Food & Drink

The reason Hilton Head’s newest restaurant is ‘Jane’ and not ‘Jane’s’

Jane Bistro features seating for groups of two to 20, black concrete countertops and nautical light fixtures to complete a “white and bright” look, according to co-owner Nancy Huber.
Jane Bistro features seating for groups of two to 20, black concrete countertops and nautical light fixtures to complete a “white and bright” look, according to co-owner Nancy Huber. mhogan@islandpacket.com

Before opening Jane Bistro and Bar, Nancy Huber would hear shouts up and down the golf course on Hilton Head Island from people wondering when their favorite dishes from her other restaurant would be available locally.

Questions like, “When’s the coconut cake coming?” or “When’s the chicken salad coming?” often echoed across the green as she played.

Those questions have been answered. The owners of Wren in Beaufort held a private opening July 19 for Jane, their new venture at Shelter Cove Towne Centre. They began serving lunch and dinner July 25. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and will later feature Sunday brunch.

Huber works on the business side of the restaurant with her daughter and executive chef, Anne Sergent, and her son-in-law, Brad Sergent. The family opened Wren nine years ago.

“A lot of people in both Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort know us from Wren,” she said. “A lot of our customers come all the way over. I can’t believe they would drive an hour. But we really appreciate that and we have a great following, so that was one of the things that gave us confidence about opening over here.”

The biggest difference in the two restaurants will be the kitchen size — at Wren there’s 500 square feet of kitchen space and a whopping 1,500 square feet at Jane — to accommodate the patio at the new restaurant, but many of the elements of Wren will be carried over to Jane, Huber said.

“The menus will be very similar, if not the same,” she said. “The things that are successful there, we’ll bring over here. The only thing that will be different is the addition of a brunch here.”

Another difference is that the look of Jane is “white and bright.” Huber said her favorite part of the design was the black concrete bar-tops that sit beneath German light fixtures that resemble the port windows on ships.

“We wanted it to feel nautical without being nautical,” she said. “We wanted to be subtle, but also, you’re at the beach.”

The family ambiance will also stay the same. Though a few customers have started mistakenly calling the restaurant “Jane’s Bistro,” the name is not meant to be possessive and has a personal meaning. “Jane” is actually an acronym, according to Huber, and represents the family element of the restaurant.

“The name Jane was my mother’s name — J is for Jane, A is for Annie, N is for (Nancy) and E is for Elizabeth Jane, Annie and Brad’s daughter.”

Huber said she and her daughter are used to celebrating and cooking for large groups of family and friends. She said they both wanted to have same feeling of family gatherings at Jane Bistro as they do at home.

“I think Jane represents for us the essence of what we hope our customers experience,” she said. “We really want this to feel comfortable, casual. We want people to bring their families. It’s designed for groups from two to 20, so that we’ve got these sections where we can move large groups in and out because we want people to come and really enjoy their time, just like we did with our family and friends.”

Madison Hogan: 843-706-8137, @MadisonHogan

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