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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

A new milestone in Spartanburg's dining scene: The Beacon will now be open on SUNDAYS.

Before you post a snide comment about this news, try first to be honest:

  1. The dining options on Sunday are pretty limited.
  2. Tourists driving through town might prefer something other than chain food.
  3. The Beacon, after all, is a destination.

No, The Beacon IS NOT fine dining. Yes, it's greasy. Yes, fried foods are not good for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was in Myokos sushi joint last night and it was slam packed! This place has really got a cult following. While there I was talking to a buddy of mine that works downtown and he said that he heard that an Argentinian restaurant is going to go in the old Brosserie Ecosse. I am amazed somone is willing to try another upscale place in that spot as I can't imagine that type of restaurant being casual.

In my opinion, Spartanburg is not going to support upscale dining the way Greenville does. Without much white collar business downtown (especially with ESH leaving), I just don't see the support for it. According to an inside source, ESH execs almost always entertained guests at the Piedmont Club due to lack of quality restaurants in the area. Think about that for a second. If you're white collar and have business guests in town, where are you going to take them for dinner if they are staying at the Marriot?

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Well, I feel like it's sort of a Catch-22, chicken-and-egg problem. No one is opening decent upscale restaurants downtown, so there's no support. But there's no support because there are no decent upscale restaurants downtown. Attracting more white-collar businesses to downtown (or the area in general) would help, but that's not the only thing. We also need to "get over the hump" or reach "critical mass" where enough restaurants open downtown to make it a destination for dining. We need to build that momentum. Right now the pattern is: one restaurant opens, one restaurant closes, ad infinitum.

Greenville's success comes from the sheer number of restaurants (as well as good quality), and they all feed off of one another. There's many types of cuisine, atmospheres, etc (something for everyone). Also, I think Greenville's restaurants are not successful because of the white-collar jobs downtown, but because downtown has become the place where prospective restaurants desire to locate and the dining destination for the people in the area (county-wide and beyond, not just those who live or work in or near downtown). Spartanburg should strive for something like that, but it will take a culture change (as it has in Greenville). Right now, the places people eat in Spartanburg are Olive Garden, Golden Corral, Red Lobster, etc. Of course, it comes back to having some decent upscale restaurants downtown...

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Well, I feel like it's sort of a Catch-22, chicken-and-egg problem. No one is opening decent upscale restaurants downtown, so there's no support. But there's no support because there are no decent upscale restaurants downtown. Attracting more white-collar businesses to downtown (or the area in general) would help, but that's not the only thing. We also need to "get over the hump" or reach "critical mass" where enough restaurants open downtown to make it a destination for dining. We need to build that momentum. Right now the pattern is: one restaurant opens, one restaurant closes, ad infinitum.

Greenville's success comes from the sheer number of restaurants (as well as good quality), and they all feed off of one another. There's many types of cuisine, atmospheres, etc (something for everyone). Also, I think Greenville's restaurants are not successful because of the white-collar jobs downtown, but because downtown has become the place where prospective restaurants desire to locate and the dining destination for the people in the area (county-wide and beyond, not just those who live or work in or near downtown). Spartanburg should strive for something like that, but it will take a culture change (as it has in Greenville). Right now, the places people eat in Spartanburg are Olive Garden, Golden Corral, Red Lobster, etc. Of course, it comes back to having some decent upscale restaurants downtown...

Man dude you are a stator of the obvious. We have been striving for that point since these boards were founded. The folks that eat at those troughs are on the west side and really they want no part of downtown.

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I was in Myokos sushi joint last night and it was slam packed! This place has really got a cult following. While there I was talking to a buddy of mine that works downtown and he said that he heard that an Argentinian restaurant is going to go in the old Brosserie Ecosse. I am amazed somone is willing to try another upscale place in that spot as I can't imagine that type of restaurant being casual.

In my opinion, Spartanburg is not going to support upscale dining the way Greenville does. Without much white collar business downtown (especially with ESH leaving), I just don't see the support for it. According to an inside source, ESH execs almost always entertained guests at the Piedmont Club due to lack of quality restaurants in the area. Think about that for a second. If you're white collar and have business guests in town, where are you going to take them for dinner if they are staying at the Marriot?

Is Myokos still smoking? I try to avoid places with smoking sections, and is one reason I love downtown Greenville. You do not have to pick and choose. The ESH guys probably went to the Piedmont Club to avoid guys that wear baseball caps, cuss, and smoke cigarettes in a relative nice restaurant. Not being a snob.........just like a positive casual dinning experience.

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Man dude you are a stator of the obvious. We have been striving for that point since these boards were founded. The folks that eat at those troughs are on the west side and really they want no part of downtown.

