When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in Bluffton, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.
If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:
With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.
While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.
Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dillâs vast experience in the auto insurance industry.
We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:
If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in Bluffton. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.
The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.
The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in Bluffton, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.
How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:
If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Bluffton, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.
If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.
After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.
All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Bluffton, follow these steps before doing anything else:
First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.
The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in Bluffton, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.
Personal injury cases in Bluffton are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.
One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in Bluffton, SC. At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.
Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in Bluffton, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.
At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of Bluffton's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:
Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow
Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.
Drunk driving accidents in Bluffton care result in horrible injuries, such as:
If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in Bluffton can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.
When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.
Fortunately, the lawyers at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.
If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in Bluffton, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.
We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:
Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.
We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in Bluffton. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.
Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,
They miss crucial road signs and information such as:
At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we represent injury victims in Bluffton who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in Bluffton, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.
At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in Bluffton and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.
We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.CONTACT US
For two years a surprising front-runner has emerged in the luxury real estate market: Buyers still want to be on the water but are choosing to settle along the rivers of South Carolina’s Lowcountry and the small inland communities built around them, a Realtor.com/Wall Street Journal ranking has found.Franklin Newell, an agent at the Broadhurst Group, a real es...
For two years a surprising front-runner has emerged in the luxury real estate market: Buyers still want to be on the water but are choosing to settle along the rivers of South Carolina’s Lowcountry and the small inland communities built around them, a Realtor.com/Wall Street Journal ranking has found.
Franklin Newell, an agent at the Broadhurst Group, a real estate firm on Hilton Head Island, S.C., said a combination of “great weather, low taxes and a beautiful natural setting” contributed to the area’s growth.
While Hilton Head and Charleston have long been sought-after South Carolina locales, smaller inland river towns like Bluffton and Beaufort are seeing a surge in homeownership, even surpassing cities like Tampa, Fla., and Nashville in popularity. With their sense of community and less-hectic lifestyle, these towns are attracting young families.
Palmetto Bluff, a luxury resort community in Bluffton, once was largely filled with retirees and second-home owners who found their way to the area through the five-star resort hotel on the property, the Montage Palmetto Bluff. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, families with young children were changing the demographics of Palmetto Bluff, but the pandemic accelerated that trend.
Mike Broadhurst of the Broadhurst Group attributed this change to work-from-home flexibility and people leaving high-tax states. (South Carolina ranks toward the middle of the 50 states in overall taxes.) He said that before the pandemic, he and Mr. Newell “had never sold a home to someone from California, and we’ve now sold half a dozen.”
Bryan Byrne, broker-in-charge for Palmetto Bluff Real Estate, said the community had always done well with residents from traditional cold weather locations like Detroit and Cleveland, as well as affluent northeast areas. “The surprise has been Florida,” he said, estimating 15 to 20 sales to families from Florida in the last two years.
Mr. Byrne said he also sees an exodus from high-tax states like California and New York to the area, including at Palmetto Bluff, where residents enjoy an array of amenities as part of their club experience. (The top tax bracket on income for South Carolina residents is 6.5 percent, while property taxes in Beaufort county, where Bluffton is located, average 0.45 percent.)
Palmetto Bluff has golf, of course, but it also features a conservancy on site with walking trails and hunting. The May River borders the property, and a newly constructed marina allows residents to store their boats and get out on the water, for fishing or water skiing.
Jeff and Michelle Solomon were visiting the resort for 10 years before they finally bought a vacation home in 2018. They were there at the onset of the pandemic and have never left. “We were talking to our friends and family in Michigan and up north in lockdown, and it was cold and nasty,” Michelle Solomon said. “They were stuck in their houses and here we are living our best life.”
The variety of outdoor activities available year-round, and the opportunity to be part of a community with young children — something their life in Michigan had lacked — made it easy for the Solomons to stay.
“We just flourished,” Ms. Solomon said. “In Michigan, we didn’t live in a neighborhood, and this was the first time that kids were knocking on our door at all hours of the day and night. Our daughter was outside from morning till night. No TV, no electronics. It was like this old-fashioned lifestyle.”
