MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Longtime Charleston restaurateur Ronnie “RB” Boals, Jr. has died.

Boals, 79, was a staple in the restaurant community for more than 50 years. He opened his first restaurant at age 23. The Trawler, which opened in 1967 with its lighthouse standing tall above Shem Creek, was one of the first restaurants on what is now a Mount Pleasant hotspot.

Ronnie Boals stands outside The Trawler | Photo courtesy Wade Boals

Other restaurants soon followed like Lorelei, Ronnie’s, Cappy’s, Johnny’s Seafood Market, Josie Joe’s, The Noisy Oyster, and a one-time Shem Creek staple, RB’s Seafood.

Boals announced his retirement from the restaurant industry in April 2020 and sold RB’s. A stretch of road leading up to the restaurant was named Ronnie Boals Boulevard in his honor in 2016.

“Ronnie loved the restaurant business and people came from near and far to enjoy his restaurants,” his obituary read. “He expected the best from his employees and in return, he gave respect and loyalty to all.”

Boals was awarded the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association Lifetime Achievement Award in April 2013. He was also recognized and honored by the Town of Mount Pleasant as the longest continuously serving independent restaurant owner in the community.

A visitation is scheduled for Friday, November 10 at J Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.