About Town

Nippy's closes in downtown Beaufort

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 17, 2014 

About two dozen friends helped Nippy's Fish owner Diana Deaner remove equipment and belongings from 301 West St. The restaurant has closed because Deaner and new owner 303 Associates were unable to negotiate a lease.


All's quiet on West Street in downtown Beaufort, where folks could "Drink cold beer in a parking lot!" -- as the sign outside Nippy's Fish advertised.

Tipping back a cold one is no longer legal there, and no one is buying any more beer from the restaurant.

Nippy's closed in December for owner Diana Deaner's annual trip home to Ohio, and it won't reopen. Deaner and dozens of friends cleared her belongings out of the 301 West St. building Friday.

Deaner had a five-year lease that expired at the end of 2013. The building was part of the property owned by the Flora Trask and Martha Tucker estates, which covered most of the block bounded by Port Republic, Charles, Craven and West streets. Developer 303 Associates purchased the estates' property in December, and Deaner and Developer 303 principal Dick Stewart were unable to negotiate a new lease.

Deaner and her husband, Robin McGrath, bought the restaurant about five years ago. Deaner said running Nippy's was the dream of McGrath, who died in 2010. She carried on in his honor.

"We made friends all over the country, being in a tourist town, and people would Nippy's focused on local seafood and simple ingredients, with menu items like fish tacos and shrimp baskets. Deaner said she is storing restaurant equipment until she decides her next step. She is considering opening at another location in the area.

Stewart said no new tenant has been found for the building, but he is in negotiations.

Information: facebook.com/groups/60788945549

In other changes about town:

  • Sport Clips has opened its third location in Beaufort County and the 10th in the region for owner Bill Voegtle of St. Helena Island. The shop at 272 Robert Smalls Parkway, suite 330, performs haircuts, massages and other salon services for men, walk-in only. Large, flat-screen TVs show sports all day.

    Voegtle opened his first store, in Bluffton, in 2004 after retiring and finding himself in need of something to do. "I knew there was only so much bad golf I could play, and I knew I needed a hobby," he joked.

    Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

    Information: haircutmenbeaufortsc.com, facebook.com/SportClipsBeaufort, 843-379-4003

  • After months of preparation, Piace Pizza has opened a second location on Lady's Island. The restaurant, which also operates in Habersham, is in Newpoint at 1 Merchant Lane, suite 101, half of the former home of Berry Island Cafe, which closed a year ago.

    The new location has an expanded menu -- due in part because the new location has room for a fryer -- with items including chicken Philly sandwiches and fried cheese and meat raviolis.

    Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 to 10 p.m. or later Friday and Saturday.

    Information: piacepizza.com, facebook.com/PiacePizza, 843-379-2237

  • Amata Thai Fusion in Beaufort Town Center, 2127 Boundary St., Beaufort, has closed, according to the restaurant's Facebook page. The restaurant opened in September 2011.

    Information: facebook.com/amatathaifusion

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