New eateries on Main Street keep having to look back to move forward, but they’re close. So close developers can almost taste them.
On Tuesday afternoon, the town’s historic review board gave two new approvals to the ongoing project at 200 Main Street where a smokehouse barbecue restaurant and brewery are planned. Reviews were needed since Main Street falls in the town’s historic district, where even the smallest of aesthetic changes require them. Review board approval also is needed for economic incentives aimed at renovating historic properties.
Kuester Commercial Real Estate is developing the site. The Improper Pig, the barbecue site, and the brewery should be ready for tenants to start making their own upfits by early October. Openings could come soon thereafter.
“It’ll probably take three or four months,” said Kuester’s Jordan Wisniewski.
Another Kuester property at 100 Main Street will add to the food offerings. Southern Sugar Cafe will be a boutique bakery, espresso and wine bar. It’s part of the former theater site renovation that also includes commercial space.
It’ll be another month or so before the Southern Sugar site is handed over to its tenant, so it’s also in the three- to four-month range for opening.
‘WHAT DO YOU HAVE?’
Between the prominent, downtown food ventures and other commercial sites throughout Fort Mill, Kuester is seeing a strong demand for businesses wanting to set up shop in the area.
“People will call us on a daily basis,” Wisniewski said. “’What do you have? What do you have?’”
Others are calling wanting to know when they can try out those new eateries. The downtown area saw openings in recent years like Hobo’s and Local Dish. Community support there, along with the calls, is a promising sign for the incoming establishments.
“People are excited,” Wisniewski said. “I love Hobo’s. I live right down this way and I love coming to Hobo’s, but we need more food places.”
Initial plans had at least some of the new spaces opening about this time, but the developer knew in restoring sites a century or so old would be a challenge. Which can mean slight changes from initial plans, each requiring a new review from the historic board.
“Historic is a whole different ballgame,” Wisniewski said.
A lengthy process, but one she believes will lead to a product people will support.