Iconic downtown Rock Hill Gulf station to open as The Roasting Co.
When Mitch Grant first started working for the Roasting Company restaurant, his commute was three minutes from his Charlotte home.
After about 10 years in the corporate restaurant world, Grant is now back with the Roasting Company, and his commute is again three minutes – from his Rock Hill home.
Grant is opening the restaurant’s second location. It’s an idea he has had for several years but could not find the right location. He could have located along Dave Lyle Boulevard or Cherry Road, but he didn’t feel the character of the Roasting Company could be replicated in a strip mall.
Then Grant realized he has been passing a location with character and history eight to 10 times a week, often on the way to church or to take his daughter to dance class, or just on a drive through downtown Rock Hill.
The former Gulf Station at 122 S. Oakland Ave. not only has the character, but it has the right location and size. Grant was looking for a high-traffic area and about 3,500 square feet. Oakland Avenue is the link between Cherry Road and downtown. And the former gas station, its three service bays and a back addition are exactly 3,500 square feet.
If all goes according to schedule, the site will open as the Roasting Company either in June or July.
The Gulf Station was once the epicenter of Rock Hill conversation. For more than 60 years, Wade Williams operated the station, and it was the place politicians stopped in Rock Hill. Williams closed the station in 1992. He died last year.
From 2003 to 2009, David and Debbie Coccia ran The Station restaurant.
Grant said several factors make it the right time to open a Roasting Company location in Rock Hill.
The success of restaurants such as Millstone Pizza and Taphouse, Flipside Restaurant and Legal Remedy, among others, shows Rock Hill is earning a reputation as a “foodie” town, he said.
A second factor: the economy. People have more disposable income, Grant said, and the cost of dining out or eating in “is nearly equal.”
Third is the number of businesses and new residents coming to Rock Hill and downtown specifically.
The atmosphere of the Roasting Company is another factor, Grant said.
“We’re a scoop-and-serve restaurant,” Grant said. There will be a self-serve buffet for some items. Orders and payment are in one location. When the order is ready, “we will scream out your name ever so politely,” Grant said.
The Roasting Company has been open in Charlotte at 1521 Montford Drive for 27 years.
Rotisserie chicken is the staple of the menu.
“It’s simple food in a creative way,” Grant said. The variety of tastes come from Costa Rican spices and various marinades.
Grant said prices will be reasonable, about $10 for entree and beverage. A family of four could eat for about $30.
Another selling point, he hopes, will be the planned hours. Sunday through Wednesday, the Roasting Company will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the closing time will be 2 a.m.