Thanks, bud. Your earlier post made it sound like downtown Spartanburg has no future as far as nice restaurants go. I don't think that's the case. Look at downtown Greer; if they can support several pretty nice restaurants downtown, so can we.

I understand you're always going to have suburbanites who prefer the chains. Obviously, Greenville has plenty of those people, too. But some of them have been "converted" and eat at downtown restaurants now. If you can attract even some of the people on the Westside (who are, generally, financially well-off) to come downtown, then you have a larger base of support.

Of course, we need people to open restaurants downtown. That's why the ESH guys went to the Piedmont Club: we basically have no nice restaurants downtown. I don't know why. I don't know what the City can do to help. We seem to have a dearth of entrepreneurs in Spartanburg (or the rents downtown are too high). I agree with the previous post that a smoking ban for downtown restaurants would probably help some more people feel more comfortable eating downtown.

On another note, I think Cribb's Kitchen is great new restaurant downtown, and it's always packed because it's in a hole-in-the-wall on Spring Street. I don't know what the owner's financial situation is, but it would be great if a restaurant like that could be in a larger building on Morgan Square (former Sandwich Factory building?) so it could be more visible and serve more people. I'm just throwing out some thoughts here.

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Thanks, bud. Your earlier post made it sound like downtown Spartanburg has no future as far as nice restaurants go. I don't think that's the case. Look at downtown Greer; if they can support several pretty nice restaurants downtown, so can we.

I understand you're always going to have suburbanites who prefer the chains. Obviously, Greenville has plenty of those people, too. But some of them have been "converted" and eat at downtown restaurants now. If you can attract even some of the people on the Westside (who are, generally, financially well-off) to come downtown, then you have a larger base of support.

Of course, we need people to open restaurants downtown. That's why the ESH guys went to the Piedmont Club: we basically have no nice restaurants downtown. I don't know why. I don't know what the City can do to help. We seem to have a dearth of entrepreneurs in Spartanburg (or the rents downtown are too high). I agree with the previous post that a smoking ban for downtown restaurants would probably help some more people feel more comfortable eating downtown.

On another note, I think Cribb's Kitchen is great new restaurant downtown, and it's always packed because it's in a hole-in-the-wall on Spring Street. I don't know what the owner's financial situation is, but it would be great if a restaurant like that could be in a larger building on Morgan Square (former Sandwich Factory building?) so it could be more visible and serve more people. I'm just throwing out some thoughts here.

Suburbanites like me will support downtown restaurants if the product is GOOD. If the product is average, forget it.

Take Cornbread and Caviar. I loved the concept (and the name) but the product was just okay. Nothing special.

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Thanks, bud. Your earlier post made it sound like downtown Spartanburg has no future as far as nice restaurants go. I don't think that's the case. Look at downtown Greer; if they can support several pretty nice restaurants downtown, so can we.

I understand you're always going to have suburbanites who prefer the chains. Obviously, Greenville has plenty of those people, too. But some of them have been "converted" and eat at downtown restaurants now. If you can attract even some of the people on the Westside (who are, generally, financially well-off) to come downtown, then you have a larger base of support.

Of course, we need people to open restaurants downtown. That's why the ESH guys went to the Piedmont Club: we basically have no nice restaurants downtown. I don't know why. I don't know what the City can do to help. We seem to have a dearth of entrepreneurs in Spartanburg (or the rents downtown are too high). I agree with the previous post that a smoking ban for downtown restaurants would probably help some more people feel more comfortable eating downtown.

On another note, I think Cribb's Kitchen is great new restaurant downtown, and it's always packed because it's in a hole-in-the-wall on Spring Street. I don't know what the owner's financial situation is, but it would be great if a restaurant like that could be in a larger building on Morgan Square (former Sandwich Factory building?) so it could be more visible and serve more people. I'm just throwing out some thoughts here.

Sorry dude, I didn't mean to take that out on you but I am clearly frustrated with the same old same old crap and antics that take place downtown due mainly to the insane rents that folks have to pay to be down there. There is still a select group of owners that don't even prefer to rent their buildings, they would prefer them to be empty

. Don't ask me why its just the way it is and one of the more maddening things about the "SC".

As for Cribbs, Billy Cribbs has already been asked numerous times to move to a bigger location (one is next to Turners Variety on Magnolia), but prefers to keep the sweet rent deal he has and just keep the current location packed.

Edited by Sparkleman
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I've heard that about the rent from numerous sources. Very frustrating indeed. I'm not sure how it ever makes more sense to let a building sit empty that to have someone paying rent, even if it is lower than what you want.

Its all about control. If there are no tenants or new owners, nothing changes and its business as usual 1950's- present style.

