Business

Hilton Head's south end hotel, restaurants get makeover

Three businesses are undergoing related transitions on Hilton Head Island's south end.

Hinchey's Chicago Grill & Bar, which spent about 15 years at the Beach Market near Coligny Circle, has moved into the Metropolitan Hotel.

Meanwhile, the hotel itself is being refurbished under the leadership of a new general manager, and Hinchey's former spot is being transformed into a new restaurant.

HINCHEY'S CHICAGO GRILL & BAR

Soon after Bob Hinchey announced he was looking for a new location for his restaurant last year, the Metropolitan's general manager called to implore him to consider a vacant spot on the hotel's first floor.

Hinchey, who recalled he was unimpressed with the space when it formerly housed a bar, initially declined.

He eventually reconsidered, however, and was pleased with what he found: An open layout that he said is inviting for families.

The place on South Forest Beach Drive fit all three of Hinchey's primary objectives: More space and better parking and accessibility for people with handicaps.

He reopened the sports-themed restaurant inside the hotel about a month ago and is seeking the town's approval to add an outdoor deck.

"We plan on being here for 20 years," Hinchey said.

Details: 843-686-5959

METROPOLITAN HOTEL

The Metropolitan has refurbished its rooms and retooled its staff as part of its owner's ongoing push to spruce it up.

The 78-room hotel was not one of Hilton Head's finest when general manager Chris Roberts arrived in September, but a turnaround is under way, he said.

At the time, staff didn't efficiently clean rooms, for example, and the hotel didn't properly market itself online and wasn't well known in the community, Roberts said.

Now, the hotel has an almost completely new staff, has begun accepting online bookings and is becoming better known since Hinchey's moved in, he said.

Roberts hopes it soon will be among the cleanest and busiest accommodations on the island.

"If you can't sell a hotel room that's 200 feet off the Hilton Head beach, you really shouldn't be in the business," he said.

Details: 843-842-3100

FLATBREAD GRILL

Bruce Kimball is turning the Beach Market restaurant Hinchey once occupied into Flatbread Grill, an "upscale casual" eatery featuring an open kitchen and high-temperature oven that will bake Neapolitan pizza.

The restaurant will also serve pasta, salads, sandwiches, burgers and appetizers, said Kimball, one of Hinchey's former landlords.

It will offer both seats and a bar inside and out. It will have TVs but is not designed as a sports bar, he said.

Kimball plans to open the restaurant in April.

"It's going to be a cool spot," he said.

The restaurant has a phone number -- 843-341-2225 -- but it's not active, Kimball said.

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