MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is mandating a “Last Call” order across the state that bans the sale of alcohol at all restaurants and bars after 11 p.m.
It goes into effect on Saturday, July 11.
According to McMaster, the purpose of this temporary late-night alcohol ban is to encourage more young adults to take the COVID-19 pandemic more seriously. However, the new order could impact some businesses preparing for bikers headed to the Grand Strand area for the delayed Myrtle Beach Spring Bike Rally.
The bike rally will kick off in Horry County July 13, but it started Friday in Georgetown County, with vendors and bars preparing for the possible rush of bikers who may have to adjust their party plans due to the order.
The news about the alcohol restriction came as a surprise for numerous businesses and bikers in the area.
“Well, it’s a shocker,” said Sammy Price, a musician with Stone Echo The Rock Ship, which is performing during the bike rally.
“In the long run, it’s probably going to be what’s best for the people,” said Horry County resident Cliff Hanger. “It’s going to hurt the businesses.”
Not all businesses, though, will be hurt.
Leslye Beaver owns the Beaver Bar in Georgetown County, one of the businesses backing the bike rally. She said the inside bar is closed during the event to ensure people stay outside where social distancing can be practiced and drink responsibly in the business lot.
Beaver said due to a noise ordinance, music won’t take place after 11p.m., so the alcohol ban won’t impact people who would enjoy an alcoholic beverage while listening to the bands.
According to Beaver, other bars and restaurants in the area could be impacted by the order because they offer alcoholic beverages during the late-night hours.
“And I hate that,” Beaver said. “[Especially for] the bars that are open Friday and Saturday nights and even through the weekdays, [because] the majority of their money is made in the evenings and the late nights.”
Depending on how long the order lasts, Beaver said she’s not sure what impact the last call order could have on her business in the coming weeks.
“I don’t know,” Beaver said. “I just don’t know yet. We’re not [open] late at night [like] we used to be. We’re working to be[more of] a restaurant than bar, with events [like] concerts. But we’re going to comply, do what we have to do.”