2018’s most highly anticipated restaurants

Fireforge's Brian Cendrowski. Credit: Will Crooks.

With Greenville garnering more and more national attention for its restaurant scene, it’s unlikely the rollout of new dining concepts will slow anytime soon. And while restaurants with as high of a profile as Husk may not be on the docket (yet) for 2018, the wide range of cuisine planned for Greenville and the surrounding area will only add to the credibility of the stories landing the Upstate in national publications.

This year’s lineup of most anticipated restaurant openings includes new breweries, farm-to-table concepts, two different barbecue joints, fast-casual Greek fare, a biscuit shop, second locations of some local favorites, and a rooftop with a view of Spartanburg worth the 30-minute drive.


The Farehouse
Taylors Mill
Projected opening: Spring

Taylors Mill

Get a taste of this new restaurant from chef Michael Marut at 13 Stripes Brewery’s New Year’s Eve bash, or just anticipate ordering pizza by the slice, or classics like chicken piccata and shrimp and grits, expertly paired by the staff cicerone with a local brew once this local concept opens in the spring. Or maybe a craft cocktail is more your speed: The leather-bound post-Prohibition cocktail book Marut discovered when going through his deceased father’s bar will provide inspiration for the spirits menu. Either way, he wants guests to enjoy cuisine worthy of a fine-dining experience at a lower cost and less pretense. Marut, a culinary instructor with Plate 108 in Greer, has been planning this concept, which will source as much as possible from farmers market providers and local farms, for almost two years. The restaurant will include a private dining area and wine cellar, as well as a children’s area, community tables that will act as the transition from bar to dining room, and an outdoor area. “We live in Taylors, and we live and breathe Taylors,” Marut says.


Tetrad Brewing Co.
603 Stone Ave.
Projected opening: Spring

An outdoors company and brewery are joining forces for this newest brewery entering the Greenville market. Located in the 3,368-square-foot bottom level of the future Half-Moon Outfitters location, Tetrad Brewing Co. will be a microbrewery with a heavy emphasis on the taproom experience. Co-owners John Bucher and Chad Tydings, who are outdoor enthusiasts from Alaska and Rochester, N.Y., respectively, bounced back and forth between two locations before landing on this one, and they couldn’t be happier with the fit.

“You can have a craft beer and go exploring through his store,” Tydings says of the partnership with Half-Moon owner Beezer Molten. “We’re excited, too, because you look at our logo, and you can see we both represent the outdoors as companies.”

Bucher attended American Brewers Guild in Vermont and apprenticed in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the well-known Brewery Ommegang before moving his family to Greenville, where Tydings had lived for a few years. Bucher, the head brewer and face of the company, says for opening day they’ll have six beers on tap, including a porter, IPA, pale ale, and a hoppy blonde.

Tetrad, which is an ancient Greek word for a group of four, represents many aspects of the co-owners, not the least of which is their families, the four ingredients in beer, and the brewing process. “We want you to come to a place you can be comfortable and relax,” Tydings says. “Kids and family are No. 1 to us.”


Papi’s Tacos
Location TBA
Projected opening: 2018


Big changes are in the works for the taco shop owned by the Table 301 restaurant group. The chef and namesake, Jorge “Papi” Barrales, has recently been featuring authentic Mexican specials each week that are serving as trial runs for his next venture, says Jorge Barrales Jr. (Papi’s son). The younger Barrales will be helping his father eventually regain ownership of the concept, which will be a gradual, strategic move from Table 301, and open other locations with an expanded menu.

Barrales Jr. says the next Papi’s Tacos will open in 2018, and he’s currently scouting locations in Simpsonville, Verdae, and Travelers Rest. “We do want to open one more and see how it’s going, and then open more,” he says. For the colder months, Barrales Jr. says the current location at 300 River St. underneath the Lazy Goat, will close on Mondays so that they can work on the new project.

Papi’s Tacos opens second location


Fireforge Crafted Beer
311 E. Washington St.
Projected opening: Spring

The 4,500-square-foot brewery from Brian and Nicole Cendrowski will be able to accommodate almost 400 people inside and out once it opens in the spring. Now that the tanks have been moved in, savoring a cold brew out on the patio seems that much closer. One missing component is the restaurant they hope to have in the adjoining space, but Nicole Cendrowski says they’ll open with or without that filled and just amp up their snack offerings in the meantime. Initially, the brewery will be open for tasting room hours Thursday through Sunday, she says, and they’ll expand both the hours and the patio over time.

