Remy's on Hilton Head to close after 29 years

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Remy's on Hilton Head to close after 29 years

Published Thursday, January 24, 2013   |  628 Words  |  

Roy Prescott is already wearing black, but the "funeral" is more than a month away.

He sat at his laptop Tuesday in a corner of Remy's Bar and Grill and updated a Facebook page filled with eulogies and farewells to the longtime Hilton Head Island eatery.

Among those posts was the news that the restaurant and bar will close Feb. 28, almost 30 years after opening its doors.

Many of Remy's nearly 5,000 Facebook friends offered support and somber best wishes.

"One of the saddest things I've ever heard," wrote one.

"Surely this isn't the end!" wrote another.

"It's as emotional for a lot of people on Hilton Head as it is for us," said Prescott.

Prescott, 60, has been running Remy's at various island locations for nearly half of his life. The hours -- 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. -- can take a heavy toll.

"When the phone rings at 11 p.m. and the bartender is sick, I don't feel like coming in anymore," he said.

He says now is a good time to slow down.

Prescott's wife, Becky, owns the business, but Roy is its public face. That means he's always on call.

He said Remy's, like restaurants everywhere, has suffered from people eating out less and from more competition among bars and restaurants.

While the end of February will bring the end of Remy's, the beginning of March will mark the start of a new venture for the couple.

On March 4, 29 years after he opened the first Remy's location near Sea Pines Circle, the Prescotts will launch Roy's Place Cafe & Catering in Park Plaza.

Catering will be the focus of the business, but the cafe also will offer Remy's menu staples -- "blue plate meat and three" homestyle meals and fresh seafood and pasta dishes for lunch and seasonally, for dinner.

The new building holds about 200 fewer people than Remy's but offers a larger kitchen to accommodate the growing catering orders, Prescott said.

The cafe move is one many Remy's regulars say they will follow.

"I've moved once, twice and, now I'll move three times with them," Gary Blackwell, who's been coming to Remy's since 1992, said as he sat at the bar Tuesday.

"I follow Roy," he said.

"The regulars," Prescott said, "are more like friends than customers."

And friends have long memories.

Some of them gathered for lunch hour Tuesday to reminisce, share Remy's tales and chat about the celebrities who have occasionally stopped by.

One man who identified himself only as Claude told the story of the night friends handed him a flute of champagne and said, "that's from the best hockey player in the NHL."

Claude said he looked down the bar at the man who sent it, then said "That's not Wayne Gretzky."

It was Mark Messier, who was then a part-time resident of Hilton Head Island.

A party Feb. 22, about a week before the official closing, will bring regulars and mourners together one last time at the Arrow Center location.

Expect the stories to flow freely.

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