Visit Your Neighborhood Corner Store: Burbage’s Grocery
Take a stroll down Broad Street to visit Burbage’s Grocery, your family-owned corner store cherished by Charlestonians for more than 70 years. Located at 157 Broad, the shop’s owners will welcome you by name, ask about your family, and share the neighborhood goings-on with you.
Established in 1948 by Robert Burbage, the grocery is reminiscent of an era when grocery shopping was more than just picking up eggs, but a chance to catch up with your neighbors and shop local goods. Robert knew each of his customers by name and even delivered groceries to neighbors’ doorsteps with the extra home keys he kept in a cigar box.
The Burbage family served five generations worth of Charlestonian customers who appreciated the grocery store’s charm and knew the owners like family. In 2014, Al Burbage, Robert’s son, knew it was time to retire after 26 years of running the shop, and he was determined to give the shop over to good hands. That’s when he met George and Lisa Bowen. The Bowens were eager to continue the Burbage’s legacy by serving the community with the same spirit of family feel. They loved the vintage corner store’s shopping experience and kept the traditions alive.
Today, Burbage’s Grocery is still just as much of a neighborhood treasure as it was in 1948. Visitors can stop by for a warm welcome and pick up grocery items like fresh-made soup, Bertolini’s pastas, local produce, and easy dinners to-go.
One of the best parts of the store is the Burbage’s chili, Brunswick stew, and potato vichyssoise passed down through the family. Al still resides above the store and comes downstairs to help the Bowens prepare the family recipe sausage every week. You’ll want to stop by and try it for yourself!
Next time you visit the corner store, you’ll find a portrait of the late Robert Burbage, painted by local artist Ezell-Gilson, who grew up visiting Burbage’s grocery store. She knew that the store should have something to commemorate him. This fall, Ezell-Gilson permanently loaned the piece of art to the store in a small ceremony with the Burbages and Bowens honoring the store’s founder.
This portrait is a reminder of the store’s history and the memories many locals have of getting to know Robert and his family. The community holds on to Burbage’s Grocery as a one-of-a-kind gem in Charleston. It’s destined to flourish with the help of its supportive community. If you haven’t experienced it already, make your next grocery trip to this corner store and say hello to the Bowens who will be more than happy to get to know a new neighbor.