Huddle House closes; Kickin’ Chicken plans move

Workers remove items from Huddle House at 261 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in Mount Pleasant. The franchisee hopes to reopen within the town.

The Huddle House restaurant, a fixture at the base of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant since the 1980s, closed at the end of June after its lease expired.

The 2,180-square-foot diner next to Days Inn is on the market as a rental property and the terms require the next tenant to serve breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to Mandy Coleman with National Restaurant Properties.

She said several offers have already been received on the high-profile site at 261 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., but it’s too early to say who will take over the longtime restaurant space.

Coleman said the site was developed as a restaurant in 1980 and believes Huddle House dates back to the 1980s. The restaurant was originally called Daybreak as part of the neighboring hotel, a worker clearing out the space earlier this week said.

“It was there when Hugo hit,” former Mayor Billy Swails said. The hurricane struck the Charleston area in 1989.

Franchisee George Kurien of Asheville plans to build a new Huddle House in Mount Pleasant, but he has not decided the location. Locally, he owns others on James Island and in North Charleston and Moncks Corner. In all, he owns 12 in the Carolinas and Georgia.

After 10 years, the Kickin’ Chicken in Mount Pleasant is opting for a new coop.

Co-owner David Miller said the 18-year-old local chain hopes to open in a new location at 389 Coleman Blvd. in May. It’s the site of a former gas station that closed in January.

The new 6,000-square-foot restaurant hopes to break ground in September, replacing the 8,000-square-foot site at 1179 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., near Bowman Road.

The restaurant’s lease runs out in January, but operators have been granted a six-month extension, Miller said.

While he and his business partners, Bobby Perry and Chip Roberts, have been eyeing the Coleman corridor for some time, he said the reconfiguration of the intersection of Johnnie Dodds and Bowman made it difficult for people to get to the restaurant from Bowman since a left turn was eliminated.

“We feel like long-term Coleman Boulevard will have a lot of synergy and energy,” Miller said.

The new restaurant will be part of a larger building, about 30,000 square feet, being developed by Charleston-based Gramling Brothers. It will include some office and retail space as well, he said.

Kickin’ Chicken operates five restaurants in the region.

Starbucks will open at 1313 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. in West Ashley at 5 a.m. Friday. The former Bojangles’ restaurant site includes a drive-through window.

Downtown Charleston will soon see a new shop. Lola and Bess plans to open a store at 17 State St. Aug. 1, according to shopkeeper Bess Lee. It will sell antique and new furniture, as well as home gift and design items. The shop also will provide interior design services.

The sporting goods market shows no signs of slowing down in Greater Charleston.

Fleet Feet, which has a store in Mount Pleasant, plans to open a shop at 117 E. Richardson Ave. in Summerville by late summer. Local shopkeepers Chris and Amy Minkel opened the Mount Pleasant location about two years ago, offering sporting gear and help for people who want to live healthier lives.

Charleston couple Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano, owners of startup Charleston Gourmet Burger Co., will appear at Sam’s Club at 4900 Centre Pointe Drive near Tanger Outlets in North Charleston Thursday through Sunday.

They will hand out burger samples. Their Gourmet Burger Marinade and Gourmet Burger Sauce will be for sale in the store.

Also, the couple’s company recently landed a nationwide distribution deal directly with Cost Plus World Market, which has a store in West Ashley across from Citadel Mall. Their gourmet burger products are now available in all store locations nationwide and online.

The couple also will appear on national television on The Food Network’s “Food Court Wars” at 10 a.m. July 9.

Americans are feeling more red, white and blue this year as they plan to increase spending for the Fourth of July holiday.

Independence Day spending will jump 4.5 percent this year to $6.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. The average household will spend $71.23, up from $68.16 in 2014.

About 48 million consumers will shop for decorations, apparel and other holiday-related items while 156 million will take part in a cookout, picnic or barbecue.

Greenville-based Spinx Co. convenience stores recently raised $90,000 during the company’s annual charity golf tournament in May. The proceeds were divided among five charities in South Carolina. The Lowcountry beneficiaries were American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas. Spinx operates 79 stores throughout the Palmetto State, including seven in the Greater Charleston area.

Do you know of a retail business that is opening, closing or expanding? Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524.