The retail and commercial landscape in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island continues to expand, even with the challenge of doing business during the pandemic. Here are the latest openings, closings and relaunches south of the Broad.

SCK Zone, 102 Buckwalter Parkway Suite 2F (above Berkeley Flowers), Bluffton, A much-needed family entertainment option, the Smart Company Kids Zone is a unique combination of activities like laser tag, ninja courses, escape rooms and a mirror maze, all themed around the stock market and financial education. Now booking birthday parties, ninja classes and school field trips with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Heritage Academy, 11 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island, The private school, previously run by IJGA with focus on private schooling for elite athletes, has been bought by educator Amanda O’Nan-Williams, who is looking to attract local families with affordable tuition and turn the campus into a community education center. The school is celebrating its relaunch with a ribbon cutting at noon Feb. 3.

Popeye’s Hilton Head, 15 Park Lane, Hilton Head Island: The celebrated Louisiana chicken chicken chain closed its only Lowcountry location in early January with no warning. Your nearest Popeye’s chicken sandwich fix is now in Savannah.

Blue Laguna Mexican Grill and Cantina, 841 William Hilton Parkway Suite L, Hilton Head Island: This Mexican restaurant has earned high praise from foodies for its cocktails and tacos since opening in mid-2020. The restaurant is having an official ribbon cutting celebration at 4 p.m. Feb. 5.

Tulip’s Thrift Store, 57b Sheridan Park Circle, Bluffton: Open for just over a month, this thrift store is accepting donations and selling home furnishings, clothes and furniture to support the building of a home for battered women and their children. Open 10 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday through Saturday.

Akomeya Asian Bistro, 16 Kitties Landing Road, Bluffton, The former location of Montana’s, Tavern 46 and, most recently, Saint Pierre French bistro is now home to a family-run Asian cuisine restaurant offering favorites such as sushi and poke bowls along with staple entrees and bao donuts for dessert.

The Southern Peel Mobile Eatery, Bluffton, Owner/operator Chloe Brownlee has opened one of the most unique eatery options in the Lowcountry: Pizzas cooked in a Mugnaini wood-fired pizza oven on the back of a 1953 Chevrolet truck. Chloe and her family are hosting pop-up events around the Lowcountry and offering catering for private parties, company outings, weddings, rehearsal dinners and backyard BBQs. Brownlee offers three beers on tap and a full array of appetizers to go with the pizza lineup.

Hilton Head Island House of Jerky and Popcorn, Coligny Plaza, 1 No. Forest Beach Drive Suite F-2, Hilton Head Island, This jerky-lovers’ dream promises “you can’t beat out meat!” and delivers with 60 varieties of gourmet jerky. The location has expanded to include 75 flavors of gourmet popcorn. Always free samples and freshly bagged. Two can’t-miss snacks and other local craft food items located under one roof in Coligny Plaza on the corner between the iconic Piggly Wiggly and Stu’s Subs in the old Sweet Carolina Cupcake location.  Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news to share with our readers? Email Tim Wood at Wood is a veteran reporter and editor and proud first-time bread machine owner.