Beaufort News

Port Royal coffee shop closes its doors again

Old Town Coffeehaus, a staple of Port Royal's historic village and community center for almost five years, has closed again -- this time, likely for good.

Owner Chris Rentz said the economy forced her to shut the shop on Paris Avenue near Town Hall in late April.

"It was really a very hard decision," said Rentz. "If it wasn't for the money, I would have stuck it out longer. ... It hurts. We were all very emotionally attached to everyone, and it was really hard to let it go."

Soon after Rentz closed, local developer Jeff Pinckney asked if he could try running the shop, Rentz said.

"He gave it two weeks and realized it just wasn't working," she said.

Rentz plans to offer the building for rent soon, she said.

In the four and a half years it was open, the Old Town Coffeehaus became ingrained in many residents' routines. It played host to Town Councilman Joe Lee's weekly "Coffee with Joe" gatherings.

John Ellerbe and his wife, Anna, were among those who frequented the shop multiple times a week.

"This was effectively the core of the community," Ellerbe said. "I understand why they had to close, but it doesn't ease the disappointment. It was the hub of the community, and there's nothing to take its place."

Though people seemed to like her business, traffic was irregular, Rentz said.

"You might have a couple decent days and then there's nobody," she said. "We tried to monitor it, but there was no real pattern of what days would be better than others."

Rentz, a member of the Old Village Association, said all of the merchants in the downtown area are friends, making her decision to close even tougher.

But she pointed to others still forging on, including the small boutique Nuances at 709 Paris Ave., which was forced to close briefly in March after a fire. The store reopened soon after in a building next door.


Other recent business openings, closings and changes in the area:

  • Sports Nutz, a professional and collegiate sports memorabilia and apparel store, has opened in Beaufort Town Center on Boundary Street near Kmart.
  • The store offers items representing the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, golf and boxing for home, office, sports room or tailgating, according to Beaufort Town Center's website.

    It also specializes in professional and collegiate jerseys, the website says.

    Details: 843-521-4400