The $29 million revitalization of downtown Spartanburg’s historic Montgomery Building will be fueled with caffeine.
Spartanburg-based Little River Roasting Co. has signed a lease on a 921-square-foot space on the ground floor of the 93-year-old former office high-rise on the side closest to Central United Methodist Church.
Gervais Hollowell, Little River’s owner, said he plans to open a second downtown coffee shop in the space in the fall of 2018.
It will be in addition to the original Coffee Bar location he opened several years ago in the historic Masonic Temple at 188 W. Main St. beside Hub City Bookshop & Press.
“We’re very excited,” Hollowell said. “I feel very good about it. The Montgomery Building is really cool—one that I’ve always liked. I was so excited when they announced in January it would be redeveloped. We visited the space in March and here we are now announcing that we’re officially going to open a second location in downtown.”
James Bakker, co-principal of Greenville-based BF Spartanburg, the developer leading the renