New shops coming to downtown Charleston

Belk department store hasn't been in downtown Charleston since 1955, but it will return Saturday for a three-week run as part of the chain's 125th anniversary celebration.

Retail activity continues to hum in Charleston's historic district. A well-known merchant is returning briefly after more than a half-century, another is reopening, a third is moving from Mount Pleasant, and a fourth hopes to set up shop this summer.

First, Belk department store hasn't been in downtown Charleston since 1955, but it will return Saturday for a three-week run as part of the chain's 125th anniversary celebration.

Belk will open a temporary location called Belk @ 341 King at 10 a.m. Saturday, and it will be open through March 31, including during Charleston Fashion Week March 19-23, of which Belk is a sponsor, according to Susan McWatters, regional vice president.

It will feature designs by seven of the 15 winners in the chain's Southern Designer Showcase competition, including those of local designer Megan Masters, as well as a line designed for Belk by Cynthia Rowley, who has a shop at 178 King St.

Second, after a year's absence, Petticoats Restaurant will reopen in mid-March at 68 Queen St. No date has been set, but it will be open at 10 a.m. with pastries and free coffee, then serve a lunch buffet seven days a week with salads and soups from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner hours could follow.

Third, D'Wink Creative Jewelry & Expressional Sales recently closed in Mount Pleasant and will reopen the week of March 24 at 168-C Church St., according to owners Cheryl and Duane Branch. A grand opening is set for March 30.

Lastly, a new women's apparel, accessories and home decor shop will open later this year on King. C. Wonder, a brand of Christopher Burch's New York-based Burch Creative Capital, is eyeing an August opening. A spokeswoman did not give an address, but The Post and Courier has learned it is likely the space Puma vacated in December at 285 King, between Wentworth and Liberty streets. Burch is the ex-husband of noted designer Tory Burch.

On a related downtown note: Second Sunday on King is Sunday. Look for the street to be closed to vehicles 1-5 p.m. from Queen to Calhoun. Go to for free parking vouchers.

A James Island outdoor sports shop that suffered a fire in August will hold a grand opening 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday. Charleston Outdoor Adventures, at 1871 Bowens Island Road, offers kayak and paddleboard tours and focuses on environmental education.

Local inventor Rush Dixon's newest product, Chomp Stix, is being launched through Sunday at Coastal Cupboard in Mount Pleasant. Dixon, owner of Rush 3 Product Design Studio, created the utensil for children. It has a jointed end to make eating easier for kids and is available in shark, alligator and pelican designs. It can also be used as tongs. Dixon previously invented the Kebo, a one-handed bottle opener. The store is holding a daily raffle through Sunday to give away a set of three Chomp Stix.

Cru Catering has been named preferred outside caterer for events for Woodlands Mansion, an 18-bedroom Greek revival former inn on 11 acres at 125 Parsons Road in Summerville. It served as a resort and restaurant until it closed in September. The mansion, owned by businessman Tom Limehouse, now serves as an events venue. Cru Catering is an arm of Cru Cafe at 18 Pinckney St. in Charleston

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