Monday, April 15, 2013

Big changes in Greenville!

Spring has brought big change to Greenville. Along with warm weather the construction crews have set up all across town. We have a work site just down the street since we’ve moved in (10 homes going up in the space previously occupied by one) that we regularly visit to observe the construction equipment and progress, and just down the block the other way a house was completely gutted and rebuilt, the property subdivided with another home (almost dwarfing the first but on a lot half as big) going up behind it. But along with the spring weather it seems that everywhere we go work crews are fixing roads, replacing pipes or building structures; even Main street is torn up between the North Main area and downtown, presumably to replace the second lane and parking spaces with planted medians. The Greenville airport is undergoing expansion (and we know this because we have just been there to pick up a guest!!!), and demolition was just completed on the old Piedmont Shirt Factory on Poinsett Highway. It's an exciting time to be a construction equipment-loving two year old in Greenville!

The big construction downtown is nearing to a close as the Project One building shows visible progress. The Bergamo plaza was a hive of activity last week and the boys watched the little excavators with delight on a walk through downtown. One of the businesses in the new building has opened; Greenville is the proud new home of an Anthropologie. We looped through to take a look, and I’ll say more than one thing caught my eye although the price tags kept me from bringing anything home. This wasn’t the case for a parade of customers exiting bags in hand during the time we spent near the doors watching the construction crew at work on the plaza.

If Anthropologie doesn’t have you excited, maybe the other big name coming soon to a Greenville near you does? Cabela’s will be coming next spring, on Woodruff in Magnolia Park. According to the Greenville News, the new store will include a gun “library,” an indoor archery range, a deli, a fudge shop with 40 different flavors and a replica of a mountain with models of North American game animals. I’m interested to see how that will influence the already congested traffic situation in the area, but also if it brings tourists to town like it has in some other places. As soon as Sports Authority has closed, demolition of the last Greenville mall buildings will begin, and if all goes according to plan there will soon be a Toys R Us, a Babies R Us (moving from Haywood Rd.) and the Cabela’s joining Costco and Rooms To Go.

Who needs 40 flavors of fudge when we have the Marble Slab Creamery???
It isn’t just retail stores opening in Greenville, there are a slew of new restaurants in town. A few of them center around fresh and local ingredients, such as Roost, which I’ve had two opportunities to try. Then there is Rare Steakhouse on the Piazza, across the plaza from the Project One building on Main St. I’m torn between wanting to give it a try right away and waiting until the construction is finished resulting in a nicer view. Of course quite a few restaurants have closed; it looks like a relatively new restaurant on Main St. – Yap! – has shuttered*, also a Greek place that we only just discovered, Yia Yia’s at Night. But if you hadn’t heard the news, the Greenville landmark Clock Drive-In has renegotiated its lease and is remaining open.
Breakfast at Femme au Foyer's

Speaking of restaurants and food, Greenville is joining the ranks of cities with food trucks. As with all new things there are spots that need ironing out, and so according to some foodies a food truck war is being waged, but I’m excited to see what the coming months will bring. An Upstate food blogger has written that the owner of the Trappe Door (one of my favorite restaurants in Greenville) possibly  has a food truck in the works, and that a Cajun and a crepe truck will be joining Chocolate Moose, Pies R Squared, Neue Southern and Asada.
Cherry blossom flower petals, short-sleeved shirts, sandals... it's spring!
But all thoughts of food aside, the city is a completely different one than we’ve been seeing the past couple of months. With cherries, dogwoods and redbuds in bloom, tulips and phlox replacing the tired pansies, long-dormant grass greening up and sunny blue skies overhead, it is hard to avoid feeling as if the city is a waking sleeping beauty. Temperatures have already climbed into the nineties, the kudzu is already budding out, and although I fear this summer will be a scorcher, I can’t help but rejoice at the beauty of spring in the South.

This newfound joy in what Greenville has to offer might be because spring (and summer, I blinked) has arrived, or it might be because of another big change – my sister Z is visiting. I wish it were for longer than just six days (as do Lauris and Mikus who spend every waking minute asking her to read, play or feed them), but we are sure making the most of the days we have with her. Sightseeing, spring cleaning, hiking, lunching, we are keeping busy and I can’t wait to share it all! Bučas, tante Zinta, we are so happy you’re here!!!

* 5/10/2013 Note: YAP! is remaining open after all, there was a period of a couple weeks that the restaurant was shuttered but it was for renovations, not because it's closing. With a new chef and new menu we might be headed downtown to try it out sometime soon...


  1. So happy to hear your sister is visiting right now. It's always wonderful when relatives come over to lend a helping hand and provide much needed support. My parents are staying with us for two weeks. We have been enjoying them. On another note, I read the description of the new Cabela store and its "gun library." I guess books about guns is preferable to actual guns, eh? :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. Well in this case a gun library will not be books, but instead a collection of guns for potential customers to try. I do not want to open the door to gun rights conversations on this blog, but I will say Cabela's is geared more towards hunters and fishermen/women, while REI and some of the other sports stores in town attract the hikers, bicyclists, campers etc.

      Enjoy your time with the parents, and thank you for stopping by!

  2. Izklausās, ka Jums ir lieli plāni! Tikai to tanti nepārmociet!:)

    1. Jā, jāuzmanās...lai viņa grib atgriezties! Varbūt to japiekukuļo?


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