On a springtime Saturday in 2014, Genesis Holmes asked his 84-year-old granny to make him his favorite meal. She fried up eggs and rice the way he liked it, with sliced sausage and shrimp.
The following day, Holmes, 13, waded into a neighborhood pond and drowned. Holmes’ mother has since devoted herself to promoting water safety and swimming skills, a drive that culminated this June with the opening of Hollywood’s first public pool. But she’s also committed to making sure the young man who inspired her community work isn’t forgotten, so she recently opened Genesis Le Bleu Waters Restaurant in a Ravenel strip mall.
Genesis Le Bleu Waters has two specialties: #11 Genesis Basketball Wings, and #11 Eggs and Rice, both named for Holmes’ basketball number and both priced at $11.11.
“I set out and said, ‘How can I get people to know about Genesis Holmes? How can I let people know about the food Genesis grew up with?’” Jennifer Holmes says, adding, “The day before he left me, his last supper was eggs and rice.”
According to Holmes, it’s not uncommon for customers to read the description of the dish, along with small print on the menu summarizing her family’s tragedy and all that’s come from it, and to ask whether she’s in the building.
“So, here I come,” to talk about the importance of The Genesis Project, the Charleston County Parks Foundation’s fundraising effort to reduce drownings in the county.
“Everything we do is to honor Genesis Holmes,” Holmes says.
When Holmes earlier this year took over the space at 6005 Center Station Court, she wasn’t initially sure how a tribute restaurant should look. Then, she says, “God gave us a vision to bring the pond to life.” She and her relatives painted the walls deep blue and ornamented them with swirls and sketches of fish.
Although the pond took her son’s life, Holmes insists that Genesis Le Bleu Waters is “a happy place.” The room’s upbeat mood and satisfied customers wordlessly back up her claim. “We keep it down country,” Holmes says of her menu of fried seafood, garlic crab, burgers and lima beans.
Genesis Holmes couldn’t swim his way out of the murky pond which his friends escaped. But Jennifer Holmes says his spirit is swimming at Genesis Le Bleu Waters.
For more information on Genesis Le Bleu Waters, visit genesislebleuwatersrestaurant.com or call 843-620-8154.