Grand Strand restaurants prepare to reopen for outdoor dining

Grand Strand

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – While many restaurants across South Carolina prepare to open their outdoor dining areas Monday, one spot in North Myrtle Beach already has experience.

The owner of Buoys on the Boulevard, Weldon Boyd reopened his restaurant’s outdoor dining area around a week ago.

“I didn’t understand why the discussion wasn’t being held about outdoor dining, and I figured I’d prove a point and show that we could do it inside the guidelines, and we did for three or four days,” Boyd said.

Then, according to Boyd, law enforcement asked him to close down his outdoor dining section. He complied and started a tailgate dining section where customers stay in their cars and eat.

A few days later, Governor Henry McMaster announced he was lifting his order so restaurants could reopen their outdoor dining sections only.

Boyd plans to reopen his outdoor dining area for the second time Monday. He says he will spread out picnic tables in the parking lot, and use the front and back porches for seating.

Boyd hopes having the outdoor dining option will draw more customers to restaurants. He says even though his restaurant has been open for takeout for the past two months, those sales alone accounted for one percent of his total revenue last year.

“It’s going to generate more revenue for restaurants who desperately need it, but it’s still not the full lifeline we need. We’ve got to get back to normal, and think about the restaurants that don’t have the option of outdoor dining, they didn’t receive great news Friday,” Boyd said.

Boyd encourages the public to eat out at local restaurants and tip servers often during this time.

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