Fresh seafood and Lowcountry cuisine are back on the menu at the building that was once home to the Sea Trawler restaurant, this time under a different name, owner, chef and management.
Atlanta businessman Michael Vu, owner of H'Allure Nails & Spa in Bluffton, purchased the restaurant in Buckingham Landing overlooking Mackays Creek two months ago and intends to open Nov. 15 as the Sunset Bay Restaurant
Vu bought the business from Wilbert Roller Jr., who closed the restaurant last November for renovations, with the intention of reopening in the spring. Instead, he chose to sell, according to Sunset Bay general manager Zach Drescher.
Roller and Beaufort County had been involved in a series of legal disputes related to the property since the early 1990s. Roller's family bought the property about 40 years ago. He first announced plans for the restaurant in 1987.
A 2009 court settlement allowed Roller to build on the property if the restaurant and traffic did not interfere with the public's use of an adjacent, county-owned boat landing.
Roller declined to comment for this story.
Drescher said the new restaurant will feature traditional Lowcountry cooking and fresh seafood prepared by Donald Hargrove, a former executive chef at Roastfish & Cornbread on Hilton Head Island, as well as steaks and chops.
"The main feature will be the fresh catch of the day," Drescher said. "We've partnered with local fisherman, who will pull right up to our dock, and chef Donald will walk the fish from the boat to our kitchen and feature them on that day's menu."
Sunset Bay will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, with Saturday and Sunday brunch to be added later, he said.
"At this point, we're excited to open and are on schedule," Drescher said.
Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead