Broadway at the Beach is embarking on a multiyear transformation, but exactly what that metamorphosis will ultimately entail, or even look like, remains a secret.
Construction is underway in the north end of the 20-year-old, 350-acre park where Hard Rock Café Myrtle Beach is shedding its pyramid for new digs near incoming venues: American Tap House, the area’s first Dave & Buster’s and an OZ nightclub.
“We are hoping to have some of these new venues open and ready for the spring/summer season,” said Melissa Armstrong, marketing director for Burroughs & Chapin Co., Inc., who owns Broadway at the Beach.
Officials have confirmed where two of the new businesses will go, but the location of Dave & Buster’s and the fates of Hard Rock’s iconic pyramid and an area known for two decades as Celebrity Square remain a mystery.
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The nearly 4-acre square off Celebrity Circle near 29th Avenue North is lined with concrete, cobbled brick and squares of hand impressions from yesteryear stars like Ben E. King and Tom Jones. The area is capped on one end by a 70-foot-tall pyramid with matching sphinxes and on the other by an archway proclaiming “Celebrity Square, Where the stars go at night.”
Once buzzing with restaurant activity and the pulsing rhythm of dance music at nightclubs, the square now buzzes from the sounds of hydraulic hammers and reciprocating saws.
No answer was available to the question of whether the celebrity hand prints would remain in the area after its transformation.
B&C referred to the area as “the property’s entertainment and nightlife section, formerly known as Celebrity Square” in a press release announcing the new venues Wednesday.
“We are very excited about the changes that are going to be occurring. This is the first phase of a multiyear redevelopment plan for Broadway at the Beach,” Armstrong said. “American Tap House and Hard Rock Café will be the entry points to the newly redeveloped entertainment and nightlife area.”
When asked if the area will still be Celebrity Square, Armstrong said, “plans are still fluid at this point so we’ll keep you posted.”
The answer echoed again when asked where Dave & Buster’s will locate.
Calls to Dave & Buster’s corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas went unreturned Thursday.
Officials have also been mum on what will happen to the Hard Rock Café pyramid once the restaurant moves into its new location in the former Broadway Louie’s spot.
Hard Rock general manager Keith Stamp told The Sun News in September that if the restaurant were to leave its current location, the pyramid would be demolished.
Corporate headquarters for Hard Rock International, based in Orlando, Fla., offered the following statement Thursday evening: “As a tenant of the building, we aren’t aware of or included in any discussions regarding the pyramid and its future.”
Heidi Soos, a plan expeditor for the city, said that the planning department has not received any paperwork or plans for the pyramid or for Dave & Buster’s.
Signs of Broadway’s transformation have been obvious in recent months with restaurants and entertainment venues either closing or moving, but B&C officials have declined to answer any questions until earlier this week.
Planet Hollywood, MagiQuest, Carlos’ n Charlie’s restaurant and Revolutions Nightclub shut their doors. Broadway Louie’s moved into the former home of Country Roads and Rodeo, a few doors down, and permits were filed with the city to move Hard Rock into Broadway Louie’s previous spot.
The landmark planet where Planet Hollywood once operated fell out of orbit with the building’s demolition and new permits with the city revealed plans for a Carolina Ale House.
The Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board and city staff have approved plans for the Ale House, but Soos said that a permit has not been issued.
Chris Sullivan, owner of the Carolina Ale House, said that they are working to schedule a preconstruction meeting with the city to obtain permits. He said they hope to have the new business open by the fall football season.
The former Phillips Seafood restaurant on 21st Avenue North was demolished last month. Another permit application recently submitted to the city called for the demolition of the former Carlos’ n Charlie’s for a new two-story restaurant with retail space to house a Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.
The Community Appearance Board Thursday approved plans for the new restaurant’s building and landscaping, giving developers a green light to obtain permits and begin demolition.
Developers for the Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen project could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Reach Weaver at 843-444-1722 or follow her on Twitter @TSNEmily.