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‘It was family’: Another nightlife staple to close its doors

December 17, 2018

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Another longtime staple of Broadway at the Beach’s The Avenue (formerly Celebrity Square) is set to close.

Broadway Louie’s, a sports and karaoke bar, will be shutting its doors after 20 years following the New Year’s Eve bash, according to Alyssa M. Petitto, Celebrations Nitelife marketing director/manager.

Petitto declined to give the nature of the parting of ways.

“Broadway Louie’s has always been more than four walls, a stage, some TVs, drinks and food. It is our customers, our staff, our atmosphere, our all-‘stars,’ our love for fun. So many of our customers as well as staff have met at Louie’s and fell in love, others have reunited with long lost friends, others have said ‘I do’ on stage and others have just been flat out LOYAL. It’s a way of life.” Teresa Skaff, CEO of Broadway Louie’s, said in a news release.

Several employees who have worked for Louie’s for several years expressed sadness in learning that it would soon close.

“Don’t really know what to say other than it was a great joy to work for Louie’s and Celebrations,” said Bill Breitkreutz, who’s been a bouncer there for nearly a decade. “From its owners and management to all the co-workers and guests, it was family.”

Walter Kraisky, who’s served as a bartender and in management in 18 years there, called it the perfect place for all ages.

“It was like a special little place that worked for everyone,” he said. “Kids that wanted to play games. Adults that wanted to play games. If you wanted drinks? Cool. Sports? Cool. Great food? Yup. Karaoke? Of course.”

Broadway Louie’s is owned by Celebrations Nitelife, which also owns Broadway at the Beach nightclubs Oz and Malibu’s Surf Bar.

The news of Louie’s impending closure comes less than a month after Shucker’s Original Raw Bar, which had also been part of Celebrity Square for 20 years, closed on Nov. 17.

Before Celebrity Square underwent a large transformation between 2015 and 2016 in which it was renamed The Avenue, Louie’s was located where Hard Rock Cafe now resides, across from Senor Frogs. It was moved several doors down to the building that formerly housed Country Roads, Rodeo and various other bars and nightclubs on the outer portion of the nightlife block in 2016.

As part of the changes, several other Broadway nightlife staples closed, including clubs Revolutions (where Oz now resides), Froggy Bottomz (now home to Wahlburgers) and Boca (which now houses American Tap House). Also, a Dave & Busters opened in Hard Rock Cafe’s former location.

The second Louie’s location was significantly smaller, still featuring karaoke but with fewer video games and other activities. Regardless of location, Louie’s presented the same friendly feel over the years, Breitkreutz said.

“Louie’s offered a great place to enjoy a welcoming atmosphere where friends and family could get together for sports, fun, great food and the best karaoke anywhere,” he said.

While Louie’s will close, Celebrations Nitelife’s karaoke will continue at Oz. The club will host KaraOzke weekly Tuesday through Thursday, according to the news release.

Jake Hallonquist, who’s hosted Broadway Jake’s AllStar Karaoke at Louies since 2004, said his show will move to Oz and current contests will continue there “at a more limited basis.”

“We’re still going to have great nights over there and we’re still going to try to find creative things to do throughout the season with our karaoke over there,” he said.

Louie’s thanked its customers, employees, entertainers, vendors and others in the news release, expressing sadness that its run would be coming to an end.

“It was like this melting pot of personality in the middle of the same old song-and-dance,” Kraisky said.

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/

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