Island Vibes Jan 2024

Exchange Club appreciates and welcomes all the support from the community and looks forward to an amazing and fun afternoon/evening benefiting a fantastic cause. See you on March 9. n March 9, 2024, the IOP Exchange Club will be hosting their annual Bud and Cecily Stack Memorial Oyster Roast fundraiser on the scenic banks of Hamlin Creek. In addition to the delicious single select oysters, chili and hotdogs, guests can also enjoy live music and beautiful panoramic views of the water. The event will also feature an online silent auction including several local items donated by generous businesses in the IOP and Charleston area. Tickets will be available online at the IOP Exchange Club website iopex17 FOOD & BEV Restaurant Review The Refuge gets a makeover By Maurice J. Frazier IOP Exchange Club to host annual oyster roast March 9, 2-4 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. In Memory of Bud and Cecily Stack By Robbie Berg Photos Provided By f you are a Food Network fan or watch any restaurant-based shows then you may have heard of “Restaurant Impossible,” “Bar Rescue” or “Restaurant Redemption.” These shows focus on elevating struggling restaurants that need assistance and guidance. Now The Refuge didn’t go on TV, but the establishment did undergo a transformation like no other. Owner Patty Lamone and her staff rolled up their sleeves and changed their entire approach, starting with the décor, the vibe of the space and a menu overhaul. The Refuge opened back in 2017. During that time, there were three owners: Patty, her sister and a third-party patron. Unfortunately, their third owner passed away within a year of opening, leaving Patty and her sister to run the show. Working in a family-owned business can be stressful. Tensions can be high because operations are in play. Last year, Patty bought out her sister, making her the sole owner of The Refuge, and the restaurant is running how she envisioned it. “The space we created in here is totally different than where we started. I want the community to come back and give us another try. I had a bad rap for many years, and I have changed…The Refuge is here for the community,” stated Lamone. When you revisit The Refuge, you will see it feels different. This family-owned business has created a spot for the community to relax and unwind while eating some amazing food. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Refuge has provided its patrons with the opportunity to stop in and enjoy their delectable offerings regardless of the time of day. “Everything in here is brand new. From the light fixtures to new equipment in the kitchen, brand-new kitchen staff—and even the menu has changed. We kept some of the classics, but everything has changed,” explained Lamone. In this situation, the change was needed and it’s paying off. Lamone emphasized that some of the best sellers on the menu remain such as the fish and chips, the seared salmon entree and the crab cakes, but she has added other items that are well worth a try. Lamone’s creativity didn’t stop at the restaurant; they offer a coffee bar lounge area as well. The community-minded space was created for evening social gatherings where guests can entertain themselves. “I have so many ideas from poetry readings, bourbon tastings, to paint and sip. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any. I just want this space to provide a cool spot for the evenings so people can come and enjoy,” she said. The Refuge is part of IOP’s restaurant profile. Don’t let any past experience prevent you from returning to check out its fresh new take. The Refuge is back in an innovative way, serving up scrumptious dishes that will have you coming back for more. I O after mid-January. This year there will be two separate times: 2-4 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Your ticket grants you access to either of those event times. The club is returning to its original format of typical stand-up oyster tables for both times. If seating is needed, two to three tables will be available. Beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase. There is an incentive to buying your tickets early, so don’t wait if you want a price break! January: $50 per person February: $60 per person March: $70 per person This fundraiser benefits the Exchange Club’s Youth/Scholarship Programs of service committees. Each year, the money raised through this event is used to fund scholarships given to rising high school seniors. In 2023, $21,000 was awarded among 11 students. Dollars raised further serve Lowcountry youth through sports team sponsorships, Boy Scouts awards dinners, ecological tours and more. The IOP