Another restaurant is coming to Fort Mill as the town proves it still has room at the table for more.
Commercial Carolina on May 4 posted online that Mooresville, N.C.-based steakhouse Epic Chophouse signed a long-term lease with Kingsley Town Center, off S.C. 160 near Interstate 77. Epic Chophouse is an upscale Lake Norman establishment serving steaks and other entrees since 2010, according to its website.
The Fort Mill site will be Epic’s second location. A date isn’t available for when Epic will open.
The new restaurant is among a dozen of dining options coming to or already open in Kingsley: Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Carolina Ale House, Clean Juice, Cold Stone Creamery, Corkscrew, Napa at Kingsley, Panera Bread, Smashburger, Spice Asian Kitchen, Starbucks and Taco Molino.
Fort Mill Town Councilman Larry Huntley, are resident for almost four decades, remembers when the whole town didn’t have a dozen restaurants.
“There was Hardee’s,” he said. “And there was that little old drive-in, and that was it.”
Huntley says he hasn’t even been able to try all the new eateries in town. It isn’t just Kingsley adding places to eat. Steele Street Station has a new barbecue restaurant signed on Tom Hall Street.
“They’re always busy,” Huntley said. “The ones downtown, it’s amazing. We’ll ride by in the evening, and there are people sitting outside, waiting to get in.”
Hospitality tax charged on prepared food and drink shows the growth. Last year the town collected $650,000 in hospitality tax. That’s more than three times what the town brought in on its tax on hotel stays. It’s more than twice what came in on municipal and fire service impact fees combined.
A benefit of residential growth, Huntley said, is it also brings more restaurant openings.
“Boy,” Huntley said, “it sure has.”
Adrianna and Grant McCoury recently moved to Fort Mill and were enjoying a meal at Kingsley on Monday.
“We’ve been impressed,” Adrianna said. “I’m hoping this place just explodes.”
Adrianna worked for the original Epic Chophouse while in college, she said, and is excited about the second location.
“I’m glad that we’re getting a good, decent steakhouse,” she said.
John and Susan McCoy of Charlotte were eating at Smashburger at Kingsley on Monday. It was their first time in the area.
“So far it looks pretty good,” John said of Kingsley’s offerings. “Smashburger was very good, and (the coming) Taco Molino is going to be good. And Carolina Ale is always a favorite.”
In another fast-growing part of York County, Lake Wylie is seeing more food options, too.
Papa Doc’s Shore Club officially opened the weekend of April 19 at the former T-bones on the Lake location near the Buster Boyd Bridge in South Carolina. T-Bones, a local hot spot for 24 years, closed in December.
The new family-friendly restaurant serves “modern American” fare with heavy seafood options, Morgan Conroy, marketing director of the Charlotte-based Bottle Cap Group, told The Herald last month. The tiki-bar themed restaurant offers several bars and dining areas, including a large outdoor deck overlooking Lake Wylie, and 38 boat slips.
Starbucks coffeehouse opened May 3 in Lake Wylie off Charlotte Highway and Village Harbor Drive. The location is so new, it was not yet listed Monday on the company’s locator map. However, the company lists employment positions still available at the new location.
Fast Frog Bakery, which opened earlier this year, on Highway 55 E. in Lake Wylie is holding a grand opening celebration May 11. The locally-owned bakery sells professionally made cakes, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, muffins and more.