As traffic in Pawleys Island shifted eastward toward U.S. 17, Harry Marlow started Marlow’s Super Market. The business opened its doors in 1943 on land that had been part of True Blue Plantation. Harry’s son Frank took over the business in 1947. Frank was not only the owner, but the stocker of the shelves and supervisor of the wareroom. He was also the butcher and hand cut steaks and meat for his patrons. The establishment became a central part of island life, as it served as general store, grocery and a community meeting spot in one. When Frank decided to retire and close Marlow’s in 1988, customers were left heartbroken.
But this story does have a happy ending. Salters McClary worked as a bag boy at Marlow’s during high school. After college, he told Frank he wanted to open a restaurant in Pawleys Island. Frank proposed his store as the perfect location. Salters purchased the building in 1988 and converted it into an upscale restaurant, which he named Frank’s as an homage to Marlow. Thus, one island institution was transformed into another. Frank’s Restaurant & Bar celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall.
“It is hard to realize that it was 30 years ago that we took over Marlow’s and converted it to a restaurant,” said Salters. “We could not have done it without the support of our local community and our patrons.” The top photo shows the property when it was Marlow’s Super Market, and the bottom is Frank’s at present day.
Photographs courtesy of the Georgetown County Digital Library and Frank’s