Clawson's Grocery & Bakery circa 1870

The original Clawson's Restaurant was a grocery store directly on the waterfront and was owned by Charles and Mary Clawson who were immigrants from Sweden and Ireland. Clawson’s claim to fame back in the late 1800’s was its bakery – in the building now occupied by the Backstreet Pub on Middle Lane. The Clawson family used the original grocery store until it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1910. In 1910-12 Clawson's was re-built on the north side of Front Street and was described as the "finest and most modern building in the area” - believed to be the oldest brick building in Beaufort.

In both stores, Mr. Clawson sold canned goods, fresh produce from local farmers and fresh baked goods from "The Bakery". The reputation of these baked goods grew throughout Carteret County and perhaps along the East Coast. Local delivery was available to town residents by horse drawn carriages known by such names as "June Bug" and "Dragonfly". Goods were also sent by mail boat (until the 1950’s) to the Down East communities. Clawson's Grocery & Bakery prospered until The Great Depression of 1929. Charles Clawson did pay his creditors but his customers could not pay their debts to him, forcing the closing of Clawson's Grocery & Bakery in 1934.

Clawson's grocery building then served as home to several businesses including a hat shop, a dress shop, a children's clothing shop, and a piece-goods shop. By the 1970’s it was unoccupied and was sold on the courthouse steps to pay creditors. It was bought and renovated into a restaurant in 1977 by Candy and Bill Rogers. The Rogers chose to use the namesake of its original owners as the restaurant name and operated the restaurant for seven years. In 1985 Fred and Joyce McCune purchased Clawson's Restaurant and the neighboring Fishtowne Alley shops in the old P.H. Rose 5 & Dime Store.