Myrtle Beach is getting a second dueling pianos bar and restaurant, this one near the ocean and Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
Nola’z New Orleans Dueling Piano Bar & Eatery will open Thursday, in time to be available for the crowds at the four-day Carolina Country Music Fest across 9th Ave. North.
It is located at the former home of Gordo’s Tacos and Tequila on the corner of 9th Ave. North and Withers Drive.
Nola’z partner and operations director Edward Kovari managed Gordo’s through the pandemic last summer.
“We weren’t busy, and I was wondering what this beach needed and what this area needed, and I realized instead of just a restaurant it needs a destination,” Kovari said. “I thought about what we could bring here that it doesn’t have. I thought about the party theme on Bourbon Street, the Mardi Gras, the floats, the culture, and that’s how the New Orleans concept came about.”
Gordo’s and now Nola’z partner Greg Messcher has been wanting to open a dueling pianos bar for several years.
“I do know that dueling pianos was started in Louisiana, so [the concepts] merged together very nicely,” Kovari said.
The Crocodile Rocks dueling pianos bar has been at Broadway at the Beach for more than two decades.
Nola’z will open daily for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Piano music will be scheduled daily from around 6:30 p.m. until at least 1 a.m.
Kovari wants to find local high school and college jazz musicians to play during some daytime hours.
The restaurant features bright, festive colors, including the pianos, which are green and purple. The logo features a caricature of a crawfish playing a piano.
The interior decor is designed to look like the outside of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The east wall has brick paneling and balconies similar to those you would see along the iconic street, and the floor is similar to the actual road and sidewalks.
A live image of Bourbon Street via the livestreaming EarthCam will be projected over the bar at all times.
“We’re doing the lights, the sounds and the smells of Bourbon Street,” Kovari said.
The menu will feature a lot of cajun food, including etouffee, gumbo, alligator bites, alligator nachos, crawfish dip, Boudin sausage balls, Putain fries featuring gravy and cheese curds, po’ boys, cajun pasta, jambalaya pasta, shrimp & grits, and catfish blackened or fried.
Deserts include beignets, bread pudding and Bananas Foster.
Specialty drinks include a bloody mary containing crawfish, bacon and other additions.
The restaurant, which can host approximately 100 people, will receive renovations likely later this summer. A pair of large windows near the dueling pianos will become garage doors that will allow for outdoor seating along a bar tabletop and open up the entertainment to passersby.
Like many construction items today, the garage doors are on back order.
Kovari said the owners are planning a special event featuring a crawfish boil for locals after the summer season.
Nola’z is one of many bar and restaurant endeavors for Messcher on the Grand Strand. He is an owner of The Office Italian Pub, Harry the Hats and three bar/restaurants at oceanfront hotels — Cannonballz at Beach Colony Resort, Toasted Turtle at Sun N Sand Resort, and Beach Pit at Carolina Winds.