Beaufort News

New owner plans to reinvent Lipsitz Department Store

The historic Lipsitz Department Store building on Beaufort's Bay Street has a new owner who wants to restore and renovate it.

Although his plans are not set, Jeffrey Bisger, a Beaufort County resident and real estate investor, wants to create retail or restaurant space on the first floor and apartments on the second.

The first step is tearing down the white vinyl siding to reveal the original facade and windows that were covered up about 30 or 40 years ago, he said.

"I own it; I just don't know what I'm going to do with it," he said. "I'm like the dog that caught the car."

Bisger, who lives in Bluffton, closed on the building Thursday for $525,000. He hopes to have everything up and running again within a few years.

The building dates to 1883, according to the Historic Beaufort Foundation, and became a department store in 1902, when Max Lipsitz started a business there that three generations of his family would tend to.

It closed in February 2009 after 107 years.

In other recent changes:

The secret to a good pierogi, Cori Fulton confided as she sautèed one of the dumplings Thursday, is sour cream in the dough to keep it light.

Using a recipe her grandmother brought from Poland and taught to her as a child, Fulton has opened Cori's Pierogi Hut in Port Royal and is making to-go orders of pierogi and chicken-and-dumplings from the dough.

Unleavened pockets of dough filled with combinations of potatoes, cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut, onions or fruits, pierogi are traditionally considered peasant food. Polish by heritage but American by birth, Fulton moved to South Carolina as a teenager and has intermittently operated restaurants between jobs in finance.

Primarily a takeout restaurant, Cori's Pierogi Hut at 1632 Paris Ave. also accepts call-in orders. Phone: 843-298-0032.

Related content:

A reluctant goodbye to a business institution

Lipsitz: The long history and last hours of a Bay Street landmark

Three-Century Project article on Lipsitz Department Store