New restaurant to open in site of former Dukes Barbecue

August 29, 2010 

  • 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 Juliann Vachon at or 843-706-8184.

A new restaurant will open Wednesday at the former site of Dukes Barbecue that will feature local shrimp, fish, oysters, crab and other fare.

The Reaves family -- which operates C.J. Seafood, C.J. Seafood Express and Sea Eagle Market -- have teamed with Ted and Rina Baker to create Reaves Fish Camp at 1509 Salem Road.

A buffet will be offered, and although menu items are still being determined, Craig Reaves said customers can expect a mix of seafood cooked in a variety of ways, including healthy options like blackened, broiled and grilled shrimp and fish. Other items will include homemade clam chowder and crab cakes and the local mainstays -- Lowcountry boil and shrimp and grits.

"We definitely want it to be family-oriented, and we're looking to serve all local seafood at affordable prices," Reaves said.

Catching, selling and serving local seafood has been a family business for as long as he can remember, said Reaves, who began shrimping at 15.

He learned skills from his father, who started shrimping as a teenager in the 1960s and opened Reaves Brothers Sea Food in 1970 in Holden Beach, N.C.

In 1980, the family opened the original Reaves Fish Camp at Holden Beach and featured many recipes developed by his grandmother, who had 30 years of restaurant experience at the time, Reaves said.

"Some of those same recipes will be featured at the new restaurant, too," he said.

The family moved to Beaufort with their shrimp boats in 1992 and opened a restaurant on Harbor Island in the early 1990s that only lasted a year, Reaves said.

"We've been here ever since," he said.

Reaves and his wife, Jana, opened C.J. Seafood, a wholesale seafood business that delivers throughout the state, in 1993. They opened C.J. Seafood Express in Port Royal about five years ago and took over Sea Eagle Market in Beaufort in 2007, he said.

Reaves Fish Camp will be open 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

While the restaurant's new location has some drawbacks -- it's not downtown and it sits in the middle of a nearly vacant strip mall -- it does have some advantages, Reaves said.

"We have fabulous parking, and we're right there off (S.C.) 170," Reaves said. "Not a lot of restaurants have access to parking like that."


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

• SuZara's Kitchen in the uptown Beaufort area will move in early November across the street to 1211 Newcastle, Suite E, to increase retail space and offerings, owner Susan Zara said.

Known for its desserts and baked goods, SuZara's opened last year on Boundary Street.

The new space will allow a wider variety of products such as artisan cheeses, jams and jellies, bread, salads, sandwiches and soups, Zara said.

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