Nathan's Famous restaurants sues Carolina Country Music Fest organizers, Myrtle Beach

WPDE file photo from the 2017 CCMF

Nathan's Famous, a restaurant in Myrtle Beach on 8th Avenue North, is suing the organizers of the Carolina Country Music Fest and the City of Myrtle Beach saying their sales and profits have dropped significantly during the festival because customers can't access their restaurant, according to court documents.

According to court documents, for the last three years organizers have closed off and severely or entirely restricted access to the public along 8th Avenue North between Ocean Boulevard and Highway 17 Business by adding a 6-foot tall, chain-link fence woven with opaque, black cloth.

The restaurants holds an "easement" for access to the street so customers have a place to park and get into the restaurant.

Customer access is further restricted, according to the lawsuit, "by allowing the parking of numerous large trucks, buses and other vehicles operated by bands and other groups participating in the Festival."

As a result, Nathan's Famous' attorneys say sales have dropped and potential customers are left with only circuitous and difficult access to restaurant.

They say CCMF organizers shouldn't be allowed to shut down and use a public street as a parking lot during the restaurant's busiest time of the year.

The lawsuit states they've lost approximately $30,000 over the last three years during the festivals.

In 2016, Nathan's Famous contracted with CCMF to have a concession space on the festival grounds at no cost.

Per CCMF policy, they weren't allowed to take cash or credit cards, but were instead part of the cashless system used by the festival, with the understanding that the restaurant would be paid promptly.

However, according to the lawsuit, the system failed to operate properly and they didn't receive any sales figures, which they say were grossly short of actual sales, until the festival was over.

They say because of that error, CCMF owes them $25,171.40, but that CCMF has failed, and refused, to pay it.

Nathan's Famous is asking a judge for the money they've lost over the three years and the money owed to them from 2016, plus interest.

They're also asking for a permanent injunction to not allow festival organizers to restrict the public's access to the street.

CCMF organizers responded to the lawsuit in court on May 31 denying all claims and stating "CCMF has, for the benefit of the citizens of Myrtle Beach and other country music fans, in conjunction with the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and City of Myrtle Beach provided upscale country music entertainment and all that is associated therewith as a business enterprise all to the benefit of this Plaintiff and others throughout the Southeastern United States."

Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the city, said they no not typically comment on pending litigation.

The full lawsuit is shown in the document below:

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