Archive for the ‘grand-strand’ Category
The Mayor's House was for many years at the South Litchfield Beach causeway and stoplight, across from Latte Litchfield and a bit north of The McKenzie Beach Motel. I would, in fact, give the location as "Litchfield" rather than "Pawleys Island", but the later designation is creeping steadily northward.
I always had the impression that The Mayor's House was a) "Too Fancy" and b) "Too Seafood" for me (what with the big pink shrimp and the Fried Lobster come-on), so I never got around to eating there despite liking the pier-like aspect of being built over a pond.
Looking for the address of the place did turn up an online review site which was decidedly... mixed. It did confirm my impression that it was probably too rich for my blood. I do wonder what happened to the shrimp though.
The House of Blues at (The bankrupt) Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach seems to make a policy of booking major "legacy" acts into its rather intimate space. In the past, I've seen Boz Scaggs, Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys (Carl Wilson was visibly failing), and Blondie there.
The only problem I have with the place is that while they have a reserved seating area, the tickets don't seem to be available on the standard web site, and standing up for two hours gets old pretty quick for me nowdays.
Steve Miller has, of course, been around forever, but scored his greatest success in the mid 70s with the "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Book of Dreams" albums. Supposedly he has never allowed a recognizable picture of himself on an album cover, and at the peak of his fame, could ride his bike around venue parking lots without being recognized. He has never had what you could call a "great" voice -- it's a very servicable reedy tenor, and the fact that it's never been perfect means that it hasn't dropped off much either: he was in good vocal form for Saturday's show. The Steve Miller Band is now apparently a six-man outfit. Two guitars, a bass, drums, keyboards and a (very flamboyant) second vocalist.
As you'll recall, when I saw The Doobie Brothers in North Charleston, and Al Stewart in Newberry, I was surprised at how lax the venues were about cameras. In the past it almost seemed like places would break your kneecaps before letting you in with a camera, but apprently, as in school, the Battle of the Cell Phone has been lost, and other cameras reap the benefit. Since I regretted not taking the closing-cam to those shows, I checked on the HOB ticketing site, and non-removable-lens cameras are allowed, so in it came.
The curtain opening number was "Jet Airliner" (with the synth prologue [mostly missed here] playing before the curtain dropped), and Miller went on to play pretty much all of his hits and well known songs: "Jet Airliner", "Abracadabera", "Wild Mountain Honey", "Serenade To The Stars", "Swingtown", "Dance Dance Dance", "Take The Money & Run", "Jungle Love", "Space Cowboy" (dedicated to William Shatner), "Livin' In The USA", "The Stake", "The Joker" (acoustic), and "Rockin' Me". He also played a few blues numbers (it was originally "The Steve Miller Blues Band") that really let the second vocalist shine.
In short, it was an excellent show, and if you get the opportunity to catch him, do.
Maybe there is no such thing as a recession-proof business...
On the other hand, this WPDE story speculates that perhaps Wal-Mart put some pressure on this Garden City strip club to close as they opened a new SuperCenter across the street. Certainly, the coming of Wal-Mart seems to be what closed the nearby Krispy Kreme (though the building is still standing so far).
I believe The Pink Pony building started life as a steakhouse, though the WPDE piece says the club had been there for a dozen years.
UPDATE 4 May 2011: Added Western Steer to the post title based on the comments.
I have a weakness for mermaids, but Hoof 'n' Finz in Murrells Inlet was not somewhere I ever ate.
What makes this closing notable for me is that it opens up a Murrells Inlet restaurant space for the return of the much missed Rosa Linda's.
This note from the Weekly Surge, along with this one make me hopeful, as the Favata family was involved with the original restaurants. Apparently the current plan is to be open for Cinco de Mayo, though I have to say, after looking over the work going on at the place, that will be pushing it.
This property listing notes some of the plusses and minuses of the location. Apparently the building is "majestic", but Suck-Bang-Blow is right across the street (spun as a positive in the listing "If this restaurant was ran correctly"..). Of course that only makes it difficult to deal with a couple of weeks a year.
Looking forward to it!
(Hat tip to commenter Buddy)
UPDATE 14 May 2011 -- Well, they are open! (And did make their Cinco deadline):
First let me note that although no description of Myrtle Square Mall would be complete without the famous clock, I did not take that picture. It appears in the Wikipedia entry for the mall, and has been explicitly released into the public domain.
What can I say about Myrtle Square Mall? For many years, it was the mall on the Grand Strand and the "general" shopping destination on any beach trip. To be sure, there were outlet and specialty malls like Waccamaw Pottery, but MSM was the "it" place.
As kids, of course, The Pavilion was first in our hearts and minds, but over the years we took many trips to the mall as well.
It had a different mix of retail than anything in Columbia, with anchor stores I never saw elsewhere like Peebles as well as standard stores like Sears and Eckerds. For me, the main attraction was the book store just off the clock court. I cannot now recall the name, but it was either completely independant, or part of a small chain that never opened in Columbia, and I found that it had an interesting selection of science fiction books that I didn't see elsewhere. Recall that in those days the only books you knew about were the ones you saw on the shelves -- there was no Amazon where you could search for any book in the world, or that would recommend books to you based on your previous purchases. I can particularly recall finding there a a Virgil Finlay collection I had never heard of, and had no clue existed. Finlay was an old-school SF pulp illustrator who had an amazing black & white line and stipple style that was unsurpassed (in my opinion) until Stephen Fabian came on the scene, and in retrospect I think Finlay's work has aged better than Fabian's. Anyway -- I bought the book :-)
The record store (whose name I have also forgotten) seemed to have slightly different selections than the Columbia stores as well.
