Last call at Surfside on SMB

When the Surfside Beach Restaurant and Bar rings last call Wednesday night, it will be just that.  

After almost two years, the Seven Mile Beach bar will close up shop at its iconic site after its lease on the property expired in June. 

The site will now become part of Dart Realty’s $200 million project, the Kimpton hotel. The oceanfront hotel will feature two 10-story buildings and six beachfront bungalows.  

Surfside owners Debi and Kris Bergstrom said they planned to relocate the bar but were still looking for a new home. 

“We introduced a project that was something on the beach, a family beach bar, and it will be sorely missed,” Ms. Bergstrom said. 

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“We knew it was short-term, but when it comes to an end it’s still a shock to everybody. But when we went in, we knew it [the closure] was still a possibility.” 

The owners hope to operate the same concept at another beach location. 

“We would like to find a new home and we would like to keep the same concept, because obviously it works, but we have to find a beach location and that’s the hard part,’ Mr. Bergstrom said.  

“It’s tough to let go, but I understand progress.”  

Manager Thomas Lowe said about 30 staff had been let go due to the closure but most of them had been successful at finding alternative employment, while some had chosen to head home. 

Dart Realty chief operating officer Jackie Doak said the site would be enclosed with construction fencing in the next few weeks and a third tower crane would be erected nearby to facilitate construction on the west side of the hotel building to meet the hotel’s late 2016 opening date. 

“During the design and early construction phase of the Kimpton hotel, there was an opportunity for the beach bar on the site to be utilized in the interim as it would not be impacted by the initial work,” Ms. Doak said. 

“We anticipated that this would be a 12-month period and leased the property to the operators of Surfside. Their lease expired in June 2014, and we collaborated with them to extend it for a few months through the end of the summer tourism season.”  

Ms. Doak said the beach bar had always been integral to the Kimpton project. 


Surfside staff Rafael Hackett and Taniel Hylton enjoy their last days at the beach bar.
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