Best Bars in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach's best bars and pubs offer late-night drinks and fun

There are all kinds of bars in the Myrtle Beach area - pubs, sports bars, oyster shacks and beach bars - but a select few stand out in the crowd. Whether you are looking for a frozen drink while watching the waves roll in or checking out the games in a fan-friendly environment, the Grand Strand has a bar that's just right for you and your party to kick back and relax. Beach bars rule the roost on this list like  Bummz Beach Cafe. Many of the hottest spots are conveniently located near the top attractions in town, such as Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing, giving guests great places to take a break from a busy day of shopping or a nice night out for dinner. Others are off the beaten path, popular watering holes that have stood the test of time in a tourist town where bars are often geared toward those on vacation. But the locals know where to go to escape the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach, and a few of those well-kept secrets are unveiled in this list. Flynn's Irish Tavern is a place you might miss if you blink, but inside is a friendly group of regulars and lucky visitors who mix as smoothly as the drinks. So whether you're looking for a night of fun or relaxation, here are 10 bars that fit the bill.


If laughter is the best medicine then the Comedy Cabana is like the local hospital. The longest-running laugh factory on the Grand Strand brings in nationally touring comics that normally wouldn't travel this far off the beaten path except for the chance to take a break from their hectic schedules to relax at the beach. Top nationally touring acts frequent this small but popular hangout and the mood is always light and happy among visitors and employees. A sidebar from the showroom makes this place feel more like a locals hangout than a comedy club, and the food is surprisingly good.

Recommended for Bars because: Harold's on the Ocean is the place to be to make new friends or grab a bite to eat with old ones over some cold ones.

Terry's expert tip: Go to the bathroom before or after comedians take the stage, not during unless you want to be the target of some good-natured ribbing.

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Atlas Tap House
Photo courtesy of Atlas Tap House

Atlas Tap House is the latest addition to the Grand Strand's brewpub scene, but beer isn't the only thing that's already packing patrons into this downtown hot spot. Located just across from the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and one block from the beach, Atlas Tap House has also established itself as a must-visit among the whiskey-drinkers with discriminating tastes. With more than 30 unique types of bourbon to go with its 100-plus collection of rare beers, Atlas Tap House has been drawing drinkers with an appreciation for the diverse flavors and strains of beer and whiskey. Atlas Tap House also offers a unique food menu, from smoked meats in-house to chicken or fish tacos. Billiards tables and TVs tuned to sports highlight the interior, while an outdoor patio offers scenic views of the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and downtown district.

Recommended for Bars because: Atlas Tap House's combination of good food and drink with a prime location make it a must-visit when you're downtown.

Terry's expert tip: While the bars on Ocean Boulevard are packed to the front door, slip off to this more secretive spot just one block inland.

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Bully's Pub & Grill
Photo courtesy of Bully's Pub

A great deck, 32 flavors of draft beer and terrific service â€" what more could you ask for from your friendly neighborhood watering hole? Stop by in the afternoon for a bite of lunch on the waterside deck. Come by later in the evening to catch a game on the tube. With "tons of TVs" and an NFL Sunday Ticket package, they're sure to have your team on. If you need more diversions, head to the games area, where you'll find pool tables, dart boards, bowling and the ever-contentious Golden Tee. Not just a hangout for vacationers, Bully's sees to locals by hosting parties throughout the year.

Recommended for Bars because: Flynn's is the most authentic of the dozens of Irish pubs on the Grand Strand.

Terry's expert tip: The outdoor patio deck overlooking Lake Barefoot features live music and scenic views.

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8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk continues to bring new businesses to the downtown district, and the 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill is the latest addition to this increasingly hottest spot in town. Taking over a historic building previously occupied by legendary night clubs like Mother Fletcher's and Club Myst, 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill hopes to bring a new attitude and atmosphere to the Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, a more festive, beach environment instead of the dance-club reputation of the building's previous owners and operators. Using bright colors and a new patio deck addition, 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill plans to hold luaus and other beach-related festivities to the Boardwalk area, something that has been missing from the area since the 1.2-mile walkway was opened in 2009. 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill also looks to add more emphasis to food, featuring a full menu of bar-food fare and seafood, such as fish tacos and buffalo shrimp. Burgers, steaks and other standard fare are on the menu, as well as frozen dessert drinks and a Reese's Cup Cheesecake that tastes as sinful as it sounds.

Recommended for Bars because: 8th Avenue Tiki Bar is the liveliest place on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.

Terry's expert tip: Happy hour is not only the cheapest time to visit 8th Avenue Tiki Bar; it's also the kickoff of sunset colors over the ocean.