Apart from the stores, obviously I have to say something about the clock. It sat above the central court, and was a marvel of conceptual design. The version pictured above is in fact one of the later versions -- the first version had 60 colored balls suspended from the ceiling in a circle with suspened numbers (similar to those pictured) at every five minute mark. The bulk of the balls were one color, with the ones at the five second intervals being another. As ever second passed, another ball would illuminate until all 60 were lit at which point they would all go dark and the next numeral would be illuminated for the current minute. Hmm, or maybe the numerals were for the hours and there were seperate balls for the minutes. At any rate, you could sit there and watch the time pass before your eyes so to speak. It was not a particularly easy clock to read -- it always seemed to take a minute to figure out just what was lit, but it was a fun clock to read.
I remember a number of interesting solo trips to the mall. The first was when I had just started to drive. My mother and I had gone to the beach to winterize the beach house, and having done that, she agreed to let me drive while she walked on the beach. Well, that's an always risky permission to give to a teenager, and I headed straight to the mall, despite it being a 25 mile drive one way. I had no particular goal other than I was, by gosh, going to drive, but I did end up getting some Trixie Belden books for my sister's birthday from Sears of all places. Needless to say my mother was not pleased at being ditched for three hours longer than she had planned to be...
Another trip to Sears years later (and near the end of the store's life) for dryer parts also yielded a trove of retro flashlights of the kind I grew up with, and which I thought were no longer being made -- I still have four or five.
I'm unsure why Burroughs & Chapin decided to deep six the mall. Certainly it was somewhat dated, but that could have been fixed by a remodel. I suppose access was an issue, but it's not like there's an Interstate in Myrtle Beach, -- the replacement mall at Coastal Grand may have slightly better traffic at US-17 bypass and US-501, but it's not a slam dunk.
At any rate, by 2005 most of the stores had made the transition, and in 2006 they started knocking Myrtle Square Mall down. The fact that B&C owned the replacement mall meant that Myrtle Square never went through the "death of the old mall as the new mall draws stores and traffic" phase. It was not in B&C's interest to eake rents out of Myrtle Square while firing up Coastal Grand.
On the other hand, they seem not to have had any Plan B for the Myrtle Square Mall site. Currently the huge tract bounded by 23rd & 27th Avenues North on the north and south sides and Kings Highway and Oak Street on the east and west sides stands vacant (as does the other large B&C tract at the old Pavilion site). It's hard to believe that two such prime tracts in the heart of Myrtle Beach have sat vacant for so long. (Well, not completely vacant -- there's still an Office Depot which must have had a long term lease, and I saw signs of homeless presence in the bushes).
Brookgreen Gardens Nights of a Thousand Candles 2010, Brookgreen Gardens: 3 December 2010 (etc) 2 comments
Studebaker's was something of a Myrtle Beach landmark, from the same era as Mother Fletcher's and Xanadu (which both predeceased it). The club started in 1981 and celebrated their 28th anniversary in 2009.
I'm not much of a club person, but I was vaguely aware of Studebaker's as a Shag venue where the National Shag championships were held.
As of now, the web site is still up (they must have paid for a full year..) and has a number of videos taken inside the club. This story from the Sun News gives some details of the closing and blames it (or the owner does) on the anti-bike rules Myrtle Beach instituted a few years ago. I can certainly see the we want peace & quiet residents' point -- the annual rallies certainly are noisy and obnoxious, but on the other hand it's probably a bad idea for a tourist town with no industry to take steps to keep people away..
The storefront is in the process of being converted to a Dollar General.
The Little Red Barn was a touristy gift shop that operated on US-17 just north of the draw-bridge in Georgetown during the late 1960s. At least that's when I'm guessing it closed -- I would have been around 9 or so years old, so the memories are pretty vague at that remove.
The place was (and is) on the route between Columbia and Pawleys Island, and was a stop we kids always wanted our parents to make, though they did so very infrequently.
Inside, the place was kind of Hammock Shop-lite, and skewed a bit more to the tacky side of roadside tourism, or at least those were the items most interesting to me. I remember bein particularly scandalized by a "belly button lint picker" joke device, and I'm sure there were some "Please Don't Pick The Daisies" type postcards.
Outside, though was the reason the place was really special to us kids: peacocks!
There was a little open shed to the left and behind the actual "red barn" building, which had a number of peacocks behind screen wire (I think that sometimes they would walk around "loose" as well). The thing about peacocks is that they don't feel like showing off very often, but when they do, it's spectacular and given that these were the only peacocks we had ever seen besides NBC, we always wanted to stop on the off chance that they felt pretty that day.
After the Red Barn closed as a gift shop, my memory is that it was vacant for a while, and then in the 1970s, it became the office building for a plant nursery which was run on the land surrounding the building. I think that lasted until quite recently, but is now closed, and the building is again unused (and starting to need a few repairs).
As for the peacocks? Well, I suspect they tasted like chicken.
UPDATE 16 June 2011: Added 14 August 2010 Photoset.
UPDATE 23 May 2012: Updated the closing date in the post title from "1960s" to "1970s" based on commenter Ali's information.