Chef holding a pan with food in it with flame above it on a black background

Restaurant News – Hilton Head & Bluffton

Get the latest on all things food and drink. From new restaurants and coming soon to hot products and updates. For our top restaurant suggestions, click here.

Okan chef featured on Chopped

Chef Bernard Bennet of Okan fame recently showcased his culinary prowess on Food Network’s Chopped. To relive his adventures, stream the episode at and indulge in his creations at Okan in Bluffton.

Chef Bernard Bennet of Okan on Chopped

The Smokehouse is elevating flavors for 2024

The Smokehouse welcomes the new year with a menu refresh, featuring novel delights like pork belly skewers and garlic parmesan wings.

Pork belly skewers and garlic parmesan wings

A bold brew from Lot 9 and Ocelot

Lot 9 Brewing Co. collaborates with Ocelot Brewing Company to introduce the hazy, potent Nine Lives IPA. This 8% ABV beer is a nod to Virginia’s craft beer culture, offering a unique taste experience.

Lot 9 - Nine Lives IPA

Remembering a culinary icon: Signe Gardo

The community mourns the loss of Signe Gardo, the beloved chef and baker behind Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe, who died on Christmas morning. Her dedication to her craft touched many lives, evident in her bakery’s impressive 50-year legacy. Her passion will be deeply missed.

Signe Gardo, Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe

Many changes in Old Town Bluffton 

Old Town Bluffton is witnessing a culinary metamorphosis. The Old Town Dispensary, a local staple for over 10 years, is bidding adieu. However, this change ushers in new ventures. Agave Sidebar is upgrading to this iconic location from its quaint State Of Mind Street nook. Meanwhile, the former Agave space will supposedly soon sizzle with a new international sliders spot. Stay updated at

Yellow changes ahead road sign with blue background

School Pizza crafting crusts with character

Currently, a popup operation offering scheduled bakes only. Its Detroit-style pizza, unbound by traditional norms, boasts artfully selected flour and a meticulously proofed dough. The result? A slim-thick, crispy crust with tantalizing cheesy edges. Offering personal-sized pizzas in 8×10-inch pans, it recommends “one pizza per adult and two per Sasquatch.”

A rectangular pizza in a dep dish

The Westin announces new executive chef 

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa announces Jorge Petterson as its new executive chef. With a background in North American and Caribbean cuisines and notable experiences, including cooking for former President Bill Clinton, Petterson is set to infuse his Peruvian heritage into the resort’s gastronomy.

Jorge Petterson, Westin Executive Chef, Hilton Head Island, SC

Shellring Ale Works brewing comfort with Seasonal Depression

Embrace the cooler months with Shellring Ale Works’ latest creation, Seasonal Depression, a 5.6% American pale ale. Crafted with mosaic and cashmere hops, it offers a comforting blend of stone fruit and tropical notes, balanced with a light, malty body. Refreshing and soothing, it’s a unique take on winter blues. Discover more at

Shellring Ale Works' latest creation, Seasonal Depression, a 5.6% American pale ale

Lincoln & South Brewing’s tropical experiment

Lincoln & South Brewing Company adds a tropical twist to its NE Citra IPA, Hearts and Arrows. Teaming up with Willamette Valley Hops, it infused prime galaxy hops from Australia for a double dry-hopped version.

NE Citra IPA, Hearts and Arrows - Lincoln and South

Coffee Hour at Hilton Head Social Bakery

Kickstart your mornings at Hilton Head Social Bakery’s “coffee hour,” now starting at 7 a.m. at its south end location. Enjoy hot beverages and freshly baked croissants during the winter season. The Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina location reopens in March.

Twin bell alarm clock with coffee mug white background

New waterfront restaurant opening soon

Benny’s Coastal Kitchen is set to make its debut as early as March. As the latest addition to the CRAB Group’s collection, this culinary gem is under construction in a picturesque location on the waterfront, adjacent to the shrimp docks, a legacy of the renowned Hudson family. CRAB Group secured a lease from the Hudsons for this prime spot by the water, where it is building a two-story restaurant complete with a rooftop bar. This new establishment is not only designed to be a tribute to Benny Hudson’s legacy but also to enhance the waterfront. The recently expanded Seafood Market is a stone’s throw away, situated across the parking lot, ensuring a continued connection between the two entities.

Benny's Coastal Kitchen - Bluffton SC

Charlie’s Coastal Bistro cookbook unveiled 

Charlie’s Coastal Bistro reveals its anticipated project, La Cuisine de L’Etoile Verte. This cookbook, a fusion of art and flavor, features three seasonal recipes for each season from the team and illustrations by Pam Brickwell-Johnson.

Charlie’s Coastal Bistro cookbook

Bluffton Whiskey awarded Double Gold

Burnt Church Distillery’s Bluffton Whiskey has been awarded Double Gold in The South’s Best Spirits Competition. This whiskey was created with Carolina Gold Rice and definitely deserved the prestigious award. In addition to Bluffton Whiskey’s Double Gold, BCD’s Anita’s Choice Bourbon and Palmer’s Stretch Rye also garnered top recognition. 

Burnt Church Distillery’s Bluffton Whiskey

Quick Bites

  • Cactus Street Cantina donated $1,035 from December bowl sales to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • The SERG Restaurant Group’s South Island BOGO 1/2 Off Passport is happening now-Feb. 28. 
  • During January, Burnt Church Distillery donated a portion of revenue from tours, cocktails of the month, memberships and community events to the nonprofit Real Champions Inc.
  • Wine Time donated $1 of every sale to Lowcountry Legal Volunteers through its January “Buck-a-Battle, Buck-a-Bottle” program. 
  • Chef Josh O’Neill is now the chef at Colleton River Club. He was most recently the chef of the Country Club at Indigo Run.
  • Nick’s Steak and Seafood donated a portion of its Dec.14 sales to St. Luke’s Preschool. 
  • Marley’s Shrimp & Burger Shack is set to open again on March 1.
  • Hilton Head Community Market donated $10,600 to local nonprofit organizations in 2023.
  • Big Jim’s updated and expanded its wine list for 2024. 
  • Okan now carries a line of non-alcoholic beverages, including Untitled Art S’mores Dark Brew, Al’s Classic and Fritz Müller Wine.
  • CRUDO Modern Raw Bar started a yearly membership called CRUDO Cask Club, which provides members with private tastings and other members-only events.
  • Top Dawg Tavern has new canvas curtains on the patio to keep it cozy on cold nights. Check them out during their Super Bowl Party on Feb. 11. 
  • Taste of Mexico food truck in Bluffton brought flautas back to the menu by popular demand. Try them on Saturdays in the Lowe’s parking lot. 
  • Chef Frank’s Bistro in Port Royal announced a Prime Rib Night on the first Friday of each month. The restaurant has also started wine dinners. 
  • The Technical College of the Lowcountry and King Arthur Baking Company launched the “Tastes Like Home” student recipe contest, where Lowcountry students can win a scholarship to the culinary institute or a trip to the baking company’s headquarters.
  • If you’re a beer enthusiast, note that Locals Only Taproom takes field trips to local breweries.
  • Sundown Saloon now has online ordering.
  • Deano’s Wood-Fired Grille introduced a new seasonal menu.

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