Blackstone’s Café opened in 1991, and has been a favorite of the breakfast and lunch crowd in Downtown Beaufort ever since. A well-known tradition at the restaurant, the staff and patrons recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at 8 a.m. Photos by Delayna Earley/The Island News

Blackstone’s Café gets a new owner


By Delayna Earley
The Island News


Blackstone’s Café has a new owner.

Jake Higgins has purchased the iconic restaurant from owners Lou and Annamaria Gaudio.

Higgins, who owns several businesses in Beaufort including the Highway 21 Drive-In, wanted to buy this business to help preserve the heritage of the historic restaurant and others like it in the area.

BY DELAYNA EARLEY Jake Higgins stands for a portrait in front of Blackstone’s Café in Downtown Beaufort on Feb. 7, 2023. Higgins recently purchased the more than 30-year-old restaurant from previous owners Lou and Annamaria Gaudio.

Blackstone’s Café was originally opened in 1991 by Roger Blackstone Alley. Higgins will be the third owner of the restaurant in the more than 30 years that it has been open.

Alley began a tradition of asking the patrons and staff to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at 8 a.m., which is one part of Blackstone’s Café’s heritage that Higgins plans to keep.

“So much of Beaufort keeps changing as they build new restaurants and stores, but we also need to protect what is already here,” Higgins said, “This is Beaufort’s heritage.”

Blackstone’s Café is currently open for breakfast and lunch.

Delayna Earley lives in Beaufort with her husband, two children and Jack Russell. She spent six years  as a videographer and photographer for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette before leaving the Lowcountry in 2018. After freelancing in Myrtle Beach and Virginia, she joined The Island News when she moved back to Beaufort in 2022. She can be reached at delayna.theislandnews@gmail.com

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