At Berkeley Hall, 25 minutes north by car, a similar narrative is developing. The community is situated on the Okatee River and, like Palmetto Bluff, is gated. Though more golf-centric, its club offers a number of other outdoor pursuits as well, like boating and fishing.
Alex Madeiros, director of sales and marketing for Berkeley Hall, said that, while there was a lot of interest in homes and relocation, “I think it’s the amenities and lifestyle that people are becoming most interested in.”
Those offerings were a factor in Lindsey and Chris DeSalvo’s decision to relocate from Western New York. They purchased land at Berkeley Hall and are waiting for their home to be built.
With one child in college and another finishing high school, the couple was looking for a location with an affordable cost of living and quality health care, according to Lindsey DeSalvo, a pharmacist. What appealed to them about the community was its proximity to Old Town Bluffton with its mix of entertainment and retail.
In both developments, club life is meant to offer residents a pace and ease of lifestyle, not to mention an instant community. All of this comes with a price tag, though. In addition to the cost of homes, which are averaging $697 per square foot at Palmetto Bluff, club membership fees are an added and required expense ($40,000 initially, then annual dues of $12,000; sporting, boating, club and golf fees are separate and optional). The membership fees, however, cover the amenities that many residents look for at luxury communities, like pools and spa facilities, as well as 24-hour security services.
At Berkeley Hall, which has an average home price of $463 per square foot, each homeowner is also a club member. At Palmetto Bluff, however, there is a menu of options that come with club membership. Homeowners can choose from additional golf, boating or shooting club memberships and may opt in for all, none or some.
Josh Bischoff, who works in financial services, and has lived in Palmetto Bluff since May 2019 but had a vacation home there since 2014, said the largest piece of the puzzle when he and his family made the move from New Jersey was finding a school for his children. He and his wife, Megan, send their children to school in Savannah, Ga., about 35 minutes away, to a school comparable to the one they had attended in New Jersey. He said he had seen firsthand the changing demographics of Palmetto Bluff from retirees to families like his, and they’ve benefited from a variety of programming the club offers, including summer camps.
Like other homeowners in both communities, he feels a sense of security and even nostalgia. “It kind of gives the kids the same experience a lot of us had growing up,” he said, “where you had a little more freedom and go hang out with your friends and be home for dinner, and where your parents kind of felt like every parent looks out for every kid.”
Mr. Bischoff said that, Covid aside, the hustle and bustle of living in the northeast increasingly made his family’s lifestyle more difficult. “The density of the place just kind of grinds on you after a while,” he said, and on each visit to the Lowcountry, “it became harder and harder to leave.”
He pointed out some trade-offs, though. “It’s a phenomenal community and phenomenal people, but there isn’t a decent Chinese restaurant in the area,” he joked. “But I’ll give up decent Chinese food for a much nicer climate, a real community to live in and the amenities Palmetto Bluff has.”
Have you ever had nitrogen ice cream?Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream is set to open its first South Carolina location later t...
Have you ever had nitrogen ice cream?
Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream is set to open its first South Carolina location later this year in Bluffton.
The made-to-order nitrogen ice cream shop will be opening its new establishment at 65 Towne Drive, Unit 65 in Belfair Towne Village II in Bluffton.
The current estimated opening date will be this fall.
The new locale will be owned and operated by Derek Cohen, the new franchisee and retiring Marine Corps veteran, who recently purchased the rights to develop new Chill-N locations in the Hilton Head area and Savannah, Georgia markets, according to recent release by Chill-N.
Cohen’s immediate plans are to open one location in each market for a total of two.
“As I was looking for an ice cream brand that could service the more than two million visitors that the Hilton Head area receives each year, I was immediately blown away by Chill-N and its level of technology. I believe that Chill-N is leading the way in which all ice cream shops will eventually operate, and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of a brand that is pioneering the future of one our country’s most beloved sweet treats,” said Cohen.
“I’m looking forward to introducing Chill-N to the Bluffton community and growing my portfolio even further in the years to come.”
The new Bluffton Chill-N location will feature the brand’s newest prototype, which includes a new nitrogen system that has allowed the brand to reduce its investment to open a store by 20%, increased production efficiency, and enhanced the customer experience, according to the release.
