HUDSON’S ON THE DOCKS: FROM A HILTON HEAD ISLAND TRADITION TO THE BEST SEAFOOD ON HILTON HEAD
The original oyster factory was built in 1912 as a seafood processing plant. Hudson’s has been a family-owned business since the 1920s, primarily as a seafood processing plant. Owned and named by the venerable J. B. Hudson, Sr., thousands of oysters were processed at this facility. These oysters were brought in by oar-powered boats known as Bateaux, shucked at Hudson’s, then sent by barge to the Northeast. The discarded shells were dispersed creating the very peninsula and foundation on which the restaurant currently stands. Hudson’s is literally a business built on oysters!
J.B. Hudson, Sr. started a thriving family business that became a local landmark, a Hilton Head tradition and the best seafood on Hilton Head. This tradition started in the dining room aptly named The Oyster Factory, which is located in the rear of the restaurant. In 1953 his son J.B. Hudson, Jr. added fresh locally caught shrimp to the operation, and in 1967, the operation grew to 95 seats. In 1975, Brian and Gloria Carmines—transplants from Long Island, NY via Atlanta, GA—purchased Hudson’s, and a new family tradition began. Brian worked the first six months as a chef while the rest of the family cleared tables, took orders, and served the best local seafood in Hilton Head and the Lowcountry. Today, Hudson’s restaurant seats over 345 people and serves the best seafood on Hilton Head Island to more than 1,000 guests on a typical summer night.
Much of our seafood originates from the local waters that surround our famous docks. We are committed to purchasing fresh seafood and fish from local fishermen and serving it to our guests – over 3,000 gallons of oysters and 70,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed annually. Over 450,000 raw oysters are shucked fresh on the premises. We farm our very own local oysters and cultivate fresh soft-shell crabs. Our family of chefs, managers, and restaurant staff welcome your family to have a great local experience.
SHELL RING OYSTER COMPANY (RESPONSIBLE PERFECTION)
In keeping with Hudson’s tradition of only the freshest seafood, Andrew Carmines established the Shell Ring Oyster Company in 2013. Shell Ring is a sustainable oyster farm in Port Royal Sound. If you are a fan of bivalves, you will, without a doubt, appreciate the fruits of our labor. These oysters are often harvested, shucked, and eaten in the same day—absolutely the freshest oysters anywhere in the world.
BRIAN CARMINES SOUGHT AS PUPPYNAPPER
Many years ago, there was a rumor that a restaurant in Calabash, North Carolina was home to the finest hushpuppies. This rumor caught the attention of Brian Carmines, owner extraordinaire of Hudson’s. One winter day, Brian and his father traveled to this small coastal town in hopes of verifying and obtaining such a famous hushpuppy recipe. Brian brought some bottles of fine whiskey and traded them for a few recipes. Although the consumption of whiskey could not be confirmed, Hudsons owns the most famous trademark known on the island. This light, round, oniony cornbread doesn’t need any dipping sauce, as it could easily hold its own. The story surrounding the field research is true, and our hushpuppies are indeed “habit-forming.”