Report: Popular IOP restaurant unsafe, future now uncertain

Local News
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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – A new report obtained by Count on 2 shows a popular restaurant on the Isle of Palms is in bad shape.

The City of Isle of Palms hired Hill Construction to assess the city-owned property occupied by Morgan Creek Grill.

Inspectors note deferred maintenance and happenstance modifications have created an unsafe environment.

Hill Construction also noted the best option, considering all the code violations and safety issues, is to tear down the building. Renovating it would cost $2,592,500.  Building a new structure would cost between $2,484,000 and $4,308,198.

The restaurant seats 377 people.


Inspectors noted many constructed elements did not follow common construction practices.

The report notes “serious degradation of the structural floor system” supporting the walk-in refrigerator and freezer in the kitchen.  “There are areas where the floor joists and the subfloor have completely rotted away,” according to the report. “This situation requires the immediate attention of the City of Isle of Palms (as Owner), the Tenant, and the Building Official,” the report continued. 

“The City has taken proactive measures to address the immediate concerns identified by the building assessment report by securing confirmation from the tenant’s structural engineer that the floor below the walk-in freezer is structurally sound,” the Interim City Administrator, Desirée Fragoso, told News 2 Thursday. “The safety of our residents and visitors is the City’s utmost concern.”

The tented seating areas are also not safe and wouldn’t hold up in a high winds.  According to the report, “it is believed that they do not meet many aspects of the current Code, or past versions of the Code, relative to wind and seismic resistance, impact glazing, and generally accepted construction practices.”

“It is difficult to describe the manner in which some additions and connections have been made, but it is easy to observe that many constructed elements did not follow common construction practices,” according to the report. 

“With regard to any additional concerns raised by this recent report, the City will take action to ensure they are addressed quickly and appropriately,” Fragoso told News 2.    

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