Biz Pulse: An update on commerce in Port Royal

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Biz Pulse: An update on commerce in Port Royal

By ALEXIS GARROBO agarrobo@beaufortgazette.com 843-986-5539
Published Monday, May 19, 2008 in The Beaufort Gazette  |  843 Words  |  local_news

Family-owned Starving Artist Café opened May 8 near the intersection of Boundary Street and Ribaut Road. The deli and diner serves breakfast all day as well as lunch after 10 a.m. seven days a week. It has a daily blue-plate special.
Owner Patti Aveni, who owned Village Art Emporium in Port Royal's Harbour Village, also sells artwork by local artists that hangs on the walls of the restaurant.
Aveni's daughter Donna Pine, who helps run the restaurant, said they are hoping to build a loyal, local customer base and have had a few people come in every day since they opened.
Next week, they will begin a lunch-time business delivery.
Starving Artist has a pastel pink piano in the corner and a small room with Wi-Fi for people who want to work on their laptops.
Thursday morning, several women jumped up from their table and began playing the piano. Pine said she was sitting in the back room, heard the music and knew it was the atmosphere she wanted.
"We want to go back to the old-fashioned atmosphere for food," Pine said.
<strong>The Port Royal Market
</strong>
The Port Royal Market in Port Royal's Harbour Village on Paris Avenue opened March 31 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"It's a gourmet food-to-go shop," said owner Betty Vance. She and Linda Aspden own the shop.
The general store layout displays Godiva chocolate and coffee, Paula Deen mixes and fresh cakes. Vance said the store sells gift baskets, as well.
<strong>Razor Sharp Records South
</strong>
The music business moved to Beaufort last week. A recording studio, record label and artist management company, Razor Sharp Records South, held a grand opening of its main office at 701 Carteret St.
"We have everything from jazz, hip hop, R&B and gospel," said CEO Herbert Goodwin. Goodwin said he brings about seven years of experience to the table and a bachelor's degree in music.
He said the business is open to the public so talented people in the community can make an appointment to audition rather than working through an agent, which is generally how artists get label deals.
<strong>Suwan Thai Restaurant
</strong>
Located in the old schoolhouse on Paris Avenue, Suwan Thai Restaurant is expected to open next week. Owners John Winner and Tassan Champatong said they are waiting for necessary inspections before the doors open.
The restaurant will seat about 45 people and will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. There is outdoor seating, a fish pond and an herb garden, which supplies the kitchen herbs, in front of the schoolhouse.
Winner said the menu has a great deal of variety and there is something for everyone, including a barbecue chicken dish called Som Tam.
"These will be very authentic dishes," said Champatong, originally from Bangkok, Thailand.
Both Winner and Champatong said the menu can be adapted to any diet.
"Thai food is like an ATM card -- versatile," Champatong said.
Champatong, said it has always been her dream to cook good, healthy food for people. Some of her recipes, such as the Thai iced coffee, come from her grandfather and other family members.
She said she wants people to come to the restaurant to learn about Thai food, which is a blend of Chinese, Indian and Portuguese influences.
"Cooking is the art of love," said Champatong.
<strong>Jersey Mike's Subs</strong>
National chain Jersey Mike's Subs is opening three stores in the Beaufort area, said Jay Yates, an area developer for the chain.
The first, in the Crossings of Beaufort on Robert Smalls Parkway, will open by mid-summer, Yates said. The franchise will be owned by Chris Brown.
The two other locations being considered are in Port Royal's Midtown Village on Parris Island Gateway and on Lady's Island.
There is a Jersey Mike's in Okatie.
<strong>Beaufort Fun Park
</strong>
Beaufort Fun Park on Robert Smalls Parkway is leaving town after five years of paintball, go-carts and video games.
The park will close May 31, but owner Michelle Rabon said it will be open every day until then to give kids a chance to redeem their tickets or coupons.
Rabon said the decision to close is partly because of the economy. She said someone is interested in buying the property but because it was being negotiated through a broker she did not know who.
"I want to thank Beaufort. We've had lots of fun with you," Rabon said. "It's been a hard decision, but it's just one of those things."
She said the Haunted Forest, a Halloween favorite, will continue this year despite the park's closing.