For the love of Park Plaza

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR PUMPING NEW LIFE INTO ONCE POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT.

Nick Bergelt remembers the fun he had in Park Plaza while growing up on Hilton Head over a decade ago. Establishments like Monkey Business and Electric Piano made the spot the island’s de facto entertainment district. But over the years, the plaza faded from its popular days. Buildings went dark; tenants came and went. One thing that didn’t change, however, was Bergelt’s love of the plaza and the vision he had to return Park Plaza to it’s former glory.

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Rooted in the Lowcountry

FARM IN BLUFFTON HAS CAREFULLY NURTURED A REMARKABLE NEW DINING EXPERIENCE.

It may be hard to believe now, but prevailing belief once held that you couldn’t make gourmet cuisine work in Bluffton. It was, after all, a working-class river town. If you weren’t steaming oysters or smoking a hog, you were overthinking it.

But over time, Bluffton woke up to the endless culinary possibilities beyond its traditional staples. And thus began the epicurean renaissance currently elevating Bluffton’s foodie scene.

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A passion for cooking

APPEARANCE ON ‘CHOPPED JUNIOR’ AN EXHILARATING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUNG BLUFFTON CHEF

Aiden McCarthy didn’t want to be a firefighter or policeman or superhero for Halloween when he was 2. He wanted to be a chef. It was a precursor to the passion that would land him on an episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” 10 years later. 

“He was just in it from the beginning,” said his mother, Leah McCarthy, of Aiden’s passion for cooking. She and her husband, Ryan, own the Downtown Deli in Old Town Bluffton, a catering company and a food truck. “He has always shown interest from a young age. He’d always ask, ‘Can I help? Can I stir? Can I measure?’ He just wanted to do everything, and was always, always, always in the kitchen wanting to help.” 

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FACES BEHIND THE FOOD SCENE: Margaret Pearman

margaretWINE DIRECTOR AND MANAGER,
CHARLIE'S L'ETOILE VERTE

Q: Your restaurant has been serving locals and tourists for 35 years. What role has it played in your life? 

A: My relationship with our family restaurant has definitely been one of both love and hate. Since I can remember, I have been working in the restaurant. The restaurant has provided me with many experiences through travel, which have given me a broader perspective of the world. More than anything, working in a restaurant is quite humbling, and teaches you a lot about human nature. Lastly, it has provided me with a strong work ethic. The show must go on is not just for theater.

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