A New Egret is Tooting in Town

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

April 28, 2011

Employees of Fiori and The Bistro at The Tooting Egret, Matthew Pieper, Alison Klinakis, General Manager Chapman Parker, Robert Smalls and Miles Dean

Three new businesses opened at the Old Firehouse on the corner of Craven and Scott Streets. At a soft opening on Friday, tourists and locals were eager to see the interior of the unique building, renovated and designed by Annie Ballance, proprietor of The Tooting Egret, The Bistro at The Tooting Egret and Fiori.

The building houses original artwork and a variety of spectacular retail items, an eatery that currently serves both breakfast and lunch and a full-service florist.

CJ Kirk and Tricia Snoke are the first to dine at The Bistro at The Tooting Egret

Annie Ballance, a local Interior Designer, has lived in Beaufort for 8 years. She, like many of us in town, has dreamed of the Old Firehouse reopening. It’s a structure like no other (well, with the exception of Michael Rainey Antiques); and it’s a delight that Ballance has integrated a trio of creative businesses to dwell in the historic building, which will all be supervised by General Manager, Chapman Parker. Additionally, Susan Nebelung is the Administrative Director.

The Tooting Egret will be selling an assortment of sought after decorative and apparel pieces. You’ll find candles, rugs, furniture, coffee table books, baby clothes, rain boots and accent items for every room in your home. Teresa Sanfield, Brittany Zip and Kendra Cline will be happy to help you as retail specialists for the store.

The Bistro at The Tooting Egret serves breakfast and lunch, but will eventually include dinner.  I ate there on Friday and was quite pleased with the service, food and overall experience.  Look for a special Lunch Bunch article to come soon, which will feature many of their eclectic menu items.  Executive Chef at The Bistro is Miles Dean, the former Sous Chef at Bateaux Restaurant.  Employees, Matthew Pieper and Robert Smalls will be sure to take care of your palate needs as well.

Alison Klinakis, Exclusive Floral Designer for Fiori

And Fiori (Italian for “Flowers”) is a full-service florist, which will provide unusual orchids, creative arrangements with cut flowers and easy-to maintain potted plants. Fiori will be delivering soon as well. Exclusive Floral Designer, Alison Klinakis, has years of experience in innovative creations and is ecstatic to bring her ingenuity to Downtown Beaufort.

Personally, I am very excited that a store, worthy of tourist traffic and local verve, opened within the Old Firehouse. We were all hoping for something just like The Tooting Egret, and I think we’ll all be thankful for the concept and its potential longevity at this location. The vibe at The Tooting Egret and Fiori is certainly contagious.

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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