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In my opinion the East Main diet should be extended to Saint John. The two incoming right lanes of 29 should be right turn only to Saint John and the single left lane should flow through to Pine. There will be some issues with street trees on Pine (from SCDOT). I have had problems with this in the past with streetscape projects. I would personally like to see all four corners of the Pine & E. Main intersection raized and started over. Kinkos could incorporate into a larger mixed us building and the hotels and money tree could just go away as far as I'm concerned. This area is in need of redevelopment bad and has enormous potential. Just think of the space we would have to work with to redo the intersection if all four corners were raized and new buildings were built with a setback from the street that would allow parking, large sidewalks, and pedestrian refuge on Pine. I have a overlay sketch I did of a concept that I will post later when I have more time.

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Top 2 floors of the old Kosch & Gray building have been painted.  Looks much better, but that whole side of the block (minus the Evins residence) is soooo bland.   Need more color!

Some major plans being refined and pursued right now. H-J parcel in particular. Should be a fun year.

I think an easy compromise would be a redesign to close dunbar, and set up that block of Main Street to allow for vehicular traffic - but not look like it. Have you seen the redesign of Main Street in

Posted Images

Well said. I think with East Main, we could probably work around SCDOT, since 29 follows St John. Pine Street would be difficult though, because I'm sure they will want to have their precious turn lanes there. I remember an article in the HJ that said SCDOT doesn't get urban streets very well, so trees, wide sidewalks, and street furniture are a difficult concept to them. That said, the SCDOT Ped/Bike Director who's name escapes me is regarded as one of the better ped/bike directors in the region. Its just getting that mentality across to the engineers thats proving to be difficult.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How about an "undevelopment" in the downtown of the "SC"? I was in C Edwards tonight watching the Davidson/Wisconsin basketball game. In addition to me and my 2 friends there were 5 others there. When we left there were 7 others and no additions in sight. When we went to the car, there was no one insight Church & Dunbar) and it was 9:30 pm. We thought, "where can we go next and have a couple of brews?"; the answer was home. We thought of going to Venus Pie but they were already putting chairs on tables (at 10:00 when we passed by). The "SC" is still either so young or raw or still the same its pathetic. I'm 43 and still feel like I am living in the same places and doing the same things. Is this "Groundhog Day" or what?

I love Spartanburg, but this is insane. Is Reverend Wilton running the town or Mayor Barnette? Its hard to tell sometimes...

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Delaney's and Wild Wings are always open. Nu Way is an option if you want a cultural experience. Mellow Mushroom is open until around midnight. About a month ago some friends and I tried to go to Rock Water Tavern but they were closing at 10pm on a friday and it was 9:50. We decided to go elsewhere.

But your post does make a good point in that we don't have enough places to go downtown that stay open late. You basically have two options if you want to stay on the square: Delaneys and Wild Wings. I an almost guarantee those places had a lot of activity. Every time I go there they are fairly crowded.

I think Sonny's stays open late too, but they are more restaurant and less bar. It is an option though.

In an appropriately timely article from the HJ, the renovations on Ezell Street from King Street to Daniel Morgan Ave are nearly complete. I originally thought that it was being redeveloped by the guy that owns Sonny's because I'm fairly confident that is what the HJ reported a few years back. However, that does not appear to be the case. The buildings there are owned by JM Smith Corp (the good folks who brought us QS/1). They are renovating the buildings essentially as a speculative buildings but designed for restaurants. The buildings that had been Java Jive and The Loading Dock had to have extensive renovations, and JM Smith partnered with the City to rebuild Ezell Street. Apparently there is at least one restaurant that is interested in the space.

The article also gives a good plug to the brick masons who did the work on the seating areas. ;)

This is appropriately timely because I have a few pictures of the renovations that I've been meaning to share. Its really looking great. I was under the impression that there were at least two restaurants interested in the space including either a jazz club or an oyster bar and a sports bar of some sort.

ezellstreet4.jpg

ezellstreet_renovation1.jpg

ezellstreet_renovation2.jpg

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Being 43, I am not going to drift into Wild Wing on a Friday at 10. Hell, I'd be the oldest one in there and I really have no business being in there. Delaneys and the Nu Way were options last night, but they are more of the same old, same old with the smoke at the Nu Way being a problem. It would have been nice to go to Abbys and sit outside, but thats kind of hard as they are closed down. Maybe I'm being too hard on the town, but it just seemed kind of dead last night. I know there are places to go around here but you have to pick your spots. It'd be nice if there were a few more bars within walking distance of the Square.

