It has been a busy month on the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island business beat. Between ID’ing what’s going in the moving dirt to new businesses sprouting to yet others hoping to plant roots here, there are plenty of happenings to report.
Welcome to the neighborhood
• Meg’s Sweet Treats, Tanger 2 Outlets, 1414 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, megssweettreats843.com: Beaufort home baker extraordinaire Megan Reed is set to open her storefront April 17 to sell her incredible roster of deliciousness. Reed and her team specialize in custom buttercream cakes, cupcakes and an array of specials like cakewiches, cakesicles and cocoa bombs. The “custom treat lab” will be located in suite C240 next to Haggar.
• Lulu Kitchen, 890 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, 843-648-5858, lulukitchenhhi.com: Former Sea Pines chef Scott Hastings has opened this new eatery in the former Gusto Ristorante space in the Fresh Market Shoppes plaza. The revolving menu will focus on seasonal freshness, with a mix of classics like shrimp and grits, pan-seared scallops and fried chicken with more exotic choices like Korean bao buns with barbecued short rib meat and Hastings’ signature white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.
• North End Pour House, 95 Mathews Drive, Hilton Head Island, 843-681-4153, thenorthendpourhouse.com: The new owners have taken over the building occupied for 30 years by the beloved Reilley’s North End Pub, but the staff and the menu remain the same. The location is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., with dinner ending at 10 p.m. Sunday brunch is offered 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday is lobster night, Tuesdays feature Buzztime trivia, Wednesday means chicken parm specials and live music and prime rib is the star on Fridays and Saturdays.
• Two more Beaufort businesses opening in Tanger in Bluffton: Emma’s Earth Shop is opening its second location in Tanger 1 next to Bath and Body Works. The original shop is at 1002 Bay St. in Beaufort, and the new location will be five times the size of that store. The shop sells CBD products, Savannah Bee Company goods and a variety of gemstones and crystals. The grand opening is set for April 17.
Carolina Me Crazy is now open in Tanger 1 next to Michael Kors. The casual apparel and accessories boutique opened in mid-March and sells brands like Salt Life, Ray Ban, Life is Good and Rainbow. Store owner Scott Lee said the Tanger locale will offer higher-end resortwear brands than the original 723 Bay St. location in Beaufort.
• Nantucket’s Meat and Fish Market, coming to Tanger 2: The gourmet grocer is opening in the former Nike location and will feature fresh seafood and prime meats, prepared foods, wine, an in-house bakery and a café. The store expects to open in early May.
Dirt pile, permits and signs news
We love solving mysteries as to what’s going when we see new action around town.
• Word from the crew working the backhoes is that a quick change oil business is what’s being built near the entrance to the Walmart/Sam’s Club plaza across the way from Wells Fargo. That accounts for why they were digging so dang deep – for easy undercarriage access.
• And a couple of nuggets off of Bluffton Parkway. The steel being erected next to Daltile that so many of you swore would be another Parker’s is actually slated to a Daltile competitor in the tile and flooring space. But the spot right next door on the corner of Oliver Court? Permits have been filed with the town for a 5,000-plus square-foot convenience store with six fueling stations on the 1.88 acre lot.
• On the sign spotting side, an Icon Electric Golf Cars franchise is coming to the Kroger plaza in Buckwalter Place. We just noticed the “coming soon” banner in a storefront next to Tio’s Kitchen and will let you know as details emerge on an exact opening date.
On the reno front
• Renovations are complete at A Lowcountry Backyard. The lauded eatery at 32 Palmetto Bay Road on Hilton Head closed temporarily for a design upgrade. The improvements include a newly resurfaced and socially distanced patio, new lighting and six large heaters. The full menu has returned. The outdoor seating is covered by an epic 26-foot umbrella and has an A/C feel thanks to a newly installed swamp cooler.
• Patio renovation on tap at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte: Hilton Head Island officials have approved the restaurant’s proposal to build a permanent outdoor structure for patio diners. Construction should begin in May, according to management. The patio is estimated to be closed a couple of weeks during construction.
Big news department
• Sun City becoming a metropolis: Pulte Group announced March 31 a plan to build 1,500 more homes and apartments north of Argent Boulevard across the road from the latest phase currently being constructed. The group’s announcement touted multiple amenity buildings with an indoor track and fitness center, pickleball and tennis courts, an outdoor amphitheater and a golf cart bridge over Argent Boulevard. The expansion is part of Hardeeville’s 7,350-acre East Argent project, a combination of home dwellings, retail and office space.
• Indoor go-karts aiming for Bluffton: Paul and Nikki McBride have sold Carolina Carwash on Buckwalter Parkway to the Island Carwash group. The couple are refocusing their sites from cleaning vehicles to racing them, with hopes to open a K1 Speed franchise in the former SteinMart building in Belfair Towne Village. The state-of-the-art indoor go-kart facility runs electric go-karts in 45 locations nationwide. The McBrides will need to get an antiquated anti-go kart ordinance altered – the old mandate only accounted for outdoor go-karts, the only kind when the rule was written. Bluffton mayor Lisa Sulka has voiced public support for the project.
Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news to share with our readers? Email Tim Wood at email@example.com. Wood is a veteran reporter and newbie podcaster.