Chef putting final touches on a plated entree

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.

Now open: Captain Jax

Captain Jax is the newest go-to destination on Hilton Head Island for an eclectic mix of comics, creamy ice cream and more. Catering to avid collectors, casual readers and those with a sweet tooth, it offers something for everyone. Visitors can cool off with a selection of rich ice cream flavors, indulge in fluffy mini pancakes and bubble waffles or quench their thirst with a diverse range of boba teas. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Captain Jax is located at 24 Palmetto Bay Road, where The Purple Cow once stood.

Captain Jax Street Sign - Hilton Head Island, SC

The Bank unveils cigar and whiskey lounge

The Bank on Hilton Head Island introduces its latest addition, Bank Rolls—a cigar and whiskey lounge. Featuring an exclusive selection of fine cigars and premium whiskeys alongside expertly crafted cocktails, this lounge invites guests to unwind in style. Sink into comfort, savor the rich flavors, and let the good times roll at Bank Rolls, where relaxation meets refined indulgence.

Cigars laying on a table with matches in the background

TripAdvisor honors local distilleries

According to TripAdvisor, Hilton Head has two of the five best distilleries in South Carolina for 2024. Hilton Head Distillery was ranked No. 1 overall, and Burnt Church Distillery is ranked No. 3. For a list of the 10 best distilleries in our state, visit

Hilton Head Distillery - Bottle Capping Process

Magnolia Cafe hires chef

The recently purchased and renovated Magnolia Cafe in Beaufort welcomes a new head chef. Chef Eric James Spear from Rochester, New York, has 25 years of experience cooking in restaurants and traveling the world learning different cuisines. Check out the new menu at

Chef Eric James Spear

Local Pie celebrates Pi Day in style

For Pi Day (March 14), Local Pie celebrated with a special offer at its two locations, selling 10-inch classic pies for only $3.14. In a friendly competition, each outlet vied to sell the most pies, with the winning team earning the opportunity to donate $500 to its chosen charity. The Bluffton location emerged victorious, selling 1,564 pies, while Hilton Head followed with 1,106 pies sold. Both venues shattered previous year’s sales records. The Bluffton site even had to halt to-go orders to conserve enough dough for dine-in guests.

Local Pie Bluffton and Hilton Head Celebrate National Pi Day

New spirit: E.S.D. Rum

Hilton Head Distillery recently released its latest treasure: E.S.D. (Extra Special Dark) Rum. This 100-proof spirit delivers aromatic citrus notes and rich molasses undertones. Dive into a flavor explosion with notes of dried stone fruit, caramel, tropical essence and a hint of molasses. E.S.D. Rum is available at the distillery and online.

E.S.D. Rum Hilton Head Distillery

Coming soon: Zunzi’s

Zunzi’s, a.k.a. Zunzibar, a sandwich shop that has graced Savannah since 2015, is coming to Hilton Head sometime this summer. The location and opening date haven’t been announced. The Hilton Head plans are part of a three-restaurant franchise deal with Tom Horton, who was Five Guys’ largest franchisee. The restaurant will feature a beach sports bar theme and a full menu of Zunzi’s popular award-winning sandwiches, wings, chips and sauces, cocktails and frozen drinks.

Zunzi’s LOGO

New brew: Dancing on a Sinking Ship

Lincoln & South Brewing Company collaborated with Resident Culture Brewing Company out of Charlotte, North Carolina, to create a new brew called “Dancing on a Sinking Ship.” This triple New England IPA was dry-hopped three times and comes in at 10.5%. A pilsner base malt with tons of wheat and oats gives the beer a base to express the mountains of hops used: Idaho 7, Strata, Citra, Mosaic, Lupomax, some Amarillo and a touch of old school Cascade. They used all of these hops three different times to get soft and tropical fruit-forward flavors with a velvet mouthfeel. Try it in the taproom or grab a four-pack to go.

Dancing on a Sinking Ship - Lincoln & South Brewing

Pool Bar Jim’s wins Wingfest

Wingfest 2024 was a roaring success, drawing a fantastic crowd that was treated to an array of delectable wings. After much deliberation, the judges crowned Pool Bar Jim’s as the ultimate prizewinner, with Coconutz securing second place and Nectar taking third. In the People’s Choice category, Coconutz claimed the coveted first prize, followed by Hilton Head Firefighters in second and Giuseppi’s in third. Mark your calendars now for the next Wingfest, scheduled for March 22, 2025.

Pool Bar Jim’s wins Wingfest

Dock and dine at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

Exciting news from Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks — they’ve relocated all but two rented boat slips to the inside of the dock. This means that all the spaces on the outside are now available for dock and dine, on a first-come, first-served basis. Next time you’re craving delicious seafood and a scenic boat ride, set sail for Hudson’s. 

Hudson's Boat Docks - Hilton Head Island, SC

Breakfast is now served at Jarvis Creek General Store

The Jarvis Creek General Store introduces its new food truck, which offers locally inspired breakfast bites daily from 7 to 11 a.m. Visitors can savor freshly baked pastries from Sprout Momma, enjoy organic juices from Delisheeyo, indulge in farm-fresh sausage from Whippoorwill Farm and kickstart their mornings with aromatic coffee from Hilton Head Coffee Company, among other offerings. More information about
the menu and local partnerships can be found online at

Breakfast is now served at Jarvis Creek General Store

New executive chef at Haig Point 

Haig Point welcomes Justin Smith as its new executive chef. Chef Smith graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and trained under two Certified Master Chefs. He served as executive chef at several clubs, including Cherokee Country Club in Atlanta and The Landings Golf & Athletic Club in Savannah, where he managed multiple dining venues and large-scale event catering.

