Happy holidays to everyone, and please remember to shop local as you look for those perfect gifts to put under the tree. 

We have a bunch of new businesses to tell you about this month, as well as some updates on businesses readying to open in the area. 

Preserve Dental, 20 Cassidy Drive, Bluffton, 843-706-5612, preserve-dental.com: Recent New England transplant Dr. David Nadolski has opened a dental practice in town. 

The dentist practiced in Connecticut for 13 years before deciding to move with his wife and two kids to Hampton Lake in 2020. The practice is currently accepting new patients and offers a full array of services, including general and cosmetic dentistry and oral health exams and planning. 

Escape Island, 2600 Main St., Suite 103, Hilton Head Island, 843-802-0063, escapeislandhhi.com: Owner Brandy Queen and her family recently celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting at the newest island entertainment attraction, located next to CrossFit Coastal Carolina. 

The escape room complex is building out three unique experiences. The first one to open, The Dr.’s In, has visitors playing the nosy next-door neighbor of a surgeon at the center of missing person reports. Your job: Find out what’s behind all the weird sounds and drilling noise coming from his home office. 

Still to come is Dog Dayz, a pet-themed adventure charging you to find a missing pup before the owner returns home, and The Grit Breakout, a caper where you and your gang are captured attempting a robbery and must break free from your captives.

Fit4Mom, DuBois Park, Lawrence Street, Bluffton, 843-342-9692. Bluffton-hiltonhead.fit4mom.com: Local owner Jillian Wolf offers pre and postnatal health, wellness and fitness programs for every stage of motherhood. The company is currently offering a Founding Moms Special, where the first 10 moms to purchase a monthly membership will receive free enrollment and discounted membership fees. 

Wolf is currently offering the Stroller Stride workout at 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the DuBois Park pavilion. The 60-minute class focused on strength, cardio and core training, all while engaging your little one in a stroller. 

Updates galore to share:

Delays have been the name of the game for many businesses trying to open over the past two years, but thankfully, we have some hopeful news on a number of storefronts where you’ve been wanting to see “Open” signs for months.

Uncorked Wine, Bar, Food and Music – the sequel to the Old Town Corks owned by Lorrie and Neil Ritter – is in a holding pattern while they wait for permits from the county. “We’re ready to go,” said Lorrie. “Once we get the paper, the buildout will get done quickly.” Speaking of quick, sending happy thoughts Lorrie’s way for a quick recovery from two broken ribs suffered Thanksgiving night.

The Fording Island Road Aldi store in Bluffton is making progress, both in the build-out and the hiring of staff. But they won’t be hitting their target December opening. Company officials say early spring 2023 is the new target date.

The two new storefronts in the Kroger row at Buckwalter Place are getting close to open dates. The UPS Store is nearing full build-out and just staffing up and waiting for final approvals. The hope is to open mid-month, while Rita’s Italian Ice is likely a bit further out. Owner Doug Fulton had hoped for a December opening, but is more likely that a ribbon cutting will be held in the first few weeks of 2023.

K9 Resorts Luxury Pet Hotel on S.C. 170 in Ridgeland is readying for their grand opening. The resort will offer a premium care experience for your dog, complete with chandeliers, Italian tile flooring, Kuranda dog bedding, executive suites, flat screen TVs and more. The 6,100-square-foot facility is celebrating with a ribbon cutting event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10, with food from the Mother Smokin’ Good BBQ food truck and tours of the new facility. Owner James Merli has been a consistent presence on social media and in the community over the past year and is thrilled to add 21 jobs with the newest member of the K9 Resorts lineup.

You’ve seen the course take shape at Lighthouse Lagoon in the Buckwalter Place plaza across the street from Station 300. We’ve talked about a number of hopeful opening dates in these pages, but here’s the thing: You can pour the concrete for the holes, but you can’t have a mini-golf course without the hole carpeting. That, along with precast concrete storm drain piping and a constructor worker shortage have been the major factors keeping Collin and Billy Hubbard from teeing it up for a grand opening. 

“We truly are getting close and we appreciate everyone’s patience. It stinks to wait like this, but it’s exciting to hear so many folks asking when we’re opening,” said Billy Hubbard. “We knew the area needed more family entertainment, but the response has been amazing.” 

The project that began with an announcement in February 2021 is now looking at a spring 2023 opening. The 1.3-acre project will include a 1,300-square-foot clubhouse and concessions building and an 840-square-foot outdoor pavilion area to host parties of up to 40 people.

While one entertainment complex nears completion, we have an unfortunate update to pass along on the trampoline park front. The Altitude Trampoline Park that was announced in October will not be moving forward. The local franchisees have decided not to pursue the project that was hoped to open in late 2023 to early 2024.

Joe’s Classic Cuts is expanding. Owner Joseph Gancio has announced that the beloved barbershop will be occupying a space just outside the William Pope Drive Sun City gates next to Okatie Ale House and Daddy O’s Liquors. Gancio previewed the new spot under construction on social media and said he hopes to open in mid-January. 

We have a couple name updates on businesses coming to the Promenade that we’ve discussed in previous updates. The new wine and charcuterie bar that is taking over the former Ben & Jerry’s space will be called Wine Time Bluffton, while the high-end seafood restaurant from restauranteur Brian Behnke will be called Crudo. Both are currently working on build-outs but have not announced opening dates. 

And we wish happy retirement to the owners of Cocoon specialty women’s store, who closed their doors on Oct. 29. We’re hearing whispers of a well-known local businesswoman expanding her burgeoning empire in the space. More to come – stay tuned.

Tim Wood is a veteran journalist based in Bluffton. timwood@blufftonsun.com