The Clawson's Story

Welcome to Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant on the waterfront in Historic Beaufort, North Carolina.    Our building was home originally to a grocery store and enjoys a rich historical past. The original Clawson's grocery was owned by Charles and Mary Clawson who were immigrants from Sweden and Ireland, respectively.

It's first location was on the south (water) side of Front St. and its bakery was located behind our current building where Backstreet Pub is located. The Clawson’s used the original store from 1905 until it's destruction in 1910 by a hurricane. In 1910-12 the current home to Clawson's was re-established and served as a grocery store and bakery for the residents of Beaufort and Down East communities. It was described as the "finest and most modern building in the area." In the building that we use today, Mr. Clawson sold canned goods, fresh produce from local farmers and fresh baked goods from "The Bakery" which is the oldest  brick building in Beaufort dating back at least to 1880.  The fireplace served as the oven where breads, cakes, and cookies were baked. The reputation of these baked goods grew throughout Carteret County and perhaps along the East Coast, as sales to yacht crews that navigated the Intracoastal Waterway increased. Local delivery was available to town residents in the form of a carriage drawn by horses known by such names as "June Bug" and "Dragonfly". Goods were also sent by mailboat to the Down East communities. Clawson's Grocery & Bakery's business prospered for many years until The Great Depression of 1929 hit the United States.  Charles Clawson continued paying his creditors but his customers could not pay their debts to him. This forced the closing of Clawson's Grocery & Bakery in 1934.

Clawson's grocery was purchased shortly thereafter and served as home to several businesses including a hat shop (there is a picture of it in the stairwell), a dress shop, a children's clothing shop, and a piece goods shop. It was bought and renovated into a restaurant in 1977 by Candy and Bill Rogers. The Rogers chose to use the namesake of it's original owners as the restaurant name. In 1985 Fred and Joyce McCune purchased the building neighboring and Fishtowne Alley shops in the old P. H. Rose 5 and Dime store. In 1989 Joey McClure became a partner and general manager of the restaurant. The current owners have tried to emphasize and preserve the history of the building by displaying memorabilia from the grocery store and Beaufort's past. Pictures of the building as a grocery store from the 1920's line the stairwell, along with copies of The Beaufort News. Walls and shelves are filled with baskets, crates, and tins just to describe a few of the era decorations. Renovations were made to the restaurant in the winter of 1989/90 when the patio dining room was added and the kitchen was greatly enlarged to serve the growing clientele more efficiently. Welcome to Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant. This building was home to a grocery store and enjoys ach historical past. The original Clawson's

In 1996, The restaurant was expanded to include the Fishtowne Alley shops where the current entrance, Fishtowne Java and the Pub are located. This building also has its own bit of history as it was originally a P.H. Rose store built in the 30’s. In Roses' flourishing times, it was connected to the next building which now houses Beaufort Marine Discount. In 1978, old 5 & 10’s were failing, and a fire in the front of the building sealed its fate. You can still see the fire damage over the entrance area on the large wooden beam that support the roof. After the fire, there were several boutique shops and a series of bars located in what was then called Fishtowne Alley, including Y'alls, Tobacco Rosies (“to back of Roses”), and Clawson's Bar between 1978 and 1986.

The expansion in 1996 allowed Clawson’s to add the Pub, which features an antique mahogoney back bar, Fishtowne Java and Ice Cream, the Emporium and additional areas to handle guests. The original wood flooring, painted in some shops, varnished or unvarnished in others, was relaid in a random pattern giving the entrance area a unique appearance. The third floor dining room was also renovated and an old window reopened to better see the views of the Beaufort waterfront and the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on Core Banks.

You're invited to come step back in Beaufort's past at Clawson's 1905 Restaurant and Pub and make a little history of your own.