It has been a busy month of businesses moving dirt, hanging shingles, and planning for the next chapter of their commercial adventures. Here’s the latest on the business front around Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.
Golf simulators and so much more
Dreaming of a place where you can play a round of golf with air conditioning keeping you cool from above? There has been much talk of a true TopGolf experience needed in the Lowcountry – and Jeff Smith heard your pleas.
The entrepreneur is prepping to give locals and tourists so much more with the opening of Chronic Golf, taking over the former home of the Adventure Radio Group at 59 New Orleans Road. Renovations have been ongoing since late 2019.
The sports experience bar and grill will feature full-swing simulators with two advanced tracking technologies to give HD feedback and analytics as you play a choice of 90-plus golf courses.
It’s much more than just golf though. You can actually play 13 different sports on each simulator, from baseball to hockey to football and soccer.
Not interested in sports? Try tossing some bombs at zombies.
Everything from the sports to the food and drink will operate with a next-gen tech backbone experience. The space will be open for leagues, corporate outings, and birthday parties.
Smith is planning for a soft opening during the week of Memorial Day with a full grand opening in early June. Visit mychronicgolf.com for more information.
Quick hits from the storefronts
• Lowcountry Fresh is inching toward completion. The new grocery store, market and café featuring locally source products in a farmers market atmosphere has hung the signs at 303 Bleecker St. on Buckwalter Parkway between Buckwalter Place and Berkeley Place.
Management is putting the finishing touches on the buildout and running the final dry runs of training with new employees.
Visit lowcountryfresh.com for the latest information on the business’ grand opening plans.
• A new Starbucks is coming to island’s South end. The exhilarating game of Lowcountry Starbucks musical chairs continues and this time, we’re adding a couple. We told you of the plans the java-centric chain has for May River Crossing in Bluffton. Now, the company has filed plans to open at 18 Pope Ave., next to St. Andrew By-The-Sea Church.
This will be the fourth Starbucks on the island, with one in the Sea Turtle Marketplace (rebuilt after a fire in 2019), one in Shelter Cove, and one near Publix off Palmetto Bay Road (the only freestanding location without a drive-thru).
The new location promises a drive-thru, but also a walk-up window and a large outdoor dining area.
• Wiseguys is closed for renovations: One of the gems of the SERG Restaurant Group is closed to make improvements for foodie fans. Wiseguys closed its Main Street location on the island temporarily to make the eatery “bigger and better for our loyal guests,” according to its Facebook page. The restaurant closed the day after Easter and is working on renovations now, according to staff.
• May River Crossing taking shape with two more shingles hung: We now know there will be an AT&T store in the block of storefronts directly across from the Publix in May River Crossing, located at the intersection of Hwy. 170 and May River Road, near the New Riverside circle.
Logo signs were hung on the building in mid-April. Great Clips has hung posters in the storefront attached to Publix in search of hairstylists for their new location. No opening dates for either spot have been announced.
• Lucky Rooster is back in business: Beloved island chef Clayton Rollison’s popular Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Bar reopened April 8 with new owners. The Leffew Restaurant Group has continued the focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, now under the direction of executive chef David Landrigan.
The former chef at Circa 1875 and La Scala Ristorante in Savannah joins operating partner David Leffew in promising to build on what Rollison started. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Check luckyroosterhhi.com for more information.
• Berkeley Hall starts upgrades project: The Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton broke ground on the first phase of a renovation project to transform its clubhouse and eateries.
The centerpiece of the project is the building of the 4 Seasons Veranda, a 5,000-square-foot addition that extends off the Grand Hall. The new space will provide year-round dining in a climate-controlled environment.
The scope of the first phase work also includes a renovation of the Mixed Grille eatery and a kitchen and design upgrade. The exterior is scheduled to be finished by the fall with full use by spring/summer 2022.
The Clubhouse, Mixed Grill, Tap Room bar bistro and Tuscan Wine Room will remain open throughout most of the construction.
The club’s two Fazio-designed golf courses are also getting a facelift and “return to their pristine original vision,” according to club officials.
• Sweetgrass Inn opens: Hilton Head Health has opened the doors of its 18,000-square-foot, $5 million Sweetgrass Inn project, the first time in the business’ 40-plus-year history that the island weight loss and wellness retreat will have its own on-campus accommodations.
Sweetgrass features 30 guest rooms, a game room and a theater room overlooking the pool. For more information on the new addition and all that Hilton Head Health has to offer, visit hhhealth.com
Welcome to the neighborhood
• Animal Eye Clinic, 70 Pennington Drive, Suite 10, Bluffton, 912-236-2050, coastalaec.com: This specialty veterinary clinic devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders in animals based in Savannah has opened an office in Bluffton. The staff works closely with their patients’ primary care vets to reach a diagnosis and establish a plan for ophthalmic treatment for pets.
• Cassandra’s Kitchen, 258 Red Cedar Street, No. 17, Bluffton, 843-815-3500, cassandraskitchen.com: Cassandra Schultz’s family has a 40-year history with Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa. Her dad worked for Garten in East Hampton, N.Y. She worked the cash register at Ina’s East Hampton store. Her mom helped on the photo shoots for Garten’s first cookbook.
Cassandra knows Garten’s work and products inside and out, so it makes perfect sense that she along with co-owner Cintia Parsons would open a store featuring all of Barefoot Contessa’s kitchen products in one place. What started as a popular website that has spawned the duo’s first brick and mortar location, which opened in mid-April.
• La Pizzeria, 1460 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, 843-757-4444, lapizzeriahhi.com: A new pizza place has opened in Tanger 2. The new eatery opened April 19, promising hot, fresh, made-from-scratch pizzas, wings, pasta and salads. They will offer lunch specials daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as vegetarian and gluten-free menu options.
• 911 Driving School, 22 Plantation Park Drive, Suite 105B, Bluffton, 911drivingschool.com: A new option for drivers education has opened in the U.S. 278-adjacent plaza known for tenants like Dairy Queen, Kobe and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The school will offer drivers ed with a twist, with current and retired first responders and law enforcement officers teaching students. Now registering students for weekly classes throughout the summer. See page 18 for more on the new driving school in town.