Umbrellas now legal on Main Street sidewalks

North Myrtle Beach, SC - By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach Online

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC - Tables, chairs and umbrellas on Main Street sidewalks outside restaurant and bars have been common for years, but they were illegal until Monday's North Myrtle Beach council meeting.

Under a prior ordinance, businesses could apply for a franchise to use the public sidewalks for outdoor seating, but did not allow restaurants to serve alcohol at these seating areas. The ordinance was not enforced; businesses chose to ignore it, placed tables, chairs and umbrellas on Main Street public sidewalks and served beer, wine and mixed drinks.

City administration modified the ordinance to revoke the obligation for the city council to grant a franchise and, instead, substituted a requirement for businesses to apply for an encroachment permit issued by the Business License Division.

The new ordinance also added the legalization of beer and wine sales and service on public sidewalk areas designated as outdoor cafés.  The ordinance prohibited alcohol sales other than beer and wine to conform to SC law.

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