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Benefit supports Dead Dog Saloon employees

Published: Mar. 26, 2012 at 2:07 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) Grand Strand neighbors turned out for a benefit to help out of work Dead Dog Saloon employees as they wait for the restaurant to be put back together after a fire destroyed it in February.

On the Half Shell Restaurant in Murrells Inlet, along with the Island Green Country Club, raised money through a golf tournament, raffle and silent auction. A large crowd gathered to enjoy the music fest that lasted throughout Sunday evening.

Several employees said the money collected at the benefit is going to help them make ends meet until the restaurant opens again.

Brandon Abbott said, "I was actually on my way to work when I first heard about the burning of the dead dog and it was tragic for me. It really hurt me and I'm still hurting."

Abbott was a server at the restaurant and now he is finding it tough being out of work until the restaurant is rebuilt.

"I am looking for temporary work right now but it's real hard because we are going to open up in June and people are hiring everybody they can," Abbott added.

He, along with 65 other employees, are thankful for the recent benefit and support. Abbott stated, "[I'm] really thankful for everything that's been going on. [The] benefit is real helpful. I'm glad it's been a great turnout."

Some long-time employees at the restaurant like Cindy Roberts have found temporary work. But she along with community members are hoping the Grand Strand landmark restaurant could open by late June.

"I'm having a really hard time adjusting to another job after I've been here for 5 years. This is a family. The Campbells are a family at Dead Dog," explains Roberts.

Dead Dog Saloon Co-owner John Campbell said he is overwhelmed by the support of the community and other restaurants along the marshwalk.

"The sun hadn't even risen after the fire that day and David Owen, our neighbor at Creek Rats actually called his kitchen staff in early. He had a hot breakfast for all of our people that had gathered at that point at Dead Dog when the word got out," says a thankful Campbell.

Campbell said the roof of the restaurant has recently been put on the building and he hopes to be back bigger and better as soon as possible.

"We're going to rebuild Dead Dog and make it look as much like the old Dead Dog as possible, but we are going to use this opportunity to [make changes]. It was an old building…me and Peter would say, 'we wish this wall was here and that wall was there' and now we can do that now. We want our customers to come back and recognize it just like it was the old Dead Dog."

Restaurant owners say right now more than $15,000 was raised and that money will be given equitably to each of the employees.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.