James E. McGrew Jr., founder and owner of James McGrew Cabinetmakers, started his woodworking career in the late 70s after majoring in restaurant management and facility planning at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He designed his first restaurant, Oliver’s on Main Street when he was eighteen. From 1976 to 1979 he served aboard the USS Albany with some of the US finest sailors. The ship was in command of the US sixth fleet in Geata Italy he served on the !st lieutenants detail which was responsible for ships boats and many of the Honors dutys, this attention to detail taught him by BMC Kenneth Kersey would serve him well in his career to come. In addition Jim apprenticed at Base Nautica Flavio Giao, an Italian yacht yard in Gaeta, Italy. After years of crewing yachts abroad, Jim moved to the US Virgin Islands where he facilitated the planning and development of the Crown Bay Marina. He also designed, built, owned and operated the Shoreline Café located at the mouth of the marina overlooking the Caribbean.
After the completion and the subsequent sale of the Crown Bay Marina in 1985, Jim decided to move back to his hometown, Columbia to help with further development of the 5 points area. Jim founded Custom Restaurants and Taverns, a company which helped in interior facility planning. Custom Restaurants and Taverns specialized in fabricating furniture and bars specifically for service industry operations. Over the next seven years, Custom Restaurants and Taverns built facilities all over the Carolinas in cities such as Columbia, Charleston, Savannah, Charlotte, Georgetown and even Washington, DC.
In 1995 McGrew Architectural Woodwork was founded. In the beginning years the company provided mostly contracting and installation services for commercial jobs all over the Midlands. McGrew Architectural Woodwork’s early portfolio includes fabricating and installation on jobs such as the Charleston Federal Courthouse, SC State History and Archives Center, Lexington County Library, McCloud Health and Fitness Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.
In 2008 McGrew Architectural Woodwork moved to their current home, a 21,000 sq ft shop, at 3527 Main St., Columbia. With a new building came a new focus specializing in Commercial Cabinetry and Millwork. A new name was also adopted James McGrew Cabinetmakers for a more traditional approach. This small operation is run by a group of hardworking, dedicated individuals who believe not only in themselves but the company and the product. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction in every aspect of what we do. We make customers dreams realities,