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A tip of the hat to these local restaurant employees

Walt Garnett, Wild Wing Café

Walt Garnett has quite a following. Wild Wing Cafe co-owners Mike and Patti Hilton invited his fans to come have birthday cake on Walt's 70th birthday in September. A former food and beverage staff member at the Dunes Club, Walt wasn't surprised to see many of his friends from the club show up. But, he was overwhelmed when the guys presented him a full week at the Yankee fantasy baseball camp in Tampa, Fla., as a birthday gift.

"I was absolutely totally shocked to see them all," he said. "I didn't realize I had so many good friends."

An energetic, gracious man, Walt is a self-described gym rat who thrives on working out five days a week, attending church on Sunday and helping out with anything he can at Wild Wing on a daily basis. As an investor, Walt has a reason to ask patrons if they have everything they need. He's a hands-on businessman who has also shared a business partnership in several fast food restaurants. But it's clear his interest in people at Wild Wing is genuine. He loves to greet people and talk about their day. And, his enthusiasm for life hasn't wavered since he was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., during his college days.

Tommy Bierne, Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery

Tommy Beirne came naturally to bartending at Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery at Broadway at the Beach. He came in for happy hour with his girlfriend, Dana, an employee, four years ago and ordered a White Ale. Even though his girlfriend no longer works at Liberty, Tommy's been there ever since.

A native of Long Beach, N.Y., Tommy left Long Island in search of a less expensive place to live. After working with Aramark at Coastal Carolina University and a certain well-endowed restaurant chain, he discovered Liberty and landed the job with more than a decade of experience.

Now well-accustomed to Liberty's huge following, Tommy can recognize 90 percent of the people who come into the bar.

"I like it over there, I like the atmosphere and I'm good friends with all the people I work with," Tommy said. "We've got one of the most consistent restaurants around. Between the beer and the prices, you can't beat us. There are some people there who've been there since the day it opened. We're all pretty hands on with the customers."

When he's not working, Tommy likes to hang out with his children and play. He's also a regular at the gym and plays Mens' A Division softball at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

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