However, since Pagliaro’s untimely death from heart failure at 55, the once beloved restaurant has become a spot without an identity.
That is until now.
Beginning this spring, current owner Anthony Parrino has moved toward making the place — now called The Music Station @ Socastee Station — a venue for live music. By opening up the joint, building a brand new stage and opening up his booking to acts of all types he hopes to create a haven for musicians and fans unlike another other place on the beach.
“It’s all about the musicians and the variety of music we’re bringing in. Whether it’s karaoke, an open jam, a cover band or one of a variety of different original bands, people come in here for the music,” he said.
Saturday, The Music Station will host one of its biggest shows yet, an all ages show featuring some of the area’s best — and loudest — local acts. The “Seven For Seven” show will serve as a re-opening bash for the newly-renovated venue and will feature seven bands with a $7 cover ($5 for over 21) including Prowler, Conception of Being, All For All, For Causes & Comrades, The Creepshow Mofo, Rabble N Rebellion and Chinese Fire Drill.
For the bands, the show is a chance to prove that there’s a viable scene for metal and hardcore music in Myrtle Beach and gain another much-coveted place to play locally. Meanwhile, Parrino hopes that opening his stage to a new genre of music will expose his business up to a wider variety of fans and help jump start what was once a vibrant business.
“When we got into this it was with the knowledge of this place as an upscale restaurant for the past 13 years,” he says. “But due to the economy and Gary’s passing and meeting musicians and a half dozen other reasons we just thought that focusing on the music would work better here.”
Parrino originally purchased the restaurant in August after it had been sold in 2009 to a pair of men who opened it as Buckeye’s Socastee Station. He hired Pagliaro back on as manager and cook and the two were just getting started into a second stint with Pagliaro running much of the day-to-day operations when he passed in October.
At that time Parrino, who's main business is a slaughterhouse in Philadelphia, felt he needed to carry on the legacy his friend had created and keep the business going. While he respected what Pagliaro had built, he also knew there were some changes that needed to be made.
“With the economy the way it was, I knew we couldn’t serve $16-18 steaks and lobsters anymore. So we moved away from all the red meat and country dinners,” he said.
But as the cuisine changed so did the crowd, and thus Parrino was left looking for a way to draw in patrons and keep the place going.
In January, the bar began hosting an Open Mic Night with longtime local songstress Angie Capone at the helm. Not long after the popular Open Jam Night started, Parrino knew he was onto something.
“Angie’s been great. [Her open jam] brings such a wide range of musicians,” he said. “Whether these are players from some of the bands we host, acoustic players or even tourists just stopping by to jam while they’re on vacation, it’s a great thing for us.”
As an example, Parrino points out that he recently had an 81-year-old man on vacation stop through during a jam to play a set of classic Polka music on his accordion.
“We embrace it all and no matter what you play, it makes no difference to me. People come here
to have fun because they can express themselves and what they do here,” he said.
In addition to the Open Jam, Parrino has slowly begun to build The Music Station’s musical repertoire with popular cover bands such as Chronic, Power Born Rebellion and the Southern Comfort Band, original music from rockers The IZM and a variety of other acts ranging from Elvis impersonators to hip-hop DJs.
With this current push toward bringing in more original acts, Parrino is currently looking to book musicians of all types — and even keeping his options open to other types of entertainment.
“We’re even working on bringing the Chippendales in,” he says. “We’re open to anything that people can have fun with.”
And though he says he still gets people coming in looking for pot roast on Mondays and chicken cutlets on Wednesday — some of the restaurant’s old specials — he hopes that over time fans will catch on to The Music Station’s new identity.
“We don’t have the pot roast, we don’t have meat loaf, but we’ve got a tremendous bar food menu and I make a great Philly cheesteak. If you want to come hang around for an hour or all night we’ll make sure you don’t go hungry,” he said.