Crafted beer company finds home on Washington Street


Fork & Plough
1629 E. North St.
Projected opening: March

The latest Fork & Plough rendering | provided by Fork & Plough

Construction at the first grocery store, butchery, and restaurant combo in the developing Overbrook is underway, with much of the interior progress moving along. Recently, construction on the exterior patio began. Co-owner Roddy Pick of Greenbrier Farms says things at the former law office are starting change quickly and the “brainchild for almost four years” is starting to become a reality. Chef and co-owner Shawn Kelly’s vision for Fork & Plough is to explore all varieties of cuisine, such as Mediterranean, Asian, German, Polish, and Southern, while locally sourcing ingredients from Greenbrier Farms and other purveyors.

Fork & Plough to open in 2017 as Overbrook’s first restaurant


Gizmo Bar
245 N. Main St.
Projected opening: late January

Entrepreneur Shaun Robertson’s technology-and-lounge hybrid has been in the works for almost two years now, and it’s finally on the verge of opening. Renovations for the 3,000-square-foot space are almost complete, Robertson says, with just a few details to finish, including installing $17,000 apiece lighting fixtures and a meteor shower effect in the entryway.

The interactive technology retail space will offer face-to-face smartphone and tablet repair in a lounge-style environment, craft brew, and a modified selection of appetizers and sushi from Sushi Go. The bar top includes touch screens installed in it that will be able to browse the web, pull up PDFs, and do annotations. It will use object recognition to understand the beverage a guest is drinking to immediately display whatever content the winery or brewery wants to be seen. “To my knowledge, no one has crossed these markets or bridged the space between tech service and retail in a social environment,” Robertson says.

Tech bar concept to open in downtown Greenville


Sidewall BBQ (official name TBA)
21 S. Main St., Travelers Rest
Projected opening: January

The latest concept from Sidewall Pizza owners Andy O’Mara and Loren Frant is slated to open in January in the former Martha’s Hardware property in Travelers Rest. A name for the barbecue joint is still in the works, O’Mara says, but that should be forthcoming.


Ottaray Seafood
12 S. Main St.
Projected opening: Spring

Downtown’s first official raw bar, Ottaray Seafood & Raw Bar, is under construction in the former YAP location next to Cantinflas. Restaurant managing partner Taft Wirthlin says the planned opening is spring. The restaurant will seat 195, including the bar. The second floor is planned to be an event venue with capacity for 160 people.

Ottaray Seafood & Raw Bar planned for former YAP location on Main Street


Unleashed Dog Bar
69 Rocky Slope Road
Projected opening: February or March

The area’s first dog bar is well underway. The owners say construction should be completed by the end of January. The 1,000-sqaure-foot brick duplex will be used for an office and dog-bathing area, and the attached 1,000-square-foot warehouse will house the bar, where craft and domestic beer and wine will be served. An additional 3,000–4,000 square feet of property will be used as an outdoor, fenced area where dogs will be allowed to go off leash. This will be the first bar in the Greenville area specifically designed so dogs don’t have to be restrained, as long as all parties follow the rules of conduct.

Pup-friendly Unleashed Dog Bar planned near Laurens and Woodruff roads


Yee-Haw Brewing Co.
307 E. McBee Ave.
Projected opening: Late Spring/Summer

Sean Freeman operator for Yee-Haw, says the original concept for the Johnson City, Tenn., brewery has been updated since initial plans were released earlier this year. “We will be a full service brewpub at that location complete with food, brews, cocktails, and wine,” he says.

Yee-Haw Brewing Co. to open in Keys Village


300 College St.
Projected opening: Jan. 2

A new children’s farm-to-table restaurant, Seedlings, will likely be the first new restaurant to open in 2018. Located on the ground floor of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU), this collaboration between entrepreneur Jonathan Willis, who opened Farm Fresh Fast in Greenville earlier this year, and the museum will provide an interactive and educational dining experience for children and their caregivers, complete with areas where microgreens will be growing and chicken eggs will incubate.

“We want to start them off right and see what they can do,” Willis says about introducing children to healthy eating habits. The ingredients used are almost entirely sourced through local farmers, whose photos are displayed prominently.

“We wanted to create something new and innovative that teaches children more about local farms and food, and there was no one better to partner with than Jonathan at Farm Fresh Fast,” said Nancy Halverson, president and CEO of TCMU. “With our background as educators of children and his relationships with area farmers, partnering together was a natural fit.”

Related article »


Oak Hill Café
2510 Poinsett Highway
Projected opening: Spring

The new breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant slated to open this spring in the Cherrydale area will occupy two floors of a former residence – 2,356 square feet downstairs and 788 square feet upstairs. The top floor will likely be used for private dining space and additional seating. The acre behind the restaurant will be turned into a garden from which classically trained chef David Porras will source much of his ingredients. The garden will be designed and maintained by Chris Miller (That Garden Guy) and Aaron von Frank (Tyrant Farms). Porras will showcase his particular brand of experimental gastronomy during dinners on weekend nights.

