Shem Creek eatery R.B.'s Seafood Restaurant has closed its doors, and the property at 97 Church St. has been sold to Geyer Capital Management LLC of Atlanta for $7 million. R.B.’s Seafood already had closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Geyer Capital Management has plans to renovate and upgrade the property before it reopens with a new tenant.
Long-time R.B’s Seafood owner Ronnie Boals said leaving the restaurant business after almost 60 years is bittersweet, but he’s ready to retire. Due to some health issues, Boals hasn’t been as active in the daily restaurant operations. Now, he’s looking forward to traveling and some volunteer work. Boals and his wife live in Mount Pleasant.
In 1979, Boals opened the original R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant on Shem Creek in an old fish shed. A fire destroyed the restaurant in 2002, but he rebuilt and reopened in September 2003. R.B.’s Seafood is an icon on Shem Creek, now known as a go-to spot for locals and tourists looking for waterfront dining.
Boals has been a fixture in Charleston’s food and beverage industry. At one point, he owned six restaurants in Mount Pleasant, on Johns Island, in downtown Charleston and in North Charleston. Over the years, Boals built other properties on Shem Creek. About 10 years ago, he got out of all his other business ventures, focusing his attention on R.B.’s Seafood.
He’s already missing the restaurant, but it was time for a change, he said.
“It’s been a great business," Boals said. "We had a lot of dedicated repeat customers. I’m going to miss seeing them come in and out.”
Charleston Commercial, which brokered the deal, recently developed another space in Mount Pleasant, 1223 Ben Sawyer Blvd. (Mulberry & King and Coastal Collective). The company is led by C. Kendrick and managing director Joshua Schaap.
“Ronnie has done so much for Mount Pleasant and the Shem Creek area," Kendrick said. "We are thrilled to find a buyer who appreciates this special area and is committed to adding value to our community. We are confident Geyer Capital will continue Ronnie’s legacy on Shem Creek.”