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Why Dale Jr.’s Whisky River in North Myrtle Beach has suddenly closed its doors

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s restaurant and sports bar foray in North Myrtle Beach lasted less than a year.

Dale Jr.’s Whisky River is closed, and if it reopens, it won’t have the NASCAR star’s name attached.

The business that opened at the former Overtime Sports Cafe on U.S. 17 last summer is shuttered and a sign on the entrance door states it is closed for renovations.

According to a statement to The Sun News from JR Motorsports and the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brand, Earnhardt and his company have terminated their licensing agreement with the restaurant’s owner.

“Whisky River, which entered into a licensing agreement in June 2018 with the North Myrtle Beach operating group Grand Strand NM, LLC, has notified the group that it is terminating the license. Effective immediately, the restaurant must completely dissolve any affiliation with the Whisky River brand,” reads the statement provided by Mike Davis, Managing Director of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Brand.

“While disappointed in the operating group’s failure to comply with the terms of the agreement, Whisky River expresses its sincerest gratitude to the town of North Myrtle Beach, its citizens and tourists, and the hard-working employees and staff,” the statement concluded.

North Carolina businessman Joe Lariscy is the registered agent for the ownership company and is believed to be the managing partner of the restaurant, and he did not respond to requests for comment.

Davis said Earnhardt is a partner in the other three Whisky River establishments, which are all in North Carolina at the Epicenter in Charlotte, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. But he said Earnhardt’s involvement in the North Myrtle Beach location was strictly through a licensing agreement.

PGA Tour golfer Kevin Kisner is one of Earnhardt’s partners in the Whisky River venture, according to Kisner’s Twitter page.

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