PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: Greetings from The Bowery, Myrtle Beach
“Greetings, Andy, from the Myrtle Beach Police Department!” – words I’ll always remember (they’re on video) from a bemused cop who was willing to send a message to an absent friend as my travelling buddy and I exited the South Carolina city’s legendary Bowery bar at some indistinct time during the early 1980s.
Myrtle Beach has changed by leaps and bounds since those days, and I’m not sure whether the police are as accommodating to slightly tipsy tourists, but it is a reassuring constant that The Bowery remains in all its glory.
Located steps from the Atlantic Ocean in the centre of town, the establishment has been welcoming locals and tourists alike since 1944 – a 77-year history highlighted by the presence of country music super group Alabama as house band from 1973 to ‘80, where they merely played for tips.
The Bowery keeps the association close at hand, not least through occasional visits from the band – as recently as 2019 – who still consider it home.
I don’t recall if Alabama was on stage during my visit (they may well have been), but I do recall walking out thinking that I might even like country music, such was the amazing live atmosphere of the place.
And that’s exactly the vibe that continues today where live music amps up every night at about 8:30 (no cover charge), with today’s version of Alabama – The Bounty Hunters – on stage, supported by servers who often deliver multiple mugs of draft by hand (no trays). According to the bar, one of its own, Scuba Obsorne, holds the Guinness Book Records mark for carrying 34 mugs at one time.
All of which is to say, that entertainment is the raison d’etre at the bar, or in local parlance, “Ya can’t beat the fun.”
And did we mention that a mug of Bowery brew only costs a buck-fifty – at least at during happy hour, Monday-Friday 4-7 p.m.
For food, go next door to the affiliated and connected Duffy Tavern (only 50 years young), noted for, as its sign says: “Hot Beer, Lousy Food, Bad Service.” But seriously, try the burgers, and snag a seat outside in the South Carolina sun if you can.
The Bowery/Duffy’s is located at 110 9th Avenue North (just off the boardwalk a couple of blocks from the SkyWheel) and is open from daily from 11 a.m. to “until.” If you can’t find it, just ask a cop – they know!
With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:
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First published at Travel Industry Today