1635 On The Avenue
Created With Passion
Story By Julie Hales Photos By Paul Nurnberg
When Randy and Lorett Hayes moved to Beaufort to live out their retirement several years ago, Lorett just wasn’t ready for that. She has a passion, and her passion needed an outlet.
Lorett loves making people happy….and her favorite vehicle to bring happiness to others is a plate of food. Food, good food, is her passion.
“She can’t leave food alone,” says Randy, “She just wasn’t done.” And, that was the beginning of her restaurant, 1635 on the Avenue.
Opening a restaurant was not anything new to Lorett Hayes. The couple had owned three others in the upstate prior to their move to Beaufort.
They began with an old fashioned ice cream parlor, which later started serving lunch. With the addition of the lunch venue, it didn’t take long for Lorett to find her new love. She recalls, “That’s when I got the passion for what I do. We are all given a gift. My gift is food.”
The couple’s next adventure was a Bed and Breakfast which also housed a 65 seat dining room. Then, came another restaurant, which is where they decided to “retire” from.
“Retire” was just not something Lorett was ready to do! “I thought we were done with the restaurant business, but I could see it coming, here we go again,” Randy said. And again, they did it…or, the correct statement would be, she did it. He adds, “I am just an occasional handyman. This is her child and she has done such a great job raising it.”
1635 on the Avenue is approaching their three year mark, and still going strong. Lorett says, “We have locals and tourists who come in to eat, mostly locals. And, we have people who are still just finding us.”
“Our customer base is so broad. We have customers who come from Callawassie Island, Spring Island, St Helena and as far away as Fripp and Hilton Head. It is quite humbling. It is astounding that they drive that distance when there are other restaurants they can go to. Yet, they choose us. That’s pretty cool,” she adds.
What’s even cooler than that is these customers are sending new customers. They are talking about the quality of food and great service they received at 1635 on the Avenue. And, that’s why they are still growing, quality food, great service, excellent price points and consistently good….consistency is a must.
What will the sale of the port bring to 1635 on the Avenue? Randy says, “The sale will be great for Port Royal. When we were looking for property to buy for the restaurant, from a business stand point, we both felt Port Royal had the greatest potential. We knew it would change, by direction or fault, it had to with everything going on around it. We are delighted that the administration of Port Royal is on board to guide the town through growth.”
Lorett adds, “I am ecstatic about it. When there was a gas station on every corner, where did you go? You went to the place where the guy knew your name and gave you the best service. He took care of you, so you were faithful to him. It’s the same way with a restaurant or any other business. When there’s one, it’s just going to bring more people to you when there is two or three more down the street.”
It is very obvious that Lorett knows what her customers like. She is not just the owner, she is the chef. She has an excellent menu that has a great variety of starters, small plates, soups, salads and entrees. The customers have plenty to choose from. Her homemade Meatloaf is definitely a popular item, and the Ribeye Steak has been said to be the best steak in town. But, the most popular items on the menu are Shrimp and Grits and the Grouper.
Even though Lorett is in the kitchen making sure your dish is perfect before your server brings it out, she always finds time to come to your table and personally speak to you. She wants to make sure that her customers are happy and nobody leaves 1635 with an issue.
The menu does change periodically, and they always have a weekly special. 1635 on the Avenue is open four nights a week and there special is served all four nights.
1635 on the Avenue may be a small restaurant, but it’s definitely one with BIG taste. It is a place you can feel comfortable…from dressy attire to shorts and flip flops. It is a place you can linger after a good meal and enjoy a conversation with your family or friends. It is comfortable.
“I am just a girl with a passion. I love sharing the experience of 1635 on the Avenue with everyone, from our modest prices to our exceptional food quality. There is no greater joy to me than hearing a customer say that there meal was delicious,” states Lorett.
She adds, “We serve dinner Wednesday through Saturday and we are no longer open for lunch. We are not open on Sundays either. Reservations are appreciated, but not required.”
Call today for your reservation…experience southern comfort with a twist!