Saturday, October 13, 2012

Every night, familiar faces, misty eyes. Friends we've served for almost 40 years.
Each day getting more difficult to hear their praise of Cagney's and all it's meant to them and to their families. Bring a tear to a glass eye.

Our blow-your-mind loyal staff is maintaining excellence and dedication like we'll be here for another 40yrs. Damn we're so honored to have worked with these people.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The DANCIN ROOM at Cagney's

Cagney’s DANCIN ROOM, a 125-seat dance club, was added 4-yrs after Cagney’s opened. For the next 20-some years, the classy joint rocked like it did last Friday. Customers would come for dinner and stay til 2am on Fridays and 12pm on Saturdays (liquor laws wouldn’t allow alcohol after midnight- (drinking on Sundays would send a Baptist straight to hell). Our first DJ was Vanna White’s brother Chip. For the next 15 years, our DJ was Chip Bellamy. 

On the rare occasion when I had to fill in, I always had my mental lineup of some fabulous boogie and shag 45s. Monster danceable favorites like…
One Mint Julep, Honky Tonk, One Scotch-One Bourbon, Flamingo, Fever, Green Eyes, Just a GigoloLet the Good Times Roll, Nip Sip, Mary Lou, Sixty Minute Man, Temptation, I Got Loaded, Kansas City, White Cliffs of Dover & Thank You John…In between I’d slip in a few romancers like At Last and Since I Met You Baby. Then I’d spin in a few fast shags like Flip Flop & Fly, Chicken Shack Boogie or Safronia B for the limber of leg showoffs. 

But it was never good enough.  Sure as a pig’s ass is pork, some patent-leather shoed dude, fake Rolex, bombed on Blatz in a Nehru suit, shirt unbuttoned down to his hairy navel, gold sailfish necklace, would stroll up and say, “Hey sport kin you play something me and the lady kin dance to?”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Note from Eddie Ray


I only had the pleasure ( and it was a REAL pleasure!) of dining at the fabulous CAGNEY only a few times and I am so sorry that on my visits to Myrtle Beach I will never have that opportunity again!  I absolutely  loved the ambience, the friendly, courteous service and the fantastic food, all of which were the  very best that I had ever experienced in any restaurant!
Dino, I know that with you there now full time, I will  very soon  feel  the same way about THE FLAMINGO GRILL!  

Eddie Ray

Note from Stacey Bowers

Dino and Dino;
I want you both to know how much I enjoyed working for you both and the awesome staff and managers at Cagney's! Being part of your team helped frame who I am today. Thank for the opportunity, the lessons and the memories.
My husband and I will come by for a visit before your last day.
Thank you.
Stacey Andrews Bowers

Note from Lawson and Cathy Holland


WOW!  Cathy and I just brought a couple and their son from Pennsylvania to eat there last Thursday night, and it was so good.  Congratulations on a great, great run!  Hope you have smelled the roses along the way in the past 37 years, and I know you have.  You have certainly provided great food and service, and we always enjoy hearing a good story from you.

Continued successes-

Lawson and Cathy

Note from Andrea Wood

Cagney’s is where Jackie and I first met and started the love ball rolling.   There have been so many places that have closed their doors, employees would show up for work and the doors would just be shut and they would be out of a job.  You guys have always done things with class, with dignity, with respect to your employees, and even in closing you are still doing that and thinking of others.I could go on and on, but overall the one thing I will remember most about Cagney’s is you all made us family, treated us like family and raised us when are parents weren’t looking.  You guys taught us more than you will ever know about life, about ourselves, and about how to become the people we wanted to be.  You kept us close, and allowed us to stay until we were ready to fly, then you let us go and wished us well and continue to be in our lives. 

Thank you for the belly laughs, the friendships, the love, and the memories that will last a life time.  I love you guys(and Susan) and I don’t think we would be the people we are today without your love and support over the years(a lot of years for most of us, I think at least 12 for me).  Cagney’s was a time in my life I will NEVER forget, as I continue to grow I will think of Cagney’s as probably some of the best times of my life, and I got a bonus......Jackie, the love of my life.

So I guess we will just see you at Flamingo....... or hangin’ in your trees(check out the attached pictures in your yard).

Love you lots!!!!

Note from Randy Jennings.