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Yeah they did. I've been trying to find some shots of what it used to look like. Here are the only two I've found so far:

IMG_0019_dec06_spa.jpg

SPA_ezellst04.jpg

Being 43, I am not going to drift into Wild Wing on a Friday at 10. Hell, I'd be the oldest one in there and I really have no business being in there. Delaneys and the Nu Way were options last night, but they are more of the same old, same old with the smoke at the Nu Way being a problem. It would have been nice to go to Abbys and sit outside, but thats kind of hard as they are closed down. Maybe I'm being too hard on the town, but it just seemed kind of dead last night. I know there are places to go around here but you have to pick your spots. It'd be nice if there were a few more bars within walking distance of the Square.

I think you and your friends are a good representative sample that shows people in Spartanburg want more of whats already there.

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I used to be a regular at the Nu-Way. It is a great place but the smoke is an issue for me as well. You should try Hickory Tavern. They are open late, have a great bar area, deck, and dining area. It is relaxed and not as cramped as the Nu-Way.

Just wanted to add this as well: I have enjoyed reading through all of your posts. I like what you are doing here and I look forward to joining your discussions.

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Welcome to the forum Upstater!

I think Hickory Tavern is pretty good. I usually enjoy myself there. My only concern with that one is that it isn't downtown, or really near any other bars that I could walk to... unless you count Monterrey's.

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I used to be a regular at the Nu-Way. It is a great place but the smoke is an issue for me as well. You should try Hickory Tavern. They are open late, have a great bar area, deck, and dining area. It is relaxed and not as cramped as the Nu-Way.

Just wanted to add this as well: I have enjoyed reading through all of your posts. I like what you are doing here and I look forward to joining your discussions.

LOVE the NuWay! A bunch of my coworkers and I used to go there after work almost once every other week. I like Hickory Tavern (especially the Boat Trash) but it can be EXTREMELY difficult to get a seat. And word to the wise, the management is not fond of you negotiating seating with their customers. I asked a a table of folks if they minded moving so our group of ten could get seated quicker. THey said yes, I bought them two rounds of drinks and the manager came over and "discussed" it with me.

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Oscars closed shop about 6-8 months ago. You could tell that it wasn't gonna make it as Clyde really didn't know what he was doing here as evidenced by the fact that no one was ever there except for the goons that stood outside by the door.

I think Spartan hit the nail on the head when he said people here want more of what is here, not just the same selection year after year. I hate comparing the "SC" to Greenville but sometimes its inevitable. Greenville has branched out to side streets and pushed the main drag to where it stretches to almost 2 miles. Sure we have a ways to go, but there are still empty buildings all over downtown that could house all different kinds of bars and restaurants. Not counting Greenville's fine restaurants, here are a few places that the "SC" might use as an example of what to put around the downtown area: Addys (dutch bar that might hold 50 people), Bistro Europa, Bohemian Cafe, Block House, Chicora Alley (all neighborhood bars/restaurants), Cazbah (Tapas bar), Liberty Tap Room (I guess this is our Delaneys but the comparison is not even close), and maybe an authentic family style locally owned Mexican restaurant. I am not saying we copy Greenville, but use it as an example of what works and what doesn't.

I guess a lot of this is wishful thinking because until we get more folks downtown via a large new/old white collar employer or bars and restaurants drawing more people downtown, the situation will not change. Meanwhile the old Abbys continues to just sit, and watch, and wait.

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Greenville is always going to be a natural comparison since it is so close. What ever happened to that Mexican Restaurant that was supposed to open up in the former Bijou Market? I think that a good "Monterrey's" type of mexican restaurant (NOT tex-mex) would do well downtown.

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I think the whole International Market idea folded when BVI Development couldn't find anyone interested in the building. I think the Mexican place was proposed but they pulled out. That sign saying the restaurant was coming was in the window of that store for almost 2 years. I think an old school mexican joint like Cantiflas in Greenville would work well downtown. There used to be one in Greer that was actually in an old house on Main St. It was a really cool concept and was open for about 10 years. I have no idea why they closed unless it was just to focus on the Greenville operation. I really think this could work here possibly in one of the houses over on Alabama St behind where the latest office building by GDJ (George Dean Johnson) is going up.

