Daufuskie Island will soon be welcoming a new eating establishment! The already successful Daufuskie Entertains catering business will be opening their new restaurant, Lucy Bell’s Cafe, in September 2016. Located at the corner of Benjies Point and School Roads, the cafe will offer breakfast and lunch, seven days a week.
Owners Rebecca Watts and Brad Klieve’s enthusiasm is evident as they discuss their new endeavor. “Our cafe and particularly our catering menu will feature a wide array of dishes, focusing primarily on farm to table ingredients. We plan to focus on fresh, local seafood, beef, poultry, appetizers and decadent desserts. Our offerings will include items as simple as a Southern fried chicken to more sophisticated delicacies such as lobster thermidor, tournedos oscar, herb roasted prime rib of beef and everything in between. If our customers prefer to order some of our local shrimp salad a la carte or our Southern herbed chicken salad, we can do that too.”
Klieve explains, “Rebecca focuses on her dessert specialties and salads while I concentrate on the main dishes. James Bays is our “can do guy.” He has been working with us for more than 10 years, primarily in management and front of the house operations and will be integrally involved in our operation doing a little bit of everything. We work incredibly well as a team and can accommodate all food restrictions, allergies, vegetarian, and gluten free diets.”
According to Klieve, “Lucy Bell’s building was once a licensed DHEC approved kitchen. It is currently being re-certified while we remodel, make major upgrades and bring in new, modern equipment. It will feature 20 indoor seats, outdoor seating under our Live Oak tree and we will accept takeout orders. WiFi and new restrooms will also be available to our guests.”
The restaurant is named for Rebecca Watts’ mother, Klieve’s grandmother. “She is the one who first showed my mother and then me around a kitchen.”
Daufuskie Entertains, the catering end of the business, will be based in the cafe, offering a full array of services from the simple drop off catering to providing full waitstaff/bartending services including on-site chefs. While the cafe itself will be casual, their operation will be capable of catering both informal and formal occasions, ranging from meals for 6 to weddings and parties for 300.
The duo has a long track record in the food industry. Klieve states, We have been in the food service industry for over 30 years. Rebecca helped start what is currently the largest catering operation in the midlands of SC while I began working at the largest steak & seafood operation in Columbia where I got my feet wet.” After moving to Hilton Head Island in the early 90’s and working at Cafe Europa in Harbour Town for 9 years, Klieve returned to Columbia where he and his mother started their own catering business. He explains, “During that time we accommodated dignitaries, governors, congress and senate members and celebrities.
Occasionally, we maintained a staff of 75 for special events with guest counts up to 2000. We are planning on staying smaller this time!”
The duo decided to return to the Lowcountry permanently about 5 years ago, but never found the right fit in terms of the quality of food they wanted to offer or presentation that met their expectations. This, coupled with the lack of employment opportunities on Daufuskie led them to believe that they were uniquely qualified to fill the niche.
Based on the enthusiastic response they have already received from locals, Watts and Klieve are sure their new business will be a hit. Daufuskie Rental Group owner, Deborah Smith states, “A number of guests have ordered dinners from Daufuskie Entertains, and all have given me rave reviews! I have used this service myself for special occasions, including two 5-star quality dinners and a particularly noteworthy heavy appetizer offering. Daufuskie Entertains is a fantastic addition to our island’s culinary scene!” Nancy Ludtke, Executive Director of the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation, also praised the duo’s work. “When we held the dedication of the Sarah Grant Carriage last spring, one of the highlights of the food presentations was the beautiful smoked salmon platter by Rebecca and Brad.”
Islanders Chase Allen and John Hill have teamed up to produce the cafe’s logo and Allen will be creating signage for the restaurant at his popular island gallery. Their website is currently under construction, but Watts and Klieve can be reached at Daufuskieentertains@gmail.com or (843)341-2141. Look for their grand opening announcement in upcoming Front Porch email blasts.