Cagney's and Cagney's Reunions have held a special place in our hearts and our memories for many years, memories that I know will live in my mind forever.  In case you do not know Patsy and I were married in the Dancin Room.  So you can see we are very fond of the nostalgia that it holds for us and other couples that met and danced and had so many great times there.
Randy Jennings

Note from Bob Yelton

Dino and Dino,
This is in deed sad news.  We started coming to Cagney's the year you opened.  You both have been good friends.  I treasure that friendship and I am sure it will continue at Flamingo.  Also, so many of your employees have been an important part of our lives: Danny, Julie, et al.  I hope I will have the opportunity to eat at Cagney's before you close.  It will be a restaurant that will be missed by thousands.
Thank you for your friendship over the years.  I hope we have many more years at Flamingo.
Bob Yelton

Note from Janet Harold

You will be missed and I'm sure this reunion will be the best ever!!!  You guys have made history and the best restaurant in this area!!
But will continue to see you at Flamingo's.
Janet Harrold

Note from Jennifer Duke Batten

I am in a state of shock. I wish I could express myself with words like Dino Thompson so I could tell you all it has meant to me. It is so much more than just a restaurant. Cagney's and the crew are such a part of who I am today. I have friends that are like family from those years I worked and played with you. I can not thank you enough for providing such a wonderful work environment. It is a beautiful building. I hope someone new will appreciate all the love you put into the place.  I plan to bring in my family before you close.
Jennifer Duke Batten

Note from Diane DeVaughn Stokes

I'm crying after reading your beautifully written closing letter.  We got engaged one night after dining at Cagney's in 1984.  And we love it still. But I am thrilled for the two Dino's that you can do this and still have Flamingo Grill.
Best wishes to all of our Cagney friends.
May God bless each of you.
Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Some Cagney goodbyes from friends.

Hey, Guys:
That is an endearing letter. I've never read a more poignant, sincere declaration and graceful bowing-out than this one. Everything you said is true and heartrendingly appreciated by those of us who love you two.
God speed
Andy and Shirley Collins

It is a sad day Dino/Dino!  I grew up in that Building.  You created a special place for us to live, work and grow.  Thanks for the memories!
Jackie Wood
Southern Wine & Spirits

Let me first say I'm sorry to hear about Cagney's. It's always sobering to me when we lose venues along the Grand Strand that I consider icons to my memories of growing up on the strand.
Rob Wyeth

Wow! I don't have words to describe how I feel since reading the news. Hell of a run! You two can be truly proud of all the good that came out of that place. I have some of my fondest memories tied up in Cagneys, impervious to time and elements. The place is a damn landmark, and you two are the breath behind it all. All I can say is... thank you.
Michael Cavett

Well, its been a fun trip. Thank you both for the great years we had at Cagney's .
Love you both,      
Sheila and Pat Kelly                 PS:  Going to miss my Flounder Cagney !!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dealing with the mentally inebriated

Last night was busy, everyone was classy, content and happy...except for a couple folks whose mind and mouths were frazzed by alcohol.  I've categorized 15 species of drunks. But last night I encountered a new sub-species. They came in loud, drunk and were proud of it. I knew better, but I made the huge mistake of having a discussion with a couple of wannabe Kardasians. One of my regular customers, an elderly lady standing near near them overheard the ridiculous conversation. She told me if the lady tried to lay a hand on me, she would have slapped the hell outta both of them.  If only folks could see and hear themselves the next day on a video recorder. They'd have to laugh at how silly and crude they sound.

Some drunks get happy, loud, coffin quiet, funny, glib, horny, some get mean as a chigger. Yup, there is no one category or species of drunk. They can insult, amaze, confuse, dazzle, damage property, stumble, slur, threaten, offend and quote Shakespeare or Foxworth while they spill their drink and puke on your tablecloth.
                              Yup…dealin with the inebriated can be a tough day at the office.
It’s always ad lib…a Marx brother's night at the improv.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday night was a throw-back to the ole days, when I knew almost every face or name in the dining room and the Dancin Room. 

Incredible energy with smiling friends and sentimental past employees raving over prime rib, flounder cagney & steak cagney...oohin and aahin over the decor like they'd seen it for the first time, then walking into the kitchen to hug the same faces they worked with 25 or 30 years ago.  

Like they say, "The joint was rocking." 
I guess we should have threatened to close several years ago.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Closing the doors just gets tougher.

Tonight, many of our regular "Dancin Room" friends will gather at Cagney's.
To reminisce, boogie, and share a laugh. For many of us, we've grown old together.

Like every night since we announced our closing on October 20th, this will be sentimentally another tough night for my partner and I and our managers and staff.
Cagney's was more than just a place for many of these party-goers, it was a tradition.
For us, Cagney's was our home to welcome friends for 37 years.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Huge Thank You.