Cohen will reportedly hire approximately 15 new employees for his first Chill-N shop in Bluffton and has plans to open a second shop in Savannah in the future.
How does Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream work?
Customers will have the ability to choose a portion size, ice cream base and then a flavor. Ice cream bases include milk, yogurt, or alternative milk option such as coconut, almond or oat.
Next, guests may choose to add on premium toppings including candies, cookies, cereal, fresh fruit, sauces, nuts, and Cuban coffee.
Each scoop of ice cream is hand-crafted to order, and flash frozen instantly using liquid nitrogen at -320° Fahrenheit.
The new Bluffton Chill-N locale will be open within the next several months and will operate Monday through Sunday.
The most recent installment in The Post and Courier’s “Boom and Balance” series, on Bluffton’s discolored tap water, underscores two important points: It’s vital for local governments, including utilities, to make the necessary infrastructure investments to stay ahead of their population growth and ensure that existing residents don’t see their quality of life erode when new ones move in. And running water systems is a hard job.As reporter Michael Cuglietta makes clear, ...
The most recent installment in The Post and Courier’s “Boom and Balance” series, on Bluffton’s discolored tap water, underscores two important points: It’s vital for local governments, including utilities, to make the necessary infrastructure investments to stay ahead of their population growth and ensure that existing residents don’t see their quality of life erode when new ones move in. And running water systems is a hard job.
As reporter Michael Cuglietta makes clear, the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority is struggling with providing clear, appealing drinking water to the rapidly growing number of customers in its service area. Too often, full bathtubs look like muddy rivers, and glasses of tap water resemble whiskey. And while utility officials assure customers this yellow or yellow-brown water is safe to drink, people are understandably not happy about it. Even pricey water filters don’t help for very long. As one woman told Mr. Cuglietta: “Honestly, I wish we could move.”
The utility has 65,000 connections and an annual growth rate of about 5%, and its chief of plant operations admitted it has failed to stay ahead of the water demand. And while it has identified $52 million to double the treatment capacity of its Purrysburg Water Treatment Plant from 15 million to 30 million gallons per day, that project is still at least two years from completion. And even when completed, the authority’s total treatment capacity still will be 1 million gallons a day less than its peak demand day last year — an indication that it already should be working on plans for additional capacity.
It’s the oscillating demand that can cause the problem. During winter months, the utility needs only about 20 million gallons per day to meet demand, but that can rise to almost 35 million in the summer. Further spikes in demand during a day add to the challenge. A recent wave of discolored water apparently stemmed from fire hydrant testing, which released manganese and iron that had accumulated in the pipes. While the water pressure hasn’t dropped enough to demand boil-water advisories, that more hazardous scenario could occur if the utility doesn’t do more to plan for growth.
It should be noted that the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority is a relatively big player among South Carolina’s water providers, and therefore should have the financial means and experienced personnel to handle these challenges. Many other communities are served by smaller, less capable systems. The newspaper’s Uncovered series highlighted particular problems in the Clarendon County town of Summerton, where pumps broke down, safety equipment was removed, water tanks had sludge accumulate inside and weed killer and ant poison were scattered near wells — all potentially more concerning that the aesthetic issues Bluffton residents face when they turn on their taps.
About 1 of every 6 homes in the state relies on these smaller systems, which are far more likely to violate state or federal regulations designed to ensure safe drinking water. The Department of Health and Environmental Control has recommended consolidating these smaller water systems or folding them into nearby, regional systems, and we urge state and local officials to do what they can to make that happen. While South Carolina recently received both COVID relief and infrastructure funds to improve water service, the state should not invest in propping up tiny systems that are more likely to experience problems again once the benefit of any recent upgrade fades. State lawmakers should see to it that DHEC has all the carrots and sticks it needs to require consolidations of small systems.
As we’ve noted, contaminated water ultimately impacts even those who don’t drink it, through others’ health problems, higher taxes for Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance for state and local government employees and lost economic opportunity. Running a water system — like running an electrical utility — is hard work, requiring constant vigilance to meet evolving regulations, address fluctuating demand and ensure the safety and satisfaction of every customer. Our state’s regulatory approach should evolve to recognize those high stakes.
Old Town, a down-home upscale neighborhood in the South Carolina river town of Bluffton, is defined by i...
