Climate heats up for new and expanding businesses

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Retailers, restaurants and service businesses continue to change the landscape in Bluffton and Hilton Head. Here's the latest in new construction, renovations, relocations, planned projects, commercial transactions, grand openings and closings.

  • Downtown Catering, Downtown Deli, 1223 May River Road, Bluffton. These venerable businesses moved last month from their 13-year location at Mellichamp Drive to a revamped building, now called May River Row, that once housed a grocery store, and more recently the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

With the move came an expanded menu, a grab-and-go selection of premade foods, and a new product line of dressings and jams.

Also with the move came a new addition, Venue 1223, an indoor-outdoor event space adjacent to the deli. The space is available for rental for all types of gatherings.

Ryan and Leah McCarthy are the owners.

  • Octagon Porch, 477 Mount Pelia Road, Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton. Seasonally inspired cuisine amid Southern hospitality awaits patrons at this newly opened restaurant. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Locally crafted beers and specialty brews also are featured. Anthony Guiliano is chef de cuisine.
  • Gusto Ristorante, 890 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head. This upscale northern Italian trattoria opened in late April at the site of 843 Restaurant at Fresh Market Plaza. Pastas, lasagna, filet mignon, veal scaloppini, eggplant parmigiana and ravioli are featured on the menu. A full bar and patio dining are available. Giancarlo Balestra is the executive chef and owner, and Rosario Limonio is the master chef.
  • Saint Pierre Bistro & Bar, 16 Kitties Landing Road, Bluffton. This French eatery opened recently in the space formerly occupied by El Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Bar & Grill and Tavern 46 on Bluffton Road, and then closed May 21 until it finds a better location, according to its Facebook page.

Grand openings, ribbon cuttings, closings:

  • Massage Envy, 890 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head. This national franchise location has closed permanently because of staffing issues. It opened two years ago.
  • Tio's Latin American Kitchen, 87 Main St., Hilton Head. This eatery closed permanently in early April because of staffing issues. It opened last August.
  • Kevin Sevier State Farm Agency, 301 Buckwalter Place, Bluffton. Sevier cut the ribbon May 16 to celebrate the agency's 10th anniversary and the grand opening at its new location. He and his six licensed agents handle home, auto, life, disability and Medicare supplementation needs.
  • The Wink Lash Room, 3A Lawton St., Bluffton. Owner Alexis Sargo had a grand opening for her new specialty business for women in Old Town on May 24. In addition to offering eyelash extensions, volume eyelash extensions, lash and brow tinting, and facial and body waxing, the company also sells lash, brow and body products.
  • Modern Barn, 37 New Orleans Rd., Suite B, Hilton Head. This farmhouse-style home décor store celebrated its opening on May 24. Sleek and modern styles are mixed in the home décor items and accessories.
  • The Spirited Hand, 1127 Fording Island Road, Suite 103, Bluffton. This gift gallery will hold a grand opening on June 8 to showcase its collection of specialty items favoring North American hand-crafted jewelry, glass, pottery, textiles, candles, furniture and more.
  • One Fine Swine, 386 Spanish Wells Road, Suite B1, Hilton Head. This caterer of pig roasts and other delicacies will host a grand opening on June 8.
  • Sea Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, 164 Bluffton Road, Bluffton. Dr. Shane Harpham, his family, dental team and others commemorated the opening of his new office and pediatric dentistry facility on May 10.

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

Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.

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