SOUNDS | Looking for a place with Latin beats? Tequila Empire Night Club has you covered. Every Friday and Saturday night, you'll hear Latin songs pumping out from the huge sound system, provoking people to get out on the dance floor and move to the music. Saturdays are the most popular night. There's a deejay playing your favorite Latin beats on the main dance floor, plus there's another room that opens up with Mexican music. On Fridays, you're likely to hear live music from Mexican or Caribbean bands playing bachata, meringue, salsa, etc. But, Latin music isn't all you'll hear inside the walls of this massive club on Kings Highway.
Wednesday nights are geared toward college students and service industry workers, and the deejay spins a mixture of Top 40, techno and house music. Thursdays are now "Global Meltdown International Nite," catering to those who love house music. Sundays are reserved for special events, when the owner brings in popular bands from around the world.
SIGHTS | There's no holding back when it comes to decor inside this 20,000-square-foot establishment. Sheer white curtains line the perimeter of the large dance floor located in the center of the main room. They're gently tied back so those sitting at the surrounding high-top tables can witness all the action. A red hue glistens off the curtains, complementing the sexy and suave atmosphere that prompts men to invite women onto the dance floor. Red lounge chairs and black leather couches are nestled at each end of the dancing area, providing a place for dancers to take a rest and people-watchers to relax and enjoy the view. If bar seating is more your style, belly-up on a velveteen stool at one of the bars. If VIP is more your style, sink your tush into a black leather couch on one of the raised sections that overlook the dance floor.
Despite the South American-influenced sounds of Tequila Empire, the furnishings embrace a Roman-inspired theme. From the ivory statues of ruins and stone pillars to the carpeting speckled with the likeness of Julius Caesar's head, the mood implies "When in Rome, well.. drink and dance."
In the large open area topped with high black loft-style ceiling, colored lights gracing the floor are the only thing separating you from your next dance partner. A deejay booth overlooks the action, as well as an opposing raised area meant for bands playing live music. Two large screens on the wall play music videos that coincide with the tunes. The vibe is upbeat and happy with lots of movement and random dance contests to reward the individuals that know how to move.
The most alluring aspect about Tequila Empire is that every night is different. Between College and SIN Night, International Night and the Latin-infused weekends, varying crowds and music add a new flavor to each evening. The crowd is diverse. While age ranges fluctuate, the largest bulk will typically be between 18-years-old to those in their late 20s. (You have to be at least 18-years-old to get in the door.) Expect to meet locals, tourists and international visitors. On a Saturday, more than 900 patrons have been known to pack into the club.
STORY | If you're a long-time local, (and by "long" I mean you're one of the transplants who has lived here for more than five years) you may remember the building next to the former Beach Wagon as Club Maximus, but it has been many, many nightclubs and dance clubs through the years. Hector Lopez owns Tequila Empire. His club used to be located at 415 Yaupon Circle in Myrtle Beach (behind Family Kingdom) but he closed that locale in November of 2009, mainly because of lack of parking. After six years at that location, he says he took advantage of the bigger and better spot, moving to 1012 S. Kings Highway in February.
STYLE | Typical of many nightlife seekers hoping to impress, they'll put on their dressy clothes before heading out to dance. Expect to see women in dresses, skirts and tight-fitting outfits, and men in button-down shirts. As far as the style of dancing, well, that depends on what type of music is tempting those who grace the dance floor with their presence. On weekends, you'll find people dancing salsa, meringue, bachata and anything else that meshes with the Latin beats. During other nights, it's a combination of steps, shakes, swishes and flair.
SPENDING | If you're an early bird, you can snag $3 house liquors and $2.50 beers on Wednesdays and Thursdays (those deals last until midnight.) Typically, a cocktail will run you $6 and it's four bucks for a beer. Late night food is available, too, including wings, cheese sticks, chicken fingers, and sandwiches, all of which cost less than $7. Plus, you can chow down on Mexican cuisine, such as empanadas, gorditas, tacos and fried taquitos - all $2 each.
The good news is, there's not always a cover charge at Tequila Empire Night Club. However, for you night-owls who don't tend to make it out until late, if the hot spot is already getting packed, you can expect a $5 -$10 cover charge on weekends, depending on the crowd. (Special events and concerts may cost more.) You should get your bang for the buck, though, as the club will stay open until the wee-hours of the morning (4 a.m.) if there are enough people who want to continue the fiesta.
SITE | 1012 S. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. Call 839-0030 or look for Tequila Empire on Facebook and MySpace.