Retailers, restaurants and service businesses are changing the commercial landscape in Bluffton and Hilton Head. Here’s the latest in new construction, renovations, relocations, grand openings and closings.

  • Alexander’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. This venerable island restaurant, which opened in 1977 and closed prior the hurricane, will reopen this spring as an upscale seafood restaurant under the ownership of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.

Early dining and dinner will be on the menu nightly, as will seasonally inspired cuisine, locally caught seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

Director of food and beverage and sommelier Brian Couey and executive chef Don Reinheardt will lead the restaurant’s reopening.

“We are excited to welcome longtime favorite Alexander’s back to the Palmetto Dunes community,” said resort president W.M. Self Jr.

  • El Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Bar & Grill. This cantina recently opened at 16 Kitties Landing Road in Bluffton at the former site of Tavern 46 and Montana’s. The restaurant is open daily and features breakfast, oysters, salads, wraps, appetizers, platters and more on its extensive menu.
  • Brown Golf. This 5-year-old Bluffton-based company has added Palmetto Hall Plantation Club to its portfolio of seven Lowcountry golf facilities it owns, leases or manages. The 36-hole property, with two courses designed by architects Arthur Hills and Robert Cupp, was purchased Oct. 1.

“Palmetto Hall is a gorgeous club, and will be one of our flagship properties right from the start,” said John Brown, president and chief executive officer of Brown Golf and PGA Master Professional.

  • SERG Restaurant Group. The former Chart House restaurant at 2 Hudson Road, which closed Oct. 5 prior to the hurricane, will be transformed into the Skull Creek Dockside eatery early this summer. The restaurant, which will feature an outside bar and patio, will expand SERG’s portfolio to 11 establishments.

The new venture will be landscaped to connect with its Skull Creek Boathouse and feature playgrounds for adults and kids and a performance stage.

  • Hilton Head Brewing Company. Hurricane Matthew took a toll on South Carolina’s first brewpub since Prohibition. It reopened Jan. 2 at 1 Cardinal Rd., Suite 13 after lengthy damage repair, and now shares a rotating special food menu paired with its local brews for patrons.
  • Island Yoga. Kelley Leigh Duffy, a certified personal trainer, coach, speaker and native New Yorker, recently purchased the studio located at 1012 William Hilton Parkway on the island.

The studio is open seven days a week, with more than 20 classes offered weekly.

  • Grind Coffee Roasters. Coffee industry veteran Ian Duncan has branched out on his own by providing organic, fair trade and micro-lot coffees to area restaurants and businesses. His enterprise also produces same-day-made K-cups and can customize coffee labels for individual customers.

Coffee lovers will find a retail store and coffee tasting lab on site at 7 Simmonsville Rd., Suite 600. Duncan got his start years ago working at the original Corner Perk location in Bluffton and plans to open small drive-through shops this year.

  • Church of the Palms. The Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce helped the United Methodist staff celebrate the ground breaking recently of its new Christian Life Center in Okatie. The new expanded facility is the cornerstone of the church’s Vision 2020 strategy that will enable more connectivity with the community. The year-long construction project also includes renovation of the current building.
  • Pisces Seafood, Sushi & Steak. Chef-owner Hugo Arrieta closed his notable Hugo’s restaurant at 841 William Hilton Parkway, and his former head chef, Sergio Zumaya, opened Pisces in mid-January as one of the co-owners at the same location.

The space underwent extensive renovation before opening. Arrieta, who spent 39 years on the island in the restaurant industry, plans to devote his time to a personal charitable organization that fights childhood cancer.

  • Walmart and Sam’s Club. A new Walmart Supercenter with specialized amenities opened Jan. 25 at Bluffton Gateway, U.S. 278 and S.C. 46, which was preceded by the opening of Sam’s Club Jan. 19 at the same location. The Sam’s Club at Port Royal Plaza on the island closed Jan. 17.
  • Steamer Seafood. This longtime fixture at Coligny Plaza on the island has closed and is planning to reopen at a new location soon.
  • Burger King. Beaufort County’s fifth Burger King fast-food franchise opened recently on Route 170 in Okatie.

Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news (new construction, relocations, expansions, openings, ownership changes, etc.) to share? Send information to Dean Rowland at

Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.