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Pine Lakes Tavern
Photo courtesy of Pine Lakes Tavern

Formerly known as the popular locals' hangout Droopy's, the new owners of Pine Lakes Tavern have changed more than the name. A total makeover of the bar, game room and bathrooms is already complete, creating a clean, casual environment for happy hour drinks or late-night partying. The spacious back porch overlooks Pine Lake and is the perfect place to unwind with a drink after a round of golf at the nearby Pine Lakes Golf Club the first golf course in the golf capital of Myrtle Beach. Fifteen draft beers are on tap as well as an excellent dinner menu. Occasional live bands and pig roasts make this a festive place to hang.

Recommended for Bars because: Pine Lakes Tavern has a great local crowd and laid-back vibe.

Terry's expert tip: The back porch is the place to be, offering shade spots to enjoy a cold one while overlooking scenic Pine Lake.

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Bar Louie
Photo courtesy of Terry Massey

This national chain recently expanded to Myrtle Beach in the heart of the Broadway at the Beach nightlife district. Taking the place of the old Broadway Louie's (no relation), Bar Louie is a far cry from the informal sports bar scene that preceded it. The two-story restaurant/bar features lots of room to roam and a different vibe in each spot. The downstairs and upstairs bars are great for sports fans wanting to catch the games, while the more secluded dining section and private party room provide a more relaxed setting. The food and drink menu is massive, including lots of specialty drinks, like the Lone Star Strawberry Lemonade and Cherry Bombay Martini. Live music is featured on the weekends.

Recommended for Bars because: Bar Louie fills a need at Broadway at the Beach with a laid-back hangout that also offers great food.

Terry's expert tip: Bar Louie has one of the best happy hours at Broadway at the Beach as well as a filling $8 lunch.

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Bummz Beach Cafe
Photo courtesy of Bummz Beach Cafe

The name says it all for this casual, come-as-you-are bar and grill, where patrons often stroll up from the beach with sand on their feet for a bite to eat and a cold one. Ocean views, frozen concoctions, live music and great food is what it's all about at Bummz Beach Cafe, which offers all these and more in a fun-filled and family-friendly atmosphere just steps away from the ocean. Situated in a 1930's beach house setting, guests can sip on a cocktail while lounging in beach chairs and hammocks on the back patio deck, or get their grub on via a host of tasty burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Recommended for Bars because: Beachgoers are only steps away from the great food, drinks and party atmosphere at Bummz.

Terry's expert tip: Happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. weekdays) offers great drinks specials, a nice view of the sunset and live music during the warmer months.

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Club Oz
Photo courtesy of Club Oz

Captivating crowds with its Latin beats and techno sounds, Club Oz is the trendy spot in Broadway at the Beach's nightlife lineup. Billed as the Strand's one and only "big city-style" dance clubs, Club Oz is one place that certainly warrants your hippest threads and coolest footwork. State-of-the-art light and sound shows create quite the late-night spectacle, and the young and sexy crowd isn't shy about letting world-class DJs work them into a beat-driven frenzy. If the action inside gets too intense, you don't have to leave, just grab a seat and catch your breath at Mango's lounge inside.

Recommended for Bars because: There aren't many places in town where you can dance in the daytime with an ocean view.

Terry's expert tip: The upstairs bar and balcony is a great place to take a break from the long lines and crowded dance floor.

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This restaurant/concert hall attracts great live music performed by nationally and internationally known rock, folk, blues, jazz and blues bands. The 2,000-person venue attracts many mid-major level touring acts as well as smaller regional bands. The intimate venue allows for great views from all angles and a top-notch sound system. In addition to the ticketed events, the restaurant/bar area features live music seven days a week, including a wonderful Sunday Gospel Brunch. Call ahead for a schedule of upcoming events. Ticket prices and showtimes vary, most are about $20 and start around 8 pm, but many of the top acts sell out early.

Recommended for Bars because: Visitors at Broadway at the Beach flock to this hot spot for oysters and drinks after a long day of shopping.

Terry's expert tip: Concert ticket-holders who dine at the House of Blues before the show get priority first seating to the concert hall.

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The Bowery

Don't miss the chance to see where country music supergroup Alabama got its start back in the 1970s, and little has changed at this hole-in-the-wall honky-tonk since those days. The house band kicks out live music six days a week and visiting bands and musicians get together to jam on its night off. Patrons off all walks of life share the common bond of live music. Not the fanciest place in town but a must-see for those looking for a true taste of the Myrtle Beach nightlife. Stumble out the door to more live music at the Plyler Park stage.

Recommended for Bars because: This downtown watering hole is a must-see for visitor and guests wanting a true flavor of old-school Myrtle Beach.

Terry's expert tip: The drink selection is limited (beer and wine) but there are plenty of places nearby to get a mixed drink in the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area.

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Meet Terry Massey

It's no surprise that journalist Terry Massey is credited with creating the word 'stay-cation.'  He considers the past 18 years in Myrtle Beach a vacation.

He and his wife Stephanie were...  More About Terry