New businesses opening, expanding at steady rate

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

  • Latitude Margaritaville, U.S. 278, Hardeeville. A lucky viewer of the TV show "Wheel of Fortune" could win a free home giveaway at the local Jimmy Buffet-themed "55 and better" retirement community. Minto Communities and Margaritaville Holdings have partnered with the show's producers in a "Home Sweet Home Giveaway" that began airing nationally Oct. 29 and continues through Nov. 2. In addition to the grand prize of a new $350,000 home, 20 Margaritaville gift cards valued at $500 each will be given away as first prizes.

To enter the contest, viewers could tune in to the show each of the five nights, take note of the bonus round puzzle solution, and go online at wheeloffortune.com for an entry.

  • Bluffton ATA Martial Arts, 1 Sherington Drive, Suite D, Bluffton. The school, owned by chief instructor Rita Moore, recently relocated from the Best Buy shopping plaza. Christina Diaz, Daniel Valdez and Bruce Bartolotto are on staff. The studio emphasizes building self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline; improving physical strength; and learning self-defense.

  • The Cottage Bakery and Tea Room, 38 Calhoun St., Bluffton. This popular eatery in Old Town introduced a new breakfast menu on Oct. 15. For early risers, there are seven new breakfast choices from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

All are locally sourced fresh produce and specialty items at "early bird" prices. Among the offerings are a hearty breakfast porridge, a granola parfait, a breakfast Panini and an avocado toast.

  • The Crazy Crab, 104 William Hilton Pkwy. (Jarvis Creek), Hilton Head. This popular restaurant reopened in mid-October after a kitchen fire in the spring forced it to close. An expanded outdoor deck overlooking the creek on the island's north end highlights a major renovation.

Grand openings, ribbon cuttings, closings:

  • Hammer & Stain, 70 Pennington Drive (Sheridan Park), Suite 5, Bluffton. Owner Carmen Bosen held a ribbon cutting Oct 9 of her local franchise of this national do-it-yourself workshop and store. The company offers workshops and step-by-step instructions for creating personalized wooden painted craft projects, and hosts private DIY parties for any group.

  • WSAV, 1308 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, Oct. 23. Local TV personality Natalie Hendrix was on the red carpet at the grand opening of the Lowcountry Bureau for NBC affiliate WSAV-TV. The station is based in Savannah and covers news, sports and weather in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire.

  • Savory Café & Provisions, 1533 Fording Island Road (Moss Creek Village), Bluffton, Oct. 25. French chef Pascal Vignau is in the kitchen of his new eatery that formerly housed Claude & Uli's. He infuses Old World French culinary traditions of rich flavors with the soul of Lowcountry cuisine.

Among the offerings are bacon crusted mac and cheese, French pommes frites and seafood crepes. Previously, Vignau spent 20 years in California working on his craft.

  • Thai Smile Cuisine, 1534 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, Oct. 16. This new franchise serves chicken satay, coconut shrimp, tom yum soup, nam tuk salad, Chu chi salmon, pad Thai lobster and other goodies.

  • Ruby Lee's North, Old Wild Horse Road, Hilton Head. The north end, original location of this Southern-inspired restaurant has closed indefinitely, according to its website. The restaurant's south end location at 19 Dunnagans Alley remains open.

  • Bluffton Brauhaus, 68 Bluffton Road, Bluffton, Oct. 1. Brothers Alfred and Volker Kettering offer some German classics like Wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten, roasted duckling with spaetzle and red cabbage and a "Bratwurst Experience." Twenty beers are on tap at the former location of the Original 46 Gastropub.

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.

Lowcountry resident Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.

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