'Tis the season for businesses to update, start up, start over


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

Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Bar, 841 William Hilton Pkwy., Hilton Head Island. This self-described "American bistro with Southern soul" closed for three weeks in December to undergo an extensive renovation.

Among the changes that incorporate a modern flair with the comfortable ambiance are new slate-blue paint and flooring, improved lighting and more comfortable booths. A standing bar replaced a banquette in the bar area at the 6-year-old establishment.

Pure Salt, Harbourside III building, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, Hilton Head. This state-of-the-art halotherapy and wellness studio opened this second location in November. Its original location still operates in Plantation Park in Bluffton.

Salt therapy is a method of inhaling pure, dry, micronized salt air particles. These particles reach the deepest area of the lungs, absorbing bacteria and pollutants and providing an anti-inflammatory and cleansing effect. This process is said to support and strengthens the body's immune system.

Dream Boutique, Harbourside III building, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, Hilton Head. This women's clothing and accessories shop also made its debut in November. The boutique aims to make fashion dreams a lifestyle reality.

"I wanted to bring something with a little bit of flair to the island," said owner Lea Mitchell. "I wanted to bring a different style of clothing, but more importantly, I wanted to bring inspiration to women and give them ... a little retail therapy to uplift their spirits and have a little fun while shopping."

Island Travel, Port Royal Plaza, Hilton Head. This longtime luxury travel agency in the Lowcountry recently was acquired by New York-based Valerie Wilson Travel. Owner Jim Buckley and founder/part owner Carlo Hillard of Island Travel, a local institution for 37 years, will stay on, serving client outreach initiatives throughout the transition.

"At Island Travel, we realize that succession planning should be an important element in every business," Buckley said. "We have searched for a successor that has the same high moral and ethical standards that have enabled Island Travel to grow, and we believe that Valerie Wilson Travel is our best choice."

Port Royal Plaza, Hilton Head. The plaza presented a redevelopment agenda to the Hilton Head Design Review Board recently that included plans for new businesses and an exterior makeover.

One large unit of the plaza has been vacant since 2017 when Sam's Club moved to Bluffton. The presentation included Burke's Outlet department store, occupying 29,000 square feet of that space, and a local Smart Company Kids Zone featuring activities for children.

Heritage Place north/south, May River Road, Bluffton. A 3-acre parcel of land at the corner of Calhoun Street and May River Road is on the market. Conceptual plans call for a 75-room hotel and parking garage. Asking price is $6 million. Also, a 1.4-acre commercial lot at Calhoun Street and Dubois Lane is listed at $3 million.

Starbucks, 416 William Hilton Pkwy., Hilton Head. Even though the previous iteration of this popular coffee shop burned down at this site, the company liked the Sea Turtle Marketplace location so much they rebuilt a 2,200-square-foot facility with coastal décor. It opened Dec. 4.

Brother Shuckers Bar and Grill, 7D Greenwood Drive (Reilley Plaza), Hilton Head. It's hard to replace the iconic Jump & Phil's, but new owners Tom and John Mollica are giving it a shot. Their new business opened in mid-December with a new kitchen and raw bar. Seafood galore, soups and sandwiches, wraps, salads, drinks and more are on the menu. Open for lunch and dinner six days a week.

Grand openings, ribbon cuttings and closings:

Restore Hyper Wellness and Cryotherapy, 11 Marina Side Drive, Hilton Head, Dec. 7. Aches and pains at this nationwide franchise business are relieved with cryotherapy, body sculpting, infrared sauna, allergy treatment and compression therapy. It's open daily.

Flip! Gym, 11 Sheridan Park Circle, Bluffton, Jan. 4. Gymnastic classes in four age levels from ages 3 and 11+ began at its grand opening where Benchmark Fitness was located. It also offers American ninja warrior-style training classes that focuses on strength, balance and agility. It is open daily and hosts birthday parties. There's a variety of membership packages available.

Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news to share with our readers? Send information to Dean Rowland at leaftoo@live.com. Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.

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