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South Carolina restaurant opens in defiance of governor’s orders

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Customers at Buoys on the Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina did something this past weekend that they haven’t been able to do in a while: eat outside at the restaurant.

Like all other restaurants in the state, Governor Henry McMaster’s executive orders focused on the COVID-19 pandemic required Buoys on the Boulevard to only serve curbside pick-up or delivery.

After doing just that for a month and a half, owner Weldon Boyd decided he could safely start seating people outside.

“The last straw is good friends of mine who own businesses telling me through phone calls, ‘Weldon, I’m not going to be able to re-open. I’m going to lose my business.’ That’s where the last straw came from,” said Boyd.

Boyd says he'd set aside a few months worth in savings in case the business came on hard times, but not this hard.

“We were told to put all the people on unemployment," said Boyd. "That’s a joke. Half my people still can’t get paid from the state. We’ve done everything on our end, but it’s not working.”

Boyd was forced to stop seating customers when officers from South Carolina Law Enforcement Division came to issue him a written warning. They said the next step would be to take his business license.