Corner Perk moving to new location in Bluffton

dburley@islandpacket.comJanuary 12, 2014 

The Corner Perk is moving from its location on Burnt Church Road to the corner of Promenade Street and May River Road in Bluffton. The coffee house's new location will be nearly twice the size of the old and will have new accommodations, including a sit-down restaurant and evening dessert bar. Construction of the building, seen on Saturday, should be finished this spring.

JAY KARR — Staff photo Buy Photo

Maybe it's the international attention gained from an anonymous patron's generosity, or maybe it's just the coffee, but business is good at Corner Perk.

So good that the Bluffton coffee shop is moving from Burnt Church Road to a building more than double the size on May River Road.

"We've really been running out of space," owner Josh Cooke said. "We also wanted a more visible location that would cater to walking traffic on Calhoun Street and the Promenade."

Construction on the two-story, 1,700-square-foot location began in the fall and should be finished by spring, Cooke said.

Cooke said he is using the move to add flourish to the coffee house's traditional approach, and expand hours and the menu.

New dishes, including shrimp and fish entrees, will be added to the menu of wraps, salads and sandwiches.

"We'll incorporate more of a sit-down feel to it," Cooke said. "I call it 'Southern-inspired city food.' "

During the day, the second floor will be a quieter area for those seeking to read or work on laptop computers.

At night, the cafe will morph into a date-night dessert bar, with cheesecakes, chocolate cakes and creme brulee, and specialty cocktails such as a mocha-caramel martini and fireball cinnamon whiskey-flavored apple cider, Cooke said.

He also has considered using the upstairs space for acoustic or jazz performers, but hasn't decided, he said.

"The second floor is definitely a space to grow into."

The coffee shop opened on Burnt Church Road in 2009. It received worldwide media attention two years ago when word first spread of the generosity of an anonymous customer, who would hand the cashier $100 every few months to pay for other patrons' drinks.

Cooke fielded calls from National Public Radio and The National Enquirer. News outlets in New York; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Toronto; and Ireland sought interviews, as well.

The anonymous donor still stops in from time-to-time, most recently about six weeks ago, Cooke said Friday.

He also said he was saddened to leave the corner where the cafe built its name.

"We're going to miss our corner," he said. "We've just outgrown it."

Follow reporter Dan Burley at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.

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