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Hotel-restaurant plan in hands of council

The Grand Strand could get a Mellow Mushroom restaurant if the concept gets one more approval from Myrtle Beach City Council.

The council will take a second and final vote next week on an amendment to a hotel-and-restaurant project at 21st Avenue North that would incorporate the pizza chain, which has 45 locations in five states. The amendment to the development plan received initial approval last week.

The project originally called for a fast-food restaurant to accompany the hotel and restaurant planned for the site. The proposed 5,200-square-foot Mellow Mushroom restaurant would replace the fast-food joint.

The project, called Gateway Market, sits on 5.74 acres at 21st Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass next to the LaQuinta Inn.

The chain has S.C. locations in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Greenville and Hilton Head.

Book Warehouse reopens

Book Warehouse in Tanger Outlet Center's U.S. 17 location has reopened under new ownership.

The national chain that owned the store - National Book Warehouse - closed in January when it filed for bankruptcy. But Book Warehouse bought 13 of the stores across the country to reopen, according to a news release from the company.

The new store offers books at a 50 percent to 80 percent discount.

The operating hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The Web site is bargainbookshop.com.

Quick check processing

Bad news for those shoppers who rely on the float time it takes a retailer to cash their checks.

As of Friday, many retailers will scan and process checks much as they do debit card transactions - sometimes clearing it the same day.

The change results from a new regulation that went into effect March 16, the Back Office Conversion. The technology allows retailers to use the ACH network, the same network used for debit transactions and paycheck direct deposit.

What does this mean for stores?

Retailers won't have to take checks to the bank for deposit, and the transaction will clear faster.

Shoppers will likely be able to use checks at more locations as retailers lift their restrictions.

In Grand Strand retail news:

A new store called Best of Myrtle Beach will hold its grand opening today at Broadway at the Beach. The store sells a variety of merchandise, including items with logos, collectibles, clothing and toys. The store is in the center's New England Fishing Village West, next to Friends 2b Made.

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy is holding a fundraiser Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. for First Book of Horry County, an international not-for-profit group that provides children from low-income families with new books.

For $10, attendees will have a fajita lunch, watch a fashion show by Coastal Grand retailers and participate in a silent auction. For information call 448-5533 or 839-9100.

William Tyler Home has opened next to Thoroughbreds Chophouse & Seafood Grille, selling antiques and home furnishings.

Mansour's Resort Cabana opened last week at Colonial Mall-Myrtle Beach. The store sells a variety of swimwear for $10 each and casual dresses, T-shirts and some shoes.

Inlet Square will hold a Kids' Club event Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Food Court. Kno-Y the clown from the Cole Bros. Circus will perform magic tricks and make balloon animals. Kids will receive one free ticket to the Cole Bros. Circus at Inlet Square from April 2-4.

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