Related article »


1800-A Augusta St.
Projection opening: March

The newly launched Mount Pleasant fast-casual restaurant receiving rave reviews will open in Lewis Plaza this spring. Owner Cary Chastain, who also owns 12 Moe’s Southwest Grills in Charleston and Asheville, N.C., says this second Kairos location will be the first of three in the Greenville area.

Chef John Ondo, former chef-owner of Italian restaurant Lana, has created a menu designed to be accessible to all ages. The menu is simple: Choose a base, protein, spreads, and add-ons. Those options include building a salad, bowl with basmati rice, or pita with falafel, lamb (roasted for eight hours), meatballs, and chicken. Spreads include hummus, red pepper feta, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, and harissa. Cary says everything is made in-house.

Kairos Greek Kitchen inks deal for Lewis Plaza


Gather GVL
126 and 128 Augusta St.
Projected opening: August

Two major national trends – shipping container repurposing and food halls – are converging in this new project in Greenville’s West End. The 12-restaurant food hall that will feature locally sourced craft food and beverages is planned for a near-vacant lot across from the new South Carolina Children’s Theatre site. Both used and newly fabricated shipping containers will be positioned around a courtyard to create what developer Mack Cross says he hopes will become “Greenville’s outdoor living room.” Tenants have not yet been announced.

Food Court 2.0: Gather GVL will bring another food hall concept to Greenville


109 W. Stone Ave.
Projected opening: Spring

The Westone development will house three restaurants and a brewery that will make it both a neighborhood haunt for the surrounding area and a destination. Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Alabama-inspired barbecue, joins neighbors Liability Brewing Co., a second Coffee Underground, and a yet-to-be-announced restaurant on the end of the development.

Westone to feature restaurant, retail and office space on Stone Avenue


Level 10
225 W. Main St., Spartanburg
Projected opening: January

Upstate restaurateur Rick Erwin is opening his next restaurant on the 10th floor of the AC Hotel that just opened in downtown Spartanburg. A high-end concept modeled after Good Food on Montford in Charlotte, the approximately 5,500-square-foot restaurant features a central bar, three sides of which are indoors with the fourth outdoors. A glass garage door will open to the outdoor bar and create an awning over the seating area. Dining areas on either side of the bar include a private dining room that opens onto an outdoor patio with a fire pit. Two other outdoor dining areas are also available. Each of the three outdoor dining areas are located on the corners of the building and will include both tables and couches.

Level 10 restaurant to open this fall atop AC Hotel in Spartanburg


Rise Biscuit Donuts
1507 Woodruff Road
Projected opening: February

The first South Carolina location of the breakfast and lunch spot will offer yeast and cake donuts throughout the day and feature flavors like the Maple Bacon Bar and Crème Brulee. Rise also serves biscuit sandwiches all day with buttermilk-brined fried chicken, crispy bacon, salt-cured ham, and country sausage topped with egg, cheese, and spreads. Lunchtime sandwiches available on a choice of a biscuit or on a potato roll include Rise’s Savory Buffalo Chicken with house-made buffalo sauce, shaved celery, and blue cheese sauce, and limited-time offerings like the Cubano with roast pork loin, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Plenty of vegetarian options are also available.

Rise Biscuits Donuts to open in Greenville in February 2018


Blue Ridge Brewing Company
405 Westfield St.
Projected opening: TBA

General contractors, The Boardman Group, say the project that has appeared stalled out on the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail is still moving forward. They are currently working on the design. The exterior design was approved with conditions earlier this fall by the city’s Design Review Board Urban Panel. After losing its North Main Street lease in 2015 after 20 years in Greenville, Blue Ridge owner Bob Hiller says they are “chomping at the bit” to reopen downtown.


Otto Izakaya
802 South Main St.
Projected opening: TBA

The Japanese brewpub’s second location is well underway in the former Breakwater space in the West End. Smaller than its Woodruff Road counterpart, the restaurant is sure to be a hit with locals who felt abandoned when their former regular bar closed abruptly in July.


Iron Hill Brewery
741 Haywood Road
Projected opening: TBA

The cheesesteak egg rolls, hand-cut sweet potato fries, soft pretzel sticks, and Vienna Red Lager residents of the Delaware Valley have enjoyed for 20 years are headed to Greenville this spring in the former Don Pablo’s location next to Barnes & Noble and across from Haywood Mall. Founded by brewers Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson, and restaurateur Kevin Davies in Newark, De., in 1996, the family-friendly restaurant and brewery is under construction in the building that has sat vacant since Don Pablo’s closed in February 2016. Iron Hill Greenville will be the first location in the Carolinas region, and the owners are ready to tap into the local brewery scene.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant to open in former Don Pablo’s near Haywood Mall



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