By Becky Billingsley
Wednesday, August 29, 2012, Surfside Beach – The Charleston Café in Surfside Beach will be closed permanently after Saturday.
The restaurant was opened in 1989 by David Heckman and the building’s landlord, S.C. Representative Nelson Hardwick (R-Surfside Beach), and quickly became a locals’ favorite spot for casually romantic dining and live piano music. Heckman passed away in May 2008, and Hardwick leased the restaurant to Kathleen Locker, who operated Charleston Café for one season.
In May 2009 new operators Billy Cheezem and Anita Cheezem and their daughter, Brayer Surratt, reopened the landmark pink restaurant with Hardwick as their partner and landlord. The family also owned and operated the bar and grill at Marlin Quay Marina in Garden City Beach from 2003 until November 2011.
Tonight Brayer Surratt said in a telephone conversation that Charleston Café had an extremely busy winter and spring this year.
“It was exciting,” she said. “We were looking forward to a big summer and being able to put some money away.”
However, this summer business was inconsistent, and the decision was made to close the restaurant.
The Charleston Café will be open for lunch and dinner through Saturday, Sept. 1. It’s at 815 Surfside Dr. in Surfside Beach, and the number is (843) 238-2200.