After months of work, Hudson’s Seafood House is just days away from reopening its dock, the restaurant’s most popular dining feature, following the dock’s destruction from Hurricane Matthew storm surges in October.
“It has been a long road getting everything back to normal,” restaurant owner Andrew Carmines said Sunday. “It is important to have the dock open for tourist season. It is just as important for us to be whole again, and it is sort of like putting an end to the chapter.”
The dock, capable of seating 75 people at tables and 20 people at the outdoor bar, is a main draw for the restaurant that opened in 1967, Carmines said. He said it is likely the dock being closed impacted business.
“It is a unique dining experience,” Carmines said. “There are very few restaurants in the area that have dining over the water. It also faces the sunset, which is really nice.”
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The dock reopening is important to the restaurant as well as the community, Mayor David Bennett said Sunday, since the restaurant is both a tourist destination and a place where community events are held.
“Hudson’s is a part of the Hilton Head family,” Bennett said. “It is a part of our community, and their fingers are all over who we are today. As they are progressing, we are progressing. This is outstanding news.”
The road to recovery was not easy, Carmines said.
“Once you got past the initial shock, you put your head down and get your work done,” Carmines said.
The restaurant was lucky to attain Barrier Island Contractors quickly for the work, Carmines said.
“There are a lot of people struggling to get contractors to get things done,” Carmines said. “They started working quickly and have done a beautiful job.”
The dock will be exactly as it was before, Carmines said. He said emergency permits to rebuild require it keeps the same footprint.
At this time, the dock structure has been completed and utilities are in the process of being installed, Carmines said. He said then it is down to the final touches of paint and equipment.