Grand Strand bars scale back on New Year’s Eve events under “last call” order

Grand Strand

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina bars and restaurants will have to end alcohol sales and their consumption before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

Last week, Gov. Henry McMaster announced the “last call” order would stay in effect, despite many service industry workers asking him to lift it.

The Island Bar and Grill has been in business for 17 years, while operating with restrictions for the last five months.

“With this whole thing it’s either adapt and survive or don’t and kind of die,” said Brandon Bushaw, the bar’s co-owner. “So we’ve had to stay positive.”

Bushaw said owning a bar during a pandemic has been challenging, but he takes each day as it comes.

“There’s definitely going to be a loss,” Bushaw said. “There’s a lot to overcome, especially for New Years.”

Despite the setback of closing early, Bushaw is making the most out of what he’s working with.

The Island Bar and Grill is hosting a Paraguayan New Year’s from 6:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

The event is accompanied with a few Paraguayan dishes, however the theme was picked because of the time zone. The bar will have a ball drop at 10 p.m. – midnight in Paraguay.

Bushaw said because of the pandemic, a champagne toast and gift giveaways are not part of the event, but the bar will have a live band.

“I’m thankful we can do what we’re doing,” Bushaw said. “There are states and places that are really, really hurting. Outdoor dining only in the northeast and it’s four degrees outside.”

Instead of dwelling, Bushaw celebrates the loyalty of his customers and making it through the other side.

“It’s all about being together and being happy,” Bushaw said. “Out with the old and in with the new. Hopefully, hopefully that 2021 brings better things for everyone than 2020 did.”

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