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What can be done about this? Does this happen in other (local) cities? What can the City do to get these buildings in the hands of people who actually want tenants, or at least encourage owners to rent out buildings (tax breaks, etc.)? This doesn't make any sense, and is probably the number one reason our downtown continues to struggle. Who are these building owners? Is there any way to get them "called out" in the media (give them some negative publicity) to encourage some change?

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Go to www.spartanburgcounty.org and put in the street address and see who owns the building. Then call them and ask some basic questions like: is the building availble for sale/lease, square footage, price per Sq. FT., can it be exhausted for a restaurant etc. and see for your self if they are willing to work with a potential leasee ot upfit etc.. Know first hand if the rumors are true or not. It would only take a little effort to verify these rumors and see for yourself if the rents are reasonable or not and let them know what you think.

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I tend to think you'd get no commented to death. These folks don't want to talk and much less comment to a newspaper why they don't want to help their own town. Remember all the crap Rome had to go through just to get open because other building owners down there didn't want a certain "element" around their buildings? Remember when "hot dog man" wanted to open a stand and everyone down there screamed no? Remember when the first owners of Wild Wing had to overpay to get a piece of crap building and then pay out the wazoo to renovate it (no wonder they shut down as the debt load must have been hell).

It really is a miracle we have what we have. I still don't understand how C Edwards and Delaneys stay open but they must have a loyal following.

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Some of these owners are paying 1-3k a year in property taxes on old buildings. When a "sandwich shop" comes along and offers 2k/ month for rent it sounds good. When the building is upfit to accomodate the "sandwich shop" the property taxes are suddenly reassessed to 12k/year. So the first 5 months of income from the rent go to pay property tax increase, the next months rent pays the insurance and the next months rent goes to pay for upkeep. The owner ends up with an income that he can pocket and pay income taxes on of 10k per year. If the tenant closes shop the taxes will still be there to pay, now the owner is in worse shape than before having a tenant at all. I can see the other side in these cases. This has been the downfall to some owners wanting to do the right thing. What they don't seem to understand is that when more and more buildings are occupied it will eventually make the demand grow to where they don't have to worry about a tenant leaving them high and dry with a huge property tax bill to pay. New ventures will fill their buildings and continue a positive cash flow. Its not all what it seems sometimes. I'm sure building owners would want a vibrant downtown that would increase the value of their assets, make them more pridefull of their assets and make them more money.

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Some of these owners are paying 1-3k a year in property taxes on old buildings. When a "sandwich shop" comes along and offers 2k/ month for rent it sounds good. When the building is upfit to accomodate the "sandwich shop" the property taxes are suddenly reassessed to 12k/year. So the first 5 months of income from the rent go to pay property tax increase, the next months rent pays the insurance and the next months rent goes to pay for upkeep. The owner ends up with an income that he can pocket and pay income taxes on of 10k per year. If the tenant closes shop the taxes will still be there to pay, now the owner is in worse shape than before having a tenant at all. I can see the other side in these cases. This has been the downfall to some owners wanting to do the right thing. What they don't seem to understand is that when more and more buildings are occupied it will eventually make the demand grow to where they don't have to worry about a tenant leaving them high and dry with a huge property tax bill to pay. New ventures will fill their buildings and continue a positive cash flow. Its not all what it seems sometimes. I'm sure building owners would want a vibrant downtown that would increase the value of their assets, make them more pridefull of their assets and make them more money.

Why don't they simply appeal their taxes? When I bought my house 4 years ago the taxes jumped, but then I appealed and won. Just because you might pay 30% more in price than the last person did is not excuse to have to pay taxes at that level. The folks at the tax office are actually very understanding if you have a good case and are prepared other than to just say "that increase is not fair".

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Attended Jazz on the Square this past Friday. Good family type crowd. After that had dinner at Lime Leaf for the first time. Good service, great food, non-smoking; plus the place was crowded. Then Sunday evening went to Brick Oven pizza for the first time since it was Sonny's. A little disappointed, calzone was just OK, and the wait staff was not overly friendly.

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Attended Jazz on the Square this past Friday. Good family type crowd. After that had dinner at Lime Leaf for the first time. Good service, great food, non-smoking; plus the place was crowded. Then Sunday evening went to Brick Oven pizza for the first time since it was Sonny's. A little disappointed, calzone was just OK, and the wait staff was not overly friendly.

You're about the 3rd person that says the food and service have slipped since it was Sonnys. I am not sure what is going on down there but they sure don't have that problem at Lime Leaf.

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I noticed that Namaste on E. Main looked empty the other afternoon when I drove by. Please tell me it hasn't closed! Spartanburg needs at least one good Indian restaurant, and I was always please with their product (before and after the name change).

It has reopened as Shaan Restaurant, apparently with the same owners as Handi Indian Restaurant in Greenville. The food was good - about the same as before.

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