Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill locals know the restaurant. Soon they’ll get to try it on Main Street.

All three York County Towne Tavern locations -- two in Fort Mill and one in Rock Hill -- are participating in Restaurant Week SC.
All three York County Towne Tavern locations -- two in Fort Mill and one in Rock Hill -- are participating in Restaurant Week SC.

Downtown Fort Mill is getting a new restaurant. A familiar one, but with a brand new concept.

“It’s actually going to be called Towne Tavern Express,” said Dan Holmes, owner of Towne Tavern restaurants in Fort Mill and Rock Hill. “It’s going to be our entire menu that we offer at our other two locations. We’re taking our whole menu and we’re going to conduct it as more of an express or to go, or grab-and-go fashion.”

The restaurant should open by April 1. It will operate 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’ll offer beer and wine in addition to meals, but focus less on the full dining room experience than the two existing locations. Most of the growing Towne Tavern catering business will be done out of the Main Street restaurant.

“It’s getting a little tight, and they’re really not outfitted for it,” Holmes said of the existing kitchens. “We’ve done more catering year after year.”

The new spot will be 235 Main St., formerly Puckerbutt Pepper Company. PuckerButt will be located right beside it, at 237 Main St. Customers can order in-person, over the phone, by email or via the Towne Tavern Express website.

“You’ll be able to pay over the phone, or on the website for quick pickup,” Holmes said.

Delivery will be available for group orders.

The express restaurant will employ about six people – two each so far coming from the existing restaurants. Holmes just celebrated 13 years of business in the community since opening across the road from Baxter Village and will have about 100 total employees once all three sites are operating.

“I’m just excited as heck to be open on that side of Fort Mill,” he said. “I live on that side of Fort Mill.”

A growing Fort Mill means more families, more people living and working near enough to the new location for a strong lunch and dinner service. A growing Fort Mill also means it can be harder for people to travel all the way across town or to Rock Hill during rush hour. Being on Main Street makes Towne Tavern an option for a large group of people.

“It really checks off a lot of boxes,” Holmes said.

Plus, restaurants like Local Dish and Hobo’s have proven the town will support eateries on Main. Which is why Southern Sugar, The Improper Pig and Armor Artis Brewing all headed that way, too.

“They’ve done such a good job that it’s allowed other business owners to say, ‘yes, that’s a great place to invest,’” Holmes said.

As for his business, Towne Tavern will continue looking to expand. Holmes said long-term plans include possible locations in the Indian Land and Lake Wylie areas.