Myrtle Beach loses oceanfront restaurant Banditos until 2018 to pave way for new development

A rendering of the new project from the owners of Banditos. That restaurant will close for construction until 2018.
A rendering of the new project from the owners of Banditos. That restaurant will close for construction until 2018. Courtesy Jim Hubbard

A new 50,000-square-foot development on Ocean Boulevard could bring several new restaurants, retail and a live music venue to oceanfront Myrtle Beach.

The development, which will be built on the land next to Banditos restaurant and close that restaurant while work is being completed, will create the space for several restaurants and shops. All the development’s initial tenants, including a renovated Banditos, are slated to open in spring 2018.

“This is gonna be like the new epicenter of Myrtle Beach on the oceanfront,” Patrick Marino, an owner and developer of the project, said.

Elizabeth Lucas of the Chicago-based leasing and management company Atwater Group said operations at Banditos will cease Thursday as crews begin doing initial work. The restaurant was empty and its parking lot vacant, with a sign that read “Closed for Construction” taped to the back door Thursday morning.

Lucas was unable to provide The Sun News with the number of employees who had worked at the restaurant, but she said all will be offered the opportunity to return for the grand opening in 2018. Marino current staff are reduced from full summer staffing levels, but also did not provide a number of affected employees.

The new four-level development, which Lucas said is an open-air concept with a full rooftop and a few enclosed air-conditioned spaces, will involve removing the roof from Banditos.

“You’re going to be able to feel the ocean breeze through the whole center,” Lucas said.

She said more than half of the space in the development is spoken for, but declined to identify specific businesses or brands that might occupy the development. Lucas also said the development is expected to include several eateries, including one that focuses on seafood, a venue for live music and a possible drugstore.

Marino said the owners of the restaurant have been working on the development for a long time. On Nov. 8, Myrtle Beach City Council passed first reading of a zoning adjustment allowing developers to use more of the land on their lot, but permit applications for the project have not yet been filed.

The development would be a significant addition to the Myrtle Beach oceanfront, where most lots have already been developed. Lucas and Marino declined to provide a figure for the total cost of the project.

Chloe Johnson: 843-626-0381, @_ChloeAJ