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Although there’s no denying that COVID-19 has made it challenging for existing local businesses to keep their doors open, it certainly hasn’t stopped new ones from entering the scene.

In fact, recent research reveals that Bluffton, the heart of the Lowcountry, has actually seen a rebound in new establishments starting as early as last summer; this can be attributed to the large population boom in the area brought about by pandemic-associated city flight, which began in March 2020.

Naturally, with population growth and the development of new communities comes a need for more businesses to serve them. From fine dining to entertainment, these new local establishments have stepped up to the task:

AKOMEYA Asian Bistro

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If you’re in the mood for Asian food, stop by AKOMEYA Asian Bistro, located near the intersection of Bluffton Road and Kitties Landing Road in Bluffton, SC.

AKOMEYA has plenty of Asian cuisine favorites, including various noodle and rice dishes, stir-fries, sushi, and even poke bowls! If your sweet tooth starts acting up, don’t worry—they also have desserts.

Although this family restaurant has only been open for a short time, it’s already got plenty of raving reviews, so it’s definitely worth a try.

Address:

16 Kitties Landing Rd
Bluffton, SC 29910

Casablanca Mediterranean Grill & Catering

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Being so close to the ocean on Hilton Head Island, you can’t help but occasionally crave a bit of Mediterranean food from across the pond. Casablanca Mediterranean Grill & Catering offers plenty of Mediterranean cuisine staples, including shawarma, kabobs, and falafel. And don’t forget the baklava!

Address:

1012 William Hilton Pkwy,
Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928

Craft Kitchen

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Located in Old Town Bluffton, Craft Kitchen is a new craft beer and wine gastropub offering various ales, lagers, wine, and more.

This new spot is perfect for a casual outing with friends and offers classic bar fare, including burgers and sandwiches, salads, and starters to snack on. With its small-town atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home here.

Address:

7 Johnston Way
Bluffton, SC 29910

Driftwood Eatery

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Driftwood Eatery is an upscale restaurant located right off the Skull Creek Marina on Hilton Head Island. Open since early December 2020, Driftwood Eatery offers a wonderful dining experience, perfect for couples and small families to indulge in the delicious dishes and beautiful views the location offers.

Boaters are also welcome! Here you’ll also find Fante’s Coffee, where you can pick up a smooth, hot cup of joe before a night on the water, and the Launch, a quaint general store next door.

Address:

5 Waterway Ln
Hilton Head, SC 29926

Fresh Off the Dock 3 Seafood

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If you’re on Hilton Head Island and want a taste of what the ocean has to offer, check out Fresh off the Dock 3 Seafood. Open since November 2020, this family-owned establishment has everything from fresh snow crab to oysters.

Keep your eyes peeled for their regular seafood specials or one of their seafood boil events!

Address:

15 Marshland Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Smart Kids Company Zone

This recently opened “ninja gym” offers plenty of activities for kids, including escape rooms, laser tag, and more. But don’t let these fun and games fool you—Smart Kids Company Zone strategically designs their activities so children can improve their financial intelligence as they play. (Ninja gym is right!)

Parents can also sign up for the entertainment center’s regular classes, so you, too, can improve your financial knowledge alongside the kids.

Address:

108 Buckwalter Pkwy Suite 2F
Bluffton, SC 29910

New Businesses Coming Soon

Although these businesses aren’t officially open yet, you can expect to see them opening their doors within the next couple of months:

  • Tio’s Latin American Restaurant (Bluffton Location)Tio’s is known for its family-friendly Latin American fare (found on its colorful menu), including empanadas and popular specials like their pollo asada and tamales. This popular Hilton Head-based restaurant plans on opening its second location in Bluffton by February 2021.
  • Lowcountry Fresh Market & Café – Locals are excited about the upcoming grand opening of Lowcountry Fresh Market & Café this Spring 2021. The location plans on serving fresh, locally-sourced dishes—from the produce grown in the Sea Islands of South Carolina to fish and shrimp, straight from the docks.
  • Nectar Farm Kitchen – Opening in February 2021, Nectar Farm Kitchen will offer a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, with dishes just sweet enough to tickle the sweet tooth and savory enough to keep you wanting more. The restaurant prides itself on sourcing its ingredients right from the Lowcountry.

Show Your Support!

We understand how challenging it can be for new businesses to get up and running, especially during a pandemic, so we invite you to join us in supporting these new local businesses by stopping by to say hello and seeing the fantastic products and services they have to offer!

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