‘Saucy Southern tavern’ and customers address rising rent and relocation
This week, the owner of Smoke on the Water took to social media about the rising cost of rent and now customers are concerned over relocation.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A popular restaurant in Greenville’s west end may soon be forced to move. This week, the owner of Smoke on the Water took to social media about the rising cost of rent and now customers are concerned over a possible closure.
First, owner Mike Shuler tells FOX Carolina that Smoke on the Water is not closing, which brings a sigh of relief to fans of “saucy Southern taverns,” but that’s just part of what’s going on.
The restaurant opened in 2004, providing a “taste of the South” in an upscale and casual environment. It’s worked, and some staff have been there for 15 years. Meanwhile, on the exterior there’s been some changes, with noticeable vacancies, newer businesses and housing developments in the west end.
And in a post of Facebook, Shuler says rising rent prices have him considering relocating the restaurant. He told us by phone that the lease isn’t up until the spring of next year, meanwhile customers we spoke with say they want to see more government support for priced out businesses and more casual dining downtown and in the city’s west end.
“I think we need ‘pick up and go’ places, we need a small grocery store downtown – that would be amazing because of all the apartments they’ve been building,” said Annette Dumont, Greenville west end resident. “I think casual sandwich shops would be awesome. But we get a lot of chain restaurants, we get a lot of restaurant chains from Charleston who bring their high end dining experiences here and to me we need local investment in our local businesses.”
Dumont wonders with the city ranking as one of the nation’s fastest growing tourist destinations where are the tourists dining during their visits. Meanwhile, Shuler says he survived COVID and three years of construction, he hopes to have more good news in the next few weeks.
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