Neal and Pam’s reopens 8 months after fire
SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - They’re back, after being forced to close for eight months following a fire last summer, Neal and Pam’s is officially open.
Neal and Pam’s owner Zach Baker says he’s been overwhelmed with the love and support from locals and vacationers, showing him this bar is far more than just another place to grab a drink.
“It was a long eight months and we’re glad to be back in business,” said Baker.
Since 1985 Neal & Pam’s has become a staple in Surfside Beach but in July an overnight fire changed everything.
A maintenance worker discovered the fire while pressure washing the kitchen hoods and quickly called 911.
“Luckily he was here because there probably wouldn’t be a Neal and Pam’s anymore,” said Baker.
While the entire bar was not destroyed the inside needed to be completely renovated leaving most of the old artwork and neon signs damaged.
One sign hanging on the ceiling somehow survived, a picture of the original owner Neal dressed up as Elvis Presley his favorite musician.
“There’s someone smiling down on us and it’s got to be a Neal,” said Baker.
Although Neal has passed away the portrait has always hung from the ceiling since Baker bought the bar in 2011.
Neal’s daughter Aimee Stapleton says seeing the sign back where it’s meant to remind her Neal was always looking over the bar even the night of the fire.
“This means so much to me that people love Neal and Pam’s it’s such a staple in this town,” said Stapleton.
This week Baker surprised everyone by opening the bar for the first time since the fire posting pictures of the iconic open neon sign on Facebook.
“It’s been a long eight months but the staff and I were just ready to go and we’re just so happy to be back in business,” said Bakers.
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Throughout the week the bar has welcomed in new and familiar faces like the Parsons who make the trip to Neal & Pam’s every year when visiting from West Virginia.
“We were here the night before it caught fire and we love Neal and Pam’s so the first day it opened on Monday we were here,” said Baker.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held by the town to welcome back the beloved Surfside Beach business on Friday.
“It’s been rocking here all week with the band and we’re glad to have them back in our community,” said Mayor Bob Hellyer.
With the band back on stage, the neon signs shining bright and Neal back where he belongs Baker says there’s just one thing left to do.
“I love you guys we’re looking forward to a great summer and Go Gamecocks,” said Baker.
Neal and Pam’s is located on Ocean Boulevard in Surfside Beach across from the pier and Surfside Beach Resort.
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