HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — He was a partner in the largest restaurant ownership group based in the Lowcountry.

He was the ultimate businessman who knew every inch of his restaurants, from the napkins to the pizza, seafood and everything in between.

Steve Carb is being remembered for much more than food. The SERG Restaurant Group founder and partner passed away from cancer on Saturday.

While visiting Hilton Head on vacation in the 1980’s Carb decided he wanted to open a pizza place on the Island

“Dynamic entrepreneur. Businessman. Friend,” said SERG Group Partner Rob Jordan.

Those are just some of the ways Rob Jordan describes his business partner and friend Steve Carb. A man he met in 1995, changing both of their lives forever.

“Steve was the spearhead for the SERG restaurant group. He was always the visionary and the ideas guy,” Rob said.

The business was his idea. Coming from a restaurant success in the 1980s with his brother in California. He visited Hilton Head and said this would be a great place to open a pizza parlor.

That became Guiseppis. Now SERG is 16 restaurants deep, employing 1,400 people this summer alone. The business thrives even today.

“Business was always business but when it came down to it I have never had a better friend in my life than Steve,” said Tony Arcuri, Steve’s Friend, and SERG Group partner.

Arcuri was his fraternity brother in college and his business partner in life.

He said Steve was focused on making the restaurants better every day, not just for himself, but for his employees as well. He started a program allowing managers to buy into restaurants and giving employees the ability to not just survive but thrive as well.

“His legacy is that he molded so many people and has made them better and their lives better,” said Arcuri.

His imprint was seen on everything, growing SERG into the largest employer on Hilton Head Island.

Starting new concepts used today. Starting careers, creating an empire that taught the island how to be tourist friendly. Making it a culinary and family destination, and making a difference for everyone that worked or lived there.

“He just left such an impression on me let alone the restaurant industry and tourism business of Hilton Head,” says Jordan. “It is a legacy that will never be matched in my opinion.”

Q: “What is life like after Steve Carb?”
A: “It will be different,” Jordan said with a smile. “It won’t be as dynamic. It won’t be as much fun. There was only one Steve Carb. They broke the mold when he came on this earth.”

Steve passed away Saturday. His service will be held at Congregation Beth Yam on Thursday.

Instead of flowers, he is asking for donations to the Hilton Head Humane Association, the Association for Frontotemporal Disassociation, which helps dementia patients, and Hospice of the Lowcountry.

Steve Carb was 63 years old.