To the uninitiated, the oyster joint on Bowen’s Island was a curiosity of sorts—an aging pile of cinder blocks and boards held up by layers of graffiti, with bivalves being cooked inside on some sacrificial altar. To legions of loyal customers, the place could hardly be called a restaurant. The island became a state of mind.
In 2006, the year that Bowen's Island Restaurant celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, Robert Barber accepted a James Beard Award, honoring the place as an American Classic. Five months later, the restaurant that his late grandmother, May Bowen, started burned to the ground. What remained were but stories of greatness. Today, fresh oysters are being brought in from the marshes, new walls are ready to receive their marks, and new memories are being made. Will you be a part of the history of Bowens Island? Check out the restaurant for dinner from 5pm to 9:30pm Tuesday through Saturday nights, or look into booking Bowens Island for a private party today. In any case, it's not worth missing if you're a Charleston local or even better, an adventurous tourist.