Fire Destroys The Boathouse on Ellis Creek Three Weeks After Successful Opening

James Island, SC -March 5, 2009- A fire burned through the newly opened Boathouse on Ellis Creek early this morning. Local fire departments were called to the scene at approximately 1:15 am to find the building in flames.

The combined efforts of the James Island Fire Department and the Charleston Fire Department could not save the building. There were no injuries in the fire.

The Boathouse on Ellis Creek opened three weeks earlier to brisk business that was showing increases week to week.

"We are all somewhat dazed by this turn of events," says Batt Humphreys, Communications Director for Crew Carolina, "We've been very excited since the opening. Customers were excited about both the new look of the restaurant and the new menu."

Crew Carolina is the managing company for the Boathouse at Breach Inlet, the Boathouse on Ellis Creek, Carolina's Restaurant, Carolina Catering and Simply Southern Products. The company entered an agreement to acquire the property at 1241 Harbor View Road in late 2008. The property was formerly Mimi's Restaurant. The new restaurant had 38 employees.

Crew Carolina began working on renovations in January to bring the feel of the Boathouse decor and flavors to James Island. Substantial interior work had been done bringing the nautical feel and rich wooden interior to Ellis Creek, similar to that of the sister restaurant at Breach Inlet. Finishing work on a deck side bar and seating was to be complete by this weekend.

"This weekend was what we were waiting for," says Humphreys, "The weather was suppose to be warmer and Food and Wine weekend was going to bring what we felt was the first real launch weekend of the season. Now we'll have to pause to see what we can rebuild from the ruins."