The first rain bands moved into Myrtle Beach just as the 7 p.m. curfew went into effect. A couple dozen people were still drinking beer and ordering hot food to go at Foster’s Cafe and Bar. The crowd slowly lined up to pay their bar tabs before heading home to ride out Hurricane Florence.
A handful of businesses on the north side of town, like Foster’s at King’s Highway and 63rd Avenue North, opened for the day to serve their loyal local customers.
“In this town, you don’t travel very far to drink. Everybody doesn’t want to cook today,” Foster’s owner Don Fonda, 63, said, since they will all have to go home and hunker down as Florence moves through in the coming days.
Down the street on Ocean Boulevard, Mariner’s Pizza opened as scheduled at 11 a.m. and planned to stay open as long as it could.
Ashlyn Yarborough was running the counter in the small pizza shop Thursday afternoon. “We’ve been pretty busy,” she said. Later in the day, her mother Belinda Seaman took over running the shop. Seaman said the shop had made more Thursday than it had over three days last week.
Both Yarborough and her mother live in the motel next to the restaurant, which mainly rents weekly rooms to long-term tenants. They both plan to ride out the storm in their rooms.
Yarborough said she was working at the neighborhood pizza joint for Hurricane Matthew. She said the storm surge reached up into Ocean Boulevard in front of the store, but did not get into the motel or the shop.
“There’s nothing else open,” Seaman said, so they will try to stay open for the people who live there.
Both Foster’s and Mariner’s say they will open up as soon as they possibly can after the storm passes.
Charles Duncan: 843-626-0301, @duncanreporting