Hidden F&B: Hope Barber, Bowens Island

You may know the seafood restaurant but you may not know Hope. Allow us to introduce you.
This is a headshot for Sara Hope Barber outside at Bowens Island. She has long, straight brown hair and she's wearing a black shirt, black jacket and gold jewelry.


By Helen Mitternight


“Fried seafood is not optimal takeout,” says Hope Barber diplomatically.


You can count on getting local seafood at Bowens Island, but don’t expect delivery services anytime soon, even during COVID-19.


“Fried seafood is not optimal takeout,” says Hope Barber diplomatically.


She should know — Barber’s great-grandmother is the one who started the place 75 years ago.


Barber didn't set out to join the family restaurant known for its glorious sunsets, copious seafood and wild-harvested local oysters. No, this is actually her third career. Originally starting out as a lawyer, she then taught English to middle- and high schoolers in Summerville. And you may be thinking it was the the challenges of teaching that drove her to this 13-acre island — but she says those experiences actually gave her the management skills she needed to help run the restaurant.


Bowens remains a Lowcountry favorite for locals and tourists alike, with Barber at the helm. She is continuing the legacy and traditions that put it on the map and made it famous. Not as well-known as the restaurant itself, she opens up in the latest episode of Hidden F&B.Listen here.


Get to know her by tuning in, and stop by for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5-9:30 p.m.Bowens Island Restaurantis at 1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston, SC 29412.