Old Town, a down-home upscale neighborhood in the South Carolina river town of Bluffton, is defined by its Southern hospitality and luxurious lifestyle.
“It’s the heartbeat of Beaufort County and what draws many people to the area,” said Dave Jarman, a broker with Corcoran HM Properties. “‘Charming’ is the first word that comes to mind. ‘Welcoming’ is a close second.”
He added that Old Town is so darn friendly that “it’s common for strangers to say ‘hello’ or ‘how are ya’ll doing?’ as they pass by.”
The atmosphere, according to Mary Vaux Bell, an agent with Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty, is “relaxed, chic and very down to earth.”
Old Town, which may be accessed via car or boat, is bounded by Bridge Street and the May River waterway on the south, Burnt Church Road on the east, May River Road on the north and Verdier Cove Road on the west.
Noting that properties in Old Town don’t come on the market very often, Ms. Vaux Bell said that riverfront or marsh-front single-family houses, which typically are on 0.75 of an acre to 2 acres, generally run $1.5 million to $2.5 million.
The inner streets of the community, whose houses are set on a quarter to a half acre, are also desirable places to live, she said, adding that they typically sell for around $1 million.
The houses in Old Town, which is in a National Register Historic District and a Preserve America Community, were originally built and used as summer residences and typically feature significant porch space as well as interior space. They date from the 1800s to the present, and generally are on lots starting at one-tenth of an acre.
The architectural styles and materials, which range from clapboard siding and brick to tabby, vary.
“While there are new homes, many of the older ones have been updated or restored for a relaxed and understated yet posh coastal-cottage aesthetic,” Ms. Vaux Bell said. “The homes in the inner streets are mostly new but custom designed to blend in with the Spanish moss, mature oaks and oyster-shell driveways.”
What Makes It Unique
Old Town’s location—Bluffton is only 30 minutes from Hilton Head Island and a couple of hours from Charleston, Jacksonville, Atlanta and Charlotte—makes it a premier place to live, Ms. Vaux Bell said.
She noted that in addition to the historic structures and welcoming atmosphere, Old Town basks in Bluffton’s numerous accolades: It made Travel + Leisure’s 2022 list of “8 Charming Small Towns in SC” and Southern Living’s 2019 list of “The South’s Best Small Towns.”
Mr. Jarman added that Old Town’s “true appreciation for historic elements and restrictions in place on commercial properties” makes it “a picturesque section of Bluffton.”
Its walkability, its boutiques and numerous social events, festivals and markets, he said, are other attractions.
Old Town sets the scene for many of the town’s activities and is a dining and shopping destination.
There are several restaurants in the community. They include The Bluffton Room, which serves classic American cuisine; the coffee shop Corner Perk Brunch Cafe & Coffee Roasters; FARM Bluffton, whose menu is new-American cuisine; The Pearl Kitchen & Bar, which offers coastal cuisine; Nectar Farm Kitchen, which prepares dishes with ingredients from the Lowcountry and the South; and Calhoun Street Tavern, which specializes in comfort food.
Old Town Dispensary, a tavern with pub grub, “is where residents head for some live music and refreshing drink,” Mr. Jarman said.
Palmetto Bluff, a gated community across the May River from Old Town that has the highest-priced properties in the area, includes a Montage Resort and several fine-dining establishments.
Other amenities at Palmetto Bluff include an award-winning golf course, a marina that offers water excursions, several pools, a spa and wellness center, a shooting club and a working farm with educational programs and events for children.
The Bluffton Oyster Co., which has been providing fresh-harvested seafood to the community since 1899, is the last hand-shucking house in the state. In addition to the market, it has an eat-in restaurant.
Heyward House, a historic museum built in 1841, doubles as the town’s official welcome center, offering tours.
In addition to a weekly farmer’s market filled with local vendors, Bluffton hosts more than 30 festivals and events annually.
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Mr. Jarman noted that in addition to water activities, Old Town is “an incredible place to walk. Shops and restaurants are all a short distance from your home.”
Residents have a choice of private schools. May River Montessori is a high school in the community.
