It’s been a continuous problem and a major issue throughout the Lowcountry. Workforce housing has become a hot topic in Bluffton and Hilton Head. But one local restaurant believes they’ve got the answer for it, by building something themselves.
It’s Greek to Me sits next to Coligny Plaza and down the street from Coligny Beach.
The owners say they have good help now, but they’ve felt the pinch in staff before.
“That’s on a daily basis,” owner Vasilios Maniotis says about his staff over the years. “Half hour, hour late. Our staff gets stuck in traffic a lot.”
“It’s always been a struggle,” said Barbara Maniotis. “We are pretty much 24/7 here.”
Because they’ve had to work so much, the couple has found a solution. Living as close as possible. Behind the restaurant itself.
“We wanted to live and work in the same place. We realized it’s not just for us but other people need housing too,” said Barbara.
So they now have plans to build themselves. The architecture plans show a shopping complex downstairs. Five apartments upstairs, as many as 3 bedrooms each, rented for affordable prices for their employees and others working on or near the beach.
“We are going to make a profit. how much is enough?” wonders Vasilios. “We have to keep the greed down. Right there.”
Greed which could have overtaken the couple. They say they’ve been offered millions for the spot by timeshare companies. But turned it down. The couple thinks this plan is much more important to them and for the island.
“I think its number one priority,” said Vasilios. “They keep on building all those expensive apartments and there are no people to serve those people. I mean how much is enough.”
“It hopefully will open the doors to do the same. you know if we get this started, then maybe the next guy can do it. Others around here and throughout the island,” said Barbara.
Vasilios and Barbara still have to get clearance from the Town and the local neighborhood association before they can start building.
That groundbreaking could come as early as the beginning of 2019 and those apartments available for rent by the end of the same year.