A huge thank you to the hundreds of friends who have sent emails, messages and memories about Cagney's coming to an end in late October.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Some Cagney's news.


CAGNEY’S LEASE IS COMING TO AN END: So at the end of October we will turn out the stain glass lights and call it a day at Cagney’s. For over 10,000 days, we’ve enjoyed a special work environment. We’ve had the great fortune to work side by side with upbeat, decent men and women with unequaled dedication and deliciously zany humor…and the honor to be of service to millions. 

TO OUR LOYAL GUESTS AND FRIENDS: Over 3 million smiling customers have pushed through our brass doors and sashayed across our heart pine floors. Tens of Thousands of you have dined with us for the entire 37 years. And thousands have honored us by becoming first-name friends and sharing our table and our stories and laughter.  We look forward to continuing those friendships and earning your support at our sister restaurant….FLAMINGO GRILL.

BEING OF SERVICE IS AN HONORABLE PROFESSION:  And our staff brought honor to the profession and dignity to themselves with their dedication and attention to the needs of Cagney’s guests, and their fellow staff members.
It was them who infused heart, life, smiles, laughter, positive energy and wonderfully consistent food and service to this unique building with one-of-a-kind historic decor. We kept the faith, kept the important things tight and the atmosphere loose, never cut corners, offered quality at honest prices, kept the sparkle and maintained excellence to the last bite.

THERE’S NO CLEVER WORDS TO SAY HOW WE FEEL… our staff and customers became family. There’s no menu to thank you enough. You made Cagney’s a destination and enriched our lives and kept us young. It’s been a joy and a privilege to provide a memorable work experience for several generations and to earn the recommendation of those who supported us for 37 years.

Non illegitimi carborundum
Dino and Dino

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dino Drosas has a birthday.

St Patrick's Day was my partner's 70th birthday.
When we built Cagneys I was a curley-headed 28 and he was a brown-headed 32. Heavens to mergutroid! Where'd the years flow? One million Prime Ribs, 750,000 Flounder Cagneys & 500,000 Steak Cagneys and a zillion "Good evening, welcome to Cagneys". And we've met beaucoup damn good friends along the way.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

MOVIE STUFF- Greatest Child Performances

Let's talk movies for a moment.

By Dino Thompson



THE PROFESSIONAL- '94, NATALIE PORTMAN as Matilda, orphan'd wannabe cleaner.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD- '62, MARY BADHAM as tomboy Scout Finch.
CINEMA PARADISO- '88, SALVATORE CASCIO as blind projectionist's young friend Toto.
THE SIXTH SENSE- '99, HAYLEY J. OSMANT as the tortured boy who sees dead people.
SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER- '93, MAX POMERANC as reluctant chess prodigy.
MIRACLE WORKER- '62, PATTY DUKE * as the young untamable blind/deaf Helen Keller.
THE CHAMP- '31, JACKIE COOPER as the dying fighter's son.
PAPER MOON- '73, TATUM O'NEAL * as con man's sassy daughter.
OLD YELLER- '57, KEVIN CORCORAN as frontier boy with the ugly yeller dog.
THE BLACK STALLION- '79, KELLY RENO as shipwreck victim saved by a horse.
NATIONAL VELVET- '44, LIZ TAYLOR as prissy but steely horse racer.
THE YEARLING- '46, CLAUDE JARMAN JR * as dirt poor kid who rescues a fawn.
THE KID- `21, JACKIE COOGAN as Chaplin's adopted kid.
WIZARD OF OZ- '39, JUDY GARLAND as Kansas girl Dorothy.

BOYS TOWN- '38, MICKEY ROONEY as one of Father Flannagan's orphans.
ET- '82, HENRY THOMAS as ET's only earthly buddy.
DAVID COPPERFIELD- '35, FREDDIE BARTHOLOMEW as child trapped with thieves.
ELEPHANT BOY- '37, Former stable boy SABU, is elephant boy.
EMPIRE OF THE SUN- '87, CHRISTIAN BALE as Japanese concentration camp prisoner.
THE PIANO- '93, ANNA PAQUIN * as daughter of a mute.
LASSIE COMES HOME- '43, RODDY McDOWELL is Lassie's owner.
MY GIRL- '91, ANNA CHLUMSKY as 11-yr-old funeral director's tomboy daughter.
OLIVER- '68, MARK LESTER as street urchin Oliver Twist
SHANE- '53, BRANDON DE WILDE as sodbuster's son.
SLING BLADE- '96, LUCAS BLACK as the only friend of the slow-witted asylum inmate.
TAXI DRIVER- '76, JODIE FOSTER as street-tough prostitute.
A PERFECT WORLD- '93, T.J. LOWTHER as Costner's fatherless 8-year old hostage.
A BRONX TALE- '93, as Deniro's 9-yr-old son wiseguy-infatuated son.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Harry Turner celebrates his 70th at Cagneys.

Harry promoter, manager, DJ, historian and author, had a large time at his 70th birthday in Cagney's Dancin Room. Family and Friends came miles to honor Harry. The speeches and hugging woulda brought a tear to a glass eye.

Clay Brown and Billy Scott knocked us out with several beach classics. Billy Scott and Rose Rock showed some serious boogie moves. And so did all of Harry's family.
Thanks to all who came to honor Harry.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quitting with a Beautiful Poem

Just wanted to share Joanna Owen's "Two Week Notice"
She wrote it in a poem. Bring a tear to a glass eye.

8 years ago I joined Flamingo Grill family through a member of my own.
Began my hostess training and explaining Preferred seating a million times on the phone.
Every employee desires employers who genuinely care.
Something unfortunately uncommon in many working affairs.
While in college and away from the Flamingo Grill,
I always looked forward to coming home to see yall and eat at the grill.
Going from hostess to server was one of the best decisions I made,
Rekindling friendships, learning hospitality and of course getting paid.
I knew there would come a time when I would have to leave,
Not to say say "Goodbye" because that would only make me grieve.
Yes I'll miss the lobster chunks, oscar topping and bearnaise,
But more so the employers and co-workers with whom I can only praise.
Thank you for every hello, compliment, suggestion, gratuity, conversation, table sat, check out and walk to my car. You all mean so much to me.
Love your forever friend, Joanna Owens.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Roy Mitchell, jr...a good man.

Cagney's lost a loyal friend this week, Roy Mitchell, jr of Durham. He and his sweet gentle wife Millie, probably dined with us 3 or 4 hundred times over the years. Always quick with a smile, a witty comment, a hearty laugh, and an UNC coaching suggestion, good folks like Roy and Millie made owning a restaurant joyful. Roy had an outstanding professional career, but what we remember best is how he treated others. Our warmest thoughts go out to Millie and the children.
Thanks for the memories Roy.
Dino, Dino, Danny, Michelle and all the Cagney's staff.file:///Users/dinothompson/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Originals/2009/Jan%201,%202009/IMG_0025.JPG

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ann and Albert Thornton

I met Ann and Albert Thornton maybe 40 years ago. Eating at my pancake house, playing on the beach, then years later serving them and their wonderful family in Cagneys and Flamingo Grill. Albert walked in opening day May 1976. introduced himself and became the first customer who ever dined at Cagneys.

It was my pleasure to watch the wonderful Thornton family grow from adorable, adventurous tots to beautiful people. Ann passed away suddenly last week. A classy, stylish and great lady and loving mother. Words to soothe loss always sound inadequate.

Carolyn, Dee, Greg...we remember your mom and your dad with smiles and respect.
Good people as we say down south.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Can I Get an Apology?

It's a New Year. What do we wish for? We wished for 2011 to end and we wished for an apology from somebody, from anybody for causing this mother of all downturns.

An apology from...
  1. The completely oblivious congressional and banking committees.
  2. The mortgage-bungling-bundling brokerage houses.
  3. The mealy-mouth FDIC.
  4. The liar-loaners and the get-a-loan liars.
  5. The pork-addicted congress who dig passing laws that don't effect them.
  6. The see-no-evil regulators.
  7. Every Presidential administration since Truman.
  8. The last five treasury secretaries.
  9. The fill-in-the-blanks appraisers.
  10. The ponzi-schemers.
  11. The endless GOP/Dem pissin contest.
  12. The toothless, testicle-less SEC.
  13. The sub-prime factories like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who are now monkeyed under a manure load of mangled mortgages.
  14. The ethanol boondoggle.
  15. Every egghead economist with a title.
  16. From any congressman who served during the even-odd gas rationing days and swore on a stack of Guideon bibles they'd solve this energy crisis.
  17. And for whoever invented Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations and every other snake-oil commodity, I want an apology and a bumpy bunk in San Quentin.

And I'd like an especially glib apology from all the TV talkin savants who kept us posted on the Kardashians bra sizes, Charlie Sheen's latest rant, The Donald's comb-over, Tebowing, Gaga's girdles, Bieber's bowlcuts, Ashton's tweets and Simon's t-shirts...but completely missed the oncoming economic tsunami.

Can't someone somewhere just man-up and say "My bad! Not only did I not say anything but I helped cause this mess."