About Town: Shoofly restaurant opens in Beaufort

January 25, 2010 

A little tune often sung by her grandmother gave Rose Anne Steele and her daughter, Jobeth, the inspiration for the name of their new restaurant on Boundary Street.

"She used to make buttermilk out on her porch and she would sing, 'Shoo-fly, don't bother me,' " said Steele, who then researched the pie of the same name and was dismayed to learn that its roots are in Pennsylvania.

"We wanted to keep it definitely Southern, so Shoofly Kitchen it became," she said.

The former owner of RA Steele Real Estate and current agent at Exit Realty of Beaufort, she spent time as a chef at the old Firehouse Bookstore and Cafe in downtown Beaufort and had catered events for about 25 years.

All the while, the thought of opening her own restaurant enticed her. With the local real estate market in a slowdown, the time seemed right.

"I've cooked all my life, and I thought, 'Well you know, this is something I've always wanted to do,' " Steele said.

She enlisted her husband, a builder, to help renovate the former Mike's Place restaurant. Jobeth, a graduate of Beaufort High and the College of Charleston, will manage the business.

"It's a family affair," Rose Ann Steele said.

Each lunch or dinner at Shoofly Kitchen is served in a small box, much in the style of a packed lunch. Steele initially worried the unconventional presentation wouldn't be a hit. But the steady stream of diners proves otherwise, she said.

Shoofly Kitchen is open Monday through Saturday, serving a variety of sandwiches, quiche, salad, soup, pastries and other baked goods.

"Everybody thought it was a great idea," Steele said. "The whole idea was to make fresh food like you can make at home ... and get it to you quick."


Other recent business openings, closings and changes in the area:

• Garden Gate Nursery moved last summer from Boundary Street in Beaufort to Parris Island Gateway in Port Royal, according to owner Kathy Pender.

The garden center and gift shop, which also has a Bluffton location, moved to a new, larger climate-controlled building that allows it to sell a wider variety of products, Pender said.

• The Get FIT health club on Lady's Island, formerly Lowcountry Health and Fitness, held a grand reopening at its Sams Point Road location this month with new programs, according to owner and lead trainer Jered Kraszewski.

A Spinstrong cycling class, an outdoor workout class called Caveman 101 and a golf-focused class called Golf 101 are among the new offerings.

"The 'fit' in Get FIT stands for 'fully integrated training,' " Kraszewski said, referring to the philosophy behind the new gym.


As you drive around northern Beaufort County, you notice a sign for a new shop, new construction or road work. Or you realize that an old store you once frequented has gone out of business. About Town answers the question, "What's going on here?"

If you have information about something that has changed the local landscape or if you wonder about one of those changes and would like us to tell you more about it, contact reporter Marti Covington at mcovington@beaufortgazette.com or 843-706-8147.

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