than eight feet.
The servers there wear gloves and customers can request them to wear face masks.
It’s the second time Boyd opened his outdoor seating. Last week he received a warning from the State Law Enforcement Division for opening when it was still banned.
However, the warning, Boyd said, came with widespread support from others across the state and eventually the governor’s approval for restaurants to reopen outdoor seating.
“I think it’s motivated a lot of people to step and have a voice in this as well,” Boyd said. “It shouldn’t just be a governor making decisions about my livelihood.”
Other restaurants like Beach House Bar and Grill in Myrtle Beach held off on re-opening outdoor seating Monday.
In Conway, Rivertown Bistro plans to open outdoor dining Tuesday. Bonfire Taqueria plans to start outdoor seating on Thursday.
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