A former Beaufort arts space will soon be a daiquiri bar. Wet Willie’s is coming to Beaufort.
The bar is opening a location in Beaufort Town Center on Boundary Street in the space formerly occupied by the Beaufort Arts Council, said 303 Associates marketing manager Jenny Sanborn.
The space will be renovated for Wet Willie’s during the next several weeks, and the bar could open by late August, owner Joseph Ford said. Greg Lard, Wet Willie’s development director, confirmed Wednesday that a franchise has been sold in the Beaufort market.
Ford, 30, is a St. Helena native and Beaufort High School graduate living in Norfolk, Va. He was in the U.S. Navy and served as a contractor the past two years in Afghanistan, he said.
His mother will manage the bar, and he plans to return when it opens. Wet Willie’s operators undergo weeks of training in Savannah, Ford said.
Ford said he visited several possible locations and liked Beaufort Town Center for the planned development in the area.
The Savannah-based Wet Willie’s has 14 locations, according to its website. There are two Wet Willie’s locations in Savannah and also bars in Myrtle Beach and Columbia.
Wet Willie’s is known for its frozen drinks, with flavors including Call a Cab, Naked Willie and Shock Treatment.
The Beaufort Arts Council and its school, Mather Academy, moved to Port Republic Street downtown in April. Its previous space, next to Omni Health and Fitness, still has art displayed outside the doors and appears to still house leftovers from the art organization.
Wet Willie’s will join Rosie O’Grady’s Pub as bars in Beaufort Town Center.