In Bluffton and Hilton Head, there are several more schools. Christian Academy is a coed college preparatory Christian school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade; the coed Cross Schools enrolls students from 12 months through 12th grade; and St. Gregory the Great Catholic School is a coed middle school.
Who Lives There
The community, which traditionally attracted a slightly older crowd, has seen an influx of younger residents in recent years, Ms. Vaux Bell said, adding that there are celebrities and “a ton of major execs and sports players.”
The Montage resort is a celebrity magnet. Chris Pratt and his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, have spent time there, and Hailey and Justin Bieber held their wedding there, according to published reports. NASCAR driver Gus Dean and science writer Kitty Ferguson live in Bluffton, according to published reports.
Noting that prices in the Town of Bluffton have risen by 44.6% since 2018 and 25.4% since 2021, Ms. Vaux Bell said that the town’s market “has not slowed down. The inventory has waned a bit, but the demand is very much present.”
Even during the pandemic, the market flourished, she said, with “an influx of residents, mostly from the North, many of whom bought properties sight unseen.”
As far as Old Town Bluffton, “regardless of the market, there will always be a demand for these properties,” she said.
Mr. Jarman was also optimistic about the Bluffton and Old Town markets. Statistics for the town show that average cumulative days on market for houses that sold for over $1 million have dropped from 259 to 33 from 2018 to the end of 2022—a “shocking” decrease, he said.
He added that the pandemic has “forever changed” the market for the entire state as “the typical needs of buyers shifted. Cost of living is increasing in South Carolina, but it is still relatively low in comparison to other luxury neighborhoods on the coast.”
If you haven’t caught Bernard Bennett’s food truck, ?kàn, in Savannah or Bluffton, South Carolina, then you may not be familiar with the chef, but when he was named a 2023 James Beard Emerging Chef semifinalist, his name and his West African cuisine went to the top of many diners’ “...
If you haven’t caught Bernard Bennett’s food truck, ?kàn, in Savannah or Bluffton, South Carolina, then you may not be familiar with the chef, but when he was named a 2023 James Beard Emerging Chef semifinalist, his name and his West African cuisine went to the top of many diners’ “must-try” lists. Now, in April, Bennett will open his first restaurant with the same name as the truck, ?kàn, in Bluffton’s mixed-use development the Bridge Collective (71 Calhoun Street).
?kàn will focus on the foods and flavors that came to the Lowcountry through enslaved Africans forced into the fields and kitchens along the South Carolina coast. “I would describe the food at ?kàn as a journey,” says Bennett, “I think that what is known as African American cuisine, like the stereotypical fried chicken, grits, and collard greens, is not representative of us. It’s in our history, but our history is much more than that. The expressions on my dishes go back to West Africa, where many enslaved people came from, and take a trip through the Caribbean and onto America.”
A sample menu from ?kàn begins with starters like corn pudding with blue crab, okra roasted in harissa, and pumpkin seed dip with benne seed crackers. The bread selections contain Trinidadian bara with chutney, coco bread, roti, and cornbread with seasonal butter. There’s an entire section dedicated to rice, a crop that many enslaved Africans were forced to cultivate when they came to the Lowcountry; there’s jollof rice, coconut rice, Haitian djon djon rice, Sea Island peas and rice, and Carolina Gold rice. Entrees range from curried oxtails to peanut stew to duck and oyster gumbo.
Bennett says the bar will focus on classic cocktails with an emphasis on rum, which comes from the Caribbean influences on his menu. He wants the ?kàn experience to be upscale but approachable — no stuffy white tablecloths here.
There’s not another establishment like ?kàn in the Lowcountry (though there is a West African restaurant planned for Charleston in the spring), so Bennett hopes that visitors will seek him out in Bluffton. With the multitude of tourists from nearby Savannah, Hilton Head, and Charleston, he thinks it has the potential to become a destination restaurant.
“?kàn means ‘heart and soul’ in the Yoruba language, one of the first languages in West Africa,” says Bennett, “And being the heart and soul, I want to tell people that everything we do and all the food we present has love in it. We’re not doing anything to stir up any drama. I want to celebrate the heart and soul of the underrepresented people and their cuisines. I want West African and Caribbean cuisine to be recognized just as much as French and Italian. That’s my goal.”