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I was never wild about Canitfla's, but I understand what you are saying. Something better than the Monterrey's genre, but still Mexican. They have mexican restaurants in downtown Central and in Liberty that area good. Especially the one in Liberty. That one is very nice on the inside and the outside. And its downtown. Even Pacolet used to have a Mexican joint over in the old high school gym (has since burned) but it was pretty awesome in its day. If these small towns can pull it off, why can't we?

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The HJ has an update for us regarding the way finding sign study that was done a few years back. The previous study cost $34k, ad it was designed to identify important city venues and main intersections where directional signs should be posted. The City has approved a new study that will use the previous information and include new landmarks/destinations as well as wayfinding signage for bikes and pedestrians (pedestrian being a key part, IMO).

This is great news. I think that some of the old signage recommendations were completed.... there are signs for parking, and more signs indicating the direction to downtown that have been placed around town. This is good news for the city as long as the government floows through this time.

HJ Article [info is towards the end of the article]

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  • 1 month later...

Thats great news. The only downside to this operation is that they will not be open at night. If you go to Gville, the Coffee Underground is open until midnight on friday and saturday, and has evening hours during the week.

I am definitely excited to have a new coffeeshop in downtown though. I'll definitely make it a point to stop by.

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That is good news but still just another small step in the right direction. It would be nice to actually add new things instead of replacing things that didn't work. I'm not complaining too much here, just a little. I was in the West End of Greenville on Saturday for a pub crawl and I felt like I was on another planet. Just in the west end alone there are some 15 bars and restaurants (maybe more) within 3 blocks. I cannot even begin to fathom us having anything at all or even kind of close like that within a 3 block area. They have really involved the river over there also. The condos, the new Hampton Inn, the park, WOW! I hadn't been over in that part of town in almost a year. I guess the good thing for us in the "SC" is that Greenville is only 30 miles away.

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That is exactly my point about downtown. We easily have 15 bars and restaurants, (supposedly 30 or 40?) but they are all spread out over the entire CBD area which is quite large. If we could hypothetically relocate them all in the Morgan Square area, we would see our nightlife activity increase exponentially. The biggest problem that Spartanburg has is the ESA building. Its pretty to look at, but it KILLS the north side of the square. Kills it. There's absolutely no reason to go there, and so you have the center square of town with only one side that is usable. That gap in the potential street life prevents so much from happening.

I'd like for everyone to do me a huge favor. Think about downtown over the next week or so. Think about where the storefronts are, then think about where they are not. Compare this to Greenville if you want. Or Columbia. Or Charleston. Think about where all the dead spaces are on our streets in downtown Spartanburg. By dead I mean space that can never be used for storefronts. The only allowable exception is a park or plaza. Think about sides of buildings, backs of buildings, fronts of buildings, parking lots that have no store space. As you think of them, please come share with us here at UP where they are.

FWIW, I am not suggesting that all streets need to have storefronts, but I think this exercise will highlight many problems that Spartanburg has to tackle before our downtown will reach the next level.

----

I'll start-

The east side of Magnolia Street. It has the following: Side of office building, Parking garage/drive-thru bank, and another side of office building. There is a small plaza that is cut off from the primary circulation of the Square, but it will never be heavily used given the context of the rest of Magnolia St.

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Per Spartan's request I think we should concentrate on the area between Converse St and Daniel Morgan going north to south and Henry St to Daniel Morgan going east to west and build in from there. Everything from Converse back to Pine is basically useless as you have 4 churches, 2 GDJ buildings, Denny's, the Mary Black Foundation, BB&T, Bank of America, Mobile Meals, & 3-5 retail operations (McMahan Shoes, Converse Shoe Parlor, Venus Pie, a Motor Inn, and a couple of hair places. In my opinion this basically renders this part of downtown useless (with the exception of having working white collar folks downtown) and something that doesn't need to be concentrated on. The one exception is the Inn on Main but it is surrounded by 2 churches and a bank.

I think we should begin to build around the Park, CCC, and the new school of business as they are all together as well as the Marriott and they are close to Wofford as well. When Greenville started building up in the early 90's (I was there) everything was built either around the Hyatt or the Peace Center. This same thing can be done here as our 2 (CCC & Marriott) are even closer together plus you have Barnet close as well.

As for ESA I agree with you there, but that's where my wife works so I want it to stay there for the forseeable future.

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