Executive Chef, Justin Smith

Caviar and champagne service at Rollers 

Experience the epitome of indulgence with the new caviar and champagne service at Rollers Wine & Spirits. To partake in this pairing, reservations are required. For inquiries and reservations, call 843-842-1200 or email

Rollers Wine & Spirits - Caviar and champagne service

Wine Time Bluffton celebrates milestones
in philanthropy

Wine Time Bluffton recently marked its one-year anniversary by raising over $11,000 for local nonprofits during its inaugural year. The establishment’s commitment to community engagement was recognized at the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Golden Oyster Awards Gala, where it was a finalist in two categories: New Business of the Year and Community Philanthropy Award, winning the latter.

Wine Time Bluffton - $11,000 for local nonprofits

Now open: Joelle

Robert and Breana DeLeo have opened Joelle, a new Italian restaurant at 132 Bluffton Road, Suite 100, inspired by their Italian-American heritage. Led by executive chef Brandon Torre, Joelle offers authentic Italian cuisine in a stylish, modern setting. Open Wednesday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and closed Tuesdays. Reservations available on Resy. Visit or follow @joellebluffton on Instagram for more information.

Joelle, a new Italian restaurant at 132 Bluffton Road, Suite 100

Tito’s Handmade Vodka releases cocktail book

Tito’s Handmade Vodka released its first cocktail book, “Spirit in a Bottle: Tales and Drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka,” on May 7. This cookbook combines stories and cocktail recipes, offering a glimpse into the brand’s history — from its humble beginnings in a one-room distillery to becoming a global icon. To celebrate this milestone, Tito’s is donating $150,000 to the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild to support the well-being of service industry professionals. Order your copy at any major bookseller.

Spirit in a Bottle: Tales and Drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka

New wheat beers from
Side Hustle 

Side Hustle Brewing Company is offering a new trio of wheat beers on tap. Sample “Payday in Paradise,” brewed with pineapple and peach purée; “Strawberry Shortcake Payday,” featuring ripe strawberries and creamy vanilla; and “Blueberry Cobbler Payday,” a beer that captures the essence of Grandma’s blueberry pie. Enjoy all three with 5-ounce tasters.

Wheat Beers Lined up on a counter

Now open: Cantaritos Mexican Kitchen

The space formerly occupied by Mi Tierrita in Okatie has a new culinary tenant, Cantaritos Mexican Kitchen, opened by Jake Higgins of Higgins Family Brands. Following Mi Tierrita’s closure earlier this year, Higgins took over the lease last month, bringing a fresh dining option to the area. Cantaritos offers a variety of Mexican cuisine and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Rodriguez family, which ran Mi Tierrita Okatie for 15 years, clarifies that it has not sold the Mi Tierrita brand and continues to operate Mi Tierrita Hardeeville at 15578 Whyte Hardee Blvd. For updates and more information on Cantaritos Mexican Kitchen, check its Facebook page.

Three tacos on a tray with parchment paper behind them and a blue background that looks like water

Griddle & Grits debuts in Port Royal 

The Old Schoolhouse Restaurant in Port Royal has undergone extensive renovations and emerged with a new identity: Griddle & Grits. While the name has changed, the ownership remains the same. See the updates, including new floors and doors, and enjoy the same delicious cuisine. Griddle & Grits is open from
7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. For more details, visit its Facebook page.

Griddle & Grits debuts in Port Royal

Quick Bites

  • Tiki Hut plans to reopen after extensive renovations on May 24. 
  • After a successful 2024 Oyster Roast, Russo’s Fresh Seafood donated $1,500 to Palmetto Animal League.
  • Eggs Up Grill at New Riverside Village in Bluffton is open; hours are 6 a.m.-2 p.m., seven days a week. 
  • The G-Free Spot is open on Mondays again.
  • Sea Grass Grill now serves breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. 
  • Tio’s Latin American Kitchen gave $1,200 to All Saints Child Development Center. 
  • The Bluffton Room’s patio is open for the season.
  • Russo’s Fresh Seafood Bluffton has its beer and wine license. 
  • Pour Richard’s is open on Tuesdays this month.
  • Bistro 17 now serves Thomas’ Homemade Ice Cream.
  • Coast’s Ocean Lounge was named the best rooftop bar in the United States and 5th in the world for 2024 by MandoeMedia. 
  • Alfred’s Restaurant sells its handmade potato and onion pierogies vacuum-sealed, frozen and ready to cook. 
  • Food Truck Mondays are back at Southern Barrel Brewing Company
  • The Kitchen in Beaufort is now open an hour earlier on Sundays; Sunday hours are now 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Lemon Island Seafood is now open seven days a week.
  • Locals Only Taproom carries baked goods by The Goods Bake Shoppe. 
  • Fish Casual Coastal Seafood has a new menu.
  • Cafe Al Dente now takes reservations on Resy. 
  • The Bank HHI now serves breakfast daily from 8-11 a.m. 
  • Wine Time donated $1 of every sale to Palmetto Animal League through its April “Buck-a-Battle, Buck-a-Bottle” program.
  • Rita’s of Hilton Head is now open for the season in Coligny Plaza.
  • Cactus Street Cantina donated $1,354.75 from March bowl sales to All About Cats. First Tee of the Lowcountry was its April charity.
  • The Smokehouse has switched to summer hours, staying open until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
  • During April, Burnt Church Distillery donated 5 percent of revenue from tours, cocktails of the month, memberships and community events to Empower.

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