Lowcountry business activity continues to be strong

The Grind Coffee Roasters celebrated the opening of its coffee shop in a new space with a ribbon cutting April 17, assisted by the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. In the photo, Ian and Kathleen Duncan hold the scissors while staffers and friends, al

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

SERG (Southeastern Restaurant Group) has been expanding its portfolio and buying other eateries on Hilton Head Island this spring.

Hilton Head's largest employer, with a staff of 764, announced early in April that it purchased the Charbar burger franchise, the newly opened Whiskey Room bar and lounge, and the Holy Tequila! Mexican restaurant, all located in Park Plaza near Sea Pines. The trio was owned by HHI Hospitality.

At the same time, the company is planning to open two new restaurants on the mainland as second locations for two of its most popular establishments. One Hot Mama's will take over the space previously occupied by Hinchey's in Berkeley Place. Celebrity chef Orchid Paulmeier will oversee the signature slow-cooked pork menu in the 4,300-square-foot space.

Now under construction in Buckwalter Place is a 5,400-square-foot Frankie Bones franchised restaurant and lounge. The steaks, seafood and pasta menu, offered in a 1960s atmosphere, is expected to open at the end of the year.

Additionally, a few weeks ago, SERG submitted plans to the Hilton Head design review board to add a 2,087-square-foot outdoor "sunset pavilion" just north of the Skull Creek Boathouse, which it also owns.

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