June 2020

21 Faces of Lowcountry Hospitality: Frank Gatson

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

Frank Gatson
Palmetto Dunes General Store

On the day we visited Frank Gaston for this shoot, on the corner where the General Store, Alexander’s Restaurant and Pickleball meet in Palmetto Dunes, it was busier than Grand Central Station in December. “It’s so nice to see people,” Gaston said. “It’s been a long January.”

Originally from Columbia, S.C., Gaston moved to Hilton Head Island almost 40 years ago. He and his wife purchased the Palmetto Dunes General store in 1991, and he has been playing host to hordes of island visitors ever since. When he’s not serving up the best fried chicken on Hilton Head Island (seriously … have you tried the fried chicken here?!) or chatting up his customers, you can find Frank doing all the things our visitors come here to do: boating, biking, walking or just relaxing by the fire pit and watching the sunset.

What do you love most about living here?
I love being outdoors. You just can’t beat the beach.

What is the most frequently asked question you get from our visitors, and what is your answer?
Most of them ask where a good seafood restaurant is, and one of our favorites is right across the street here at Alexander’s. I’ve never had a bad meal over there, and Chef Sean always puts on a good show.

Favorite annual event or festival?
The Heritage Golf Tournament. We love it down there. It’s a great time of year—everyone is happy, and the weather is good. The course is always perfect … definitely the RBC Heritage Golf tournament.

Unofficial Poll: Where do most of our visitor’s hail from?
I’m gonna have to say Ohio.

  1. I have seen Frank in the store since we have been visiting HH since 1991. We come every summer for 2 weeks and enjoy golfing, going to the beach and of course the fried chicken.

    — Fred Metzig    Jun 11, 09:07 am   

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