By Becky Billingsley
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, Murrells Inlet - Almost three months after Dead Dog Saloon in Murrells Inlet was devastated by fire, the popular party and dining spot beside the Marsh Walk is reopening.
Reconstruction plans began before the embers cooled on Feb. 22, and today dozens of employees were working steadily and with an air of excitement to put finishing touches on the interior. Dead Dog owner Charlie Campbell was there with manager Peter Haentjens watching tables being put together, bars being stocked, The Necessary Band doing a sound check, the first food coming out of the kitchen for servers to sample and framed photos of customers' favorite departed pets being hung on the walls.
That wall of honor is a small part of the canine decor that envelopes the new roomy layout; whimsical dog depictions are everywhere, including the restrooms.
Gone is the narrow front entryway. Now diners walk into a large dining area with a horizontal hostess station at the front. Behind that, where there used to be an inside bar and private dining room is a large open dining area with booths and tables. To the right of the hostess station, where a long and narrow dining area was formerly located, is the new inside bar.
The rear deck is not appreciably different, except the live oak tree that used grow out of the middle of the north side is gone. It could not be saved from being burned, but has been made into a four-person bench that will be delivered Wednesday.
Another bar is on an enclosed part of the deck in the same place it was before, and down a few steps is an enclosed indoor/outdoor dining area with a bandstand. Beyond that is another uncovered outdoor dining area.
A private party will be held at Dead Dog Saloon from 5-9 p.m. Wednesday, and the band will start performing at 8:30 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 9 p.m. Wednesday, and a public grand opening is scheduled to begin at lunchtime on Thursday.
Dead Dog Saloon is at 4079 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet, and the number is (843) 651-0664. Starting Thursday, it opens daily at 11 a.m.
The "new" Dead Dog menu is filled with old favorites.