MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Restaurants and bars along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach say crowds kept them busy during the holiday weekend, but violence cut their hours short.
Billy Cargill manages The Beach House and said he immediately closed restaurant doors when shots were fired early Sunday morning.
Cargill says customers and staff have been shaken up by shootings two weekends in a row.
The restaurant along with RipTydz and Moe Moon’s closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday to give staff a much needed break.
“There’s nothing more [police] could have done,” said Cargill.
He says police have done a fantastic job catching suspects and containing the violence quickly.
Jonathon Talbot manages Tin Roof and prepared for big crowds over the weekend.
“We had a plan going into the weekend, but those were based on fire marshal, fire codes kind of things,” said Talbot.
Hiring extra security to manage the number of people coming and going.
“We kept a clicker count so we made sure we didn’t exceed our fire code capacity. That was a plan we put in place during the week and we applied that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” said Talbot.
Talbot says a Myrtle Beach police officer was assigned to his area of the boulevard and was never too far to reach.
“They’ve been great. I’ve been in contact with them. In conversations with them whether it’s up here when they came to see me or it’s a text message or phone call, or even when I’m outside talking to guests they’ve been a presence,” said Talbot.
Even when Sunday morning’s shooting cut his night short, Talbot says police were easy to work with.
“They were in communication with us and basically came in and said “hey, do we need to check your building?” No, I have control of it. We’re going to get everybody out, make last calls, closed people’s tabs. We’ll get them heading in the direction you want them going when they’re leaving here. My security did a great job of doing what local law enforcement wanted us to,” said Talbot.
Talbot says reopening has not been fluid and changes are being made daily.
He says adapting to changes will help keep everyone safe.
“Local law enforcement’s been great. Everybody from the county, the fire marshal, everyone along the lines has been helpful. We’re all working together to make sure we can give the best experience to our guests and that’s we’re all striving for,” said Talbot.