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City Harasses Natalias

Multiple business owners located in the Myrtle Beach Superblock voiced concerns claiming the city harasses Natalias Bar & Grill and other business owners in the Superblock area.

The Myrtle Beach Superblock is located one block from the ocean directly west of the former Myrtle Beach pavilion.

I did not come here,  to Myrtle Beach and have worked as a veteran and fought for this country for 20 years …. to see what this city is doing to me,” said Natalie Litsey,  owner Natalias.  “I have a legit business,” she added.

Just late last month,  City Manager John Pedersen enforced what  local business owner Sandy Trio called “marshal law” closing down an entire block of Myrtle Beach for late night parking and operations for 61 consecutive days.  The city manager claimed he did so for safety reasons.  City Councilman Mike Chestnut told Chloe Johson of the Myrtle Beach Sun News,  “I don’t think anyone’s going to be able to survive 61 days.”   Those statements confused and upset all business owners in that area.

Broadway at the beach
Police Reports Show Higher Crime Rate Here

Chloe Johnson of the Sun News has reported that Broadway at the Beach, a popular dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife destination, has seen more assaults and robberies (than the Superblock) overall in 2016.  A recent Sun News article states,  according to police reports:  Broadway at the Beach, which is less than two miles away from the superblock, is home to nine establishments that stay open until 2 a.m. or later at least one night a week, according to online listings. (The recent bar closing ordinance only affects the superblock, and Malibu’s Surf Bar and Oz  [located at Broadway at the Beach]  both stay open as late as 3 a.m.) A total of 20 reports of violent crime were found at the destination from the beginning of this year, including 18 assaults and robberies, two reports of forcible rape and no incidents involving guns. However, two guns were reported missing from Broadway at the Beach’s parking lot after a string of car break-ins in July. Carrying weapons are prohibited inside the development.

Based on those numbers, showing higher crime at Broadway at the Beach,  Superblock business owners question the motives of City Council.   Most every business owner told us they believed the city was trying to close down all businesses in that district,  condemn the district and sell the land to outside investors.  “If they are trying to sell this area, then I expect the city to be upfront and give us what our businesses are worth and let us move.” Ms. Litsey said.  “Not let the city find ways around false accusations and [then] close us down.”

Police Lights Super Block

Both Natlias Bar & Grill and other Superblock business owners tell us that multiple Myrtle Beach police cars show up as early as 9 p.m. parking near their shops  with lights flashing scaring off customers.  Ms. Litsey states that packs of multiple police officers enter the small bar three times nightly asking customers what they are drinking.  She says police officers scare off patrons and several go behind her bar.   On November 28th,  the city sent the business a letter stating she was not in code and her license could be revoked as she had no recording device on her property.

After an incident in the bar earlier in 2016,  Myrtle Beach police actually took Ms. Litsey’s recording device.  They informed her they could not let her see the incident nor could they give her back her own security recording equipment as it was part of an ongoing investigation.   Ms. Litsey stated she was surprised the city confiscated her equipment.   She feels the city should return her equipment.

John Pedersen
Merchants say John Pedersen’s actions are heavy handed and mean spirited.


 Superblock owners addressed City Council in November at a workshop asking for explanations from the city.  None were given.  One Superblock owner, who asked his name be left off the record, told us, “John Pedersen is  a card carrying,  big government socialist.  He hates small businesses and small business owners.  He actually believes the city owns our businesses.  We have to get him and these other Democratic socialists out of office if we ever hope to see Myrtle Beach become the city it can be.”  Most Myrtle Beach business owners fear Pedersen and many refuse to go on the record.   Ongoing incidents do show that the city manager and his team retaliate against those who go public through enforcements that include: City Police, Code Enforcement, DRC  business license enforcements, withholding city services, and more.


Downtown merchants currently live in a state of fear with uncertainty about the viability of continuing.  City Manager, John Pedersen,  was just recently given a raise by Mayor Rhodes and City Council.  He now makes over $185,000 annually.  Mayor Rhodes and City Council stated he had earned the raise as he is doing a “fine job”.


 MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to City Manager John Pedersen, Police Chief Warren Gall, and Mayor John Rhodes days before this articled aired.  All refused to comment on the matter.

Editor’s Note:  Many (most of) the businesses owned in the Myrtle Beach Superblock are owned by minority (Black, Jewish, Greek, etc) business owners.



About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area.David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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