A proposed distillery is up for consideration by the town of Bluffton. Burnt Church Distillery would include a 20,000-square-foot tasting room across 2.8 acres. However, the land for the proposed distillery needs to be annexed into the town of Bluffton before the project could become a reality. Billy Watterson, the CEO of Patterson Brands, is the owner of Burnt Church Distillery; if approved, his new facility would feature craft whiskey, gin, vodka and moonshine made on-site.

At The French Bakery on Hilton Head Island, freshly baked, house-made, mouth-watering pastries, breads and desserts fill glass cases. Cinnamon rolls, chocolate-dipped madeleines and scones disappear in a flash. December is a busy month for the family-owned bakery, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Marek Belka, his son Tomazs and daughter-in-law Ellie work especially hard at the holidays, much to the delight of their customers. Marek recently brought Chef Robert Plantadis, a French baker and founder of Bluffton’s Midnight Baker, on board to help expand The French Bakery’s offerings — including the creation of more vegetarian items. 

Another Broken Egg, an upscale breakfast and lunch restaurant, is opening a new location in the Sea Turtle Market Place on Hilton Head Island. The new cafe will feature fresh, Southern-inspired breakfast, brunch and lunch items such as Lemon Blueberry Goat Cheese Pancakes, Crab Cakes & Fried Green Tomatoes and Chicken & Waffles. Another Broken Egg is one of the fastest-growing daytime-only concepts in the country, with more than 60 locations in 12 states. The Hilton Head restaurant will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

HHI Hospitality Group plans to open The Whiskey Room on Hilton Head Island in December. The Whiskey Room will be connected to Charbar Co., a restaurant in Park Plaza also owned by the group. The new whiskey spot will feature a retro-vibe and vintage feel and customers can lounge after dinner and listen to live entertainment.

Savory Cafe & Provisions celebrated its grand opening in October. The new restaurant on Fording Island Road in Bluffton features Old World French cuisine combined with the soul of the Lowcountry. Savory Cafe's menu includes classic dishes like Croque Monsieur, Shrimp Toast Cesar, Seafood Crepes and French Pommes Frites. For more information, go to www.savorycafesc.com.

Bluffton will host its first-ever Coffee and Chocolate Fest on Dec. 8 in Old Town. The outdoor event will bring together many of the region’s leading coffee roasters, specialty dessert-makers and chocolatiers. Eight local vendors will showcase their product lines and give out free samples and gift packages. Leslie Rohland, owner of The Cottage Cafe Bakery & Tea Room, The Juice Hive and May River Coffee Roasters, is coordinating the festival. Other vendors include Savannah Square Pops, Palmetto Sweets and The Corner Perk.

Thai Smile Cuisine has opened in the Bridge Center in Bluffton. The restaurant features authentic Thai cuisine including curries. While most dishes are spicy, the menu also includes a variety of mild items. Thai Smile Cuisine is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Nunzio Patruno, a popular New Jersey chef, is opening a new Italian restaurant on Hilton Head Island in the site of the former Reebok CrossFit Gym on New Orleans Road. The building currently is being renovated and the restaurant expects to open in March. Patruno has owned Nunzio Ristorante Rustico in New Jersey since 2003. His new restaurant will feature lighter fare like homemade pastas and seafood. The space will include a 1,300-square-foot kitchen, a large bar area, two outdoor areas and seating for up to 175 people.

WINES TO GIVE AS HOLIDAY GIFTS OR TAKE TO GATHERINGS

The holiday season is upon us, and whether you are gifting to your friends, family or office colleagues or enjoying other traditions that remind you it’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I want to share some tips that may come in handy as you select the perfect bottle of bubbly or other beverage to toast the holiday.

Hosting the holidays can be stressful, but with a beautiful table setting, good cheer and a few life hacks, you’ve got this!

Professional party planners live by a list, and using one will make your holiday celebration go more smoothly. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate.