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.