By Becky Billingsley
Wednesday, August 22, 2012, Myrtle Beach – One of Myrtle Beach’s oldest restaurants is closing its doors for good.
It was with a heavy heart that Dino Thompson, founder and partner at Cagney’s Old Place Restaurant on Restaurant Row in Myrtle Beach, told employees on Aug. 17 that the restaurant’s last day of business will be Oct. 20.
From 1974-76, Thompson and his partner, Dino Drosas, helped build and lovingly place pieces of Myrtle Beach history in Cagney’s décor, including many items from the historic Ocean Forest Hotel that was torn down in 1974. Cagney’s opened for business in April 1976, and it was one of the first restaurants on Restaurant Row. Multiple generations of shaggers have danced in the roomy nightclub.
Most of the more than 30 employees at Cagney’s, a classic seafood and steak house, have worked there for decades.
“The first eight people I told, between them they had 215 years’ experience here,” Thompson said today in a phone interview. “Right now I’m thinking about our employees, and how I can help them.”
Learn more about Cagney’s and Dino Thompson in THIS ARTICLE published in 2010.
Thompson and Drosas will still own and operate Cagney’s sister restaurant, Flamingo Grill at 7050 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach.
Cagney’s Old Place Restaurant is at 9911 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, and the number is (843) 449-3824. It will be open for dinner Mondays through Saturdays through Oct. 20.
Following is a letter Dino Thompson composed about the closure:
DEAR CAGNEY’S FRIENDS
Cagney’s lease is coming to an end. So at the end of October we will turn out the stain glass lights and call it a day at Cagney’s. For over 10,000 days, we’ve enjoyed a special work environment. We’ve had the great fortune to work side by side with upbeat, decent men and women with unequaled dedication and deliciously zany humor.
To our guests and friends: Over 3 million smiling customers have pushed through our brass doors and sashayed across our heart pine floors. Tens of Thousands of you have dined with us for the entire 37 years. And thousands of you have honored us by becoming first-name friends and sharing our table and our stories and laughter. We look forward to continuing those friendships earning your support at our sister restaurant….FLAMINGO GRILL.
To our past and present staff: Being of service to others is an honorable profession. And you brought honor to the profession and dignity to yourself for caring so much about your performance and about Cagney’s guests, and your fellow staff members. It was you who gave heart, life, smiles, laughter, positive energy and wonderfully consistent food and service to this unique building with one-of-a-kind decor. We kept the faith, kept the important things tight and the atmosphere loose, never cut corners, offered quality at honest prices, kept the sparkle and maintained excellence to the last bite.
There’s no way to say how we feel… our staff and customers became family. There’s no menu to thank you enough. You made Cagney’s a destination and enriched our lives and kept us young. It’s been a joy and a privilege to provide a memorable work experience for several generations and to earn the recommendation of those who supported us.
Non illegitimi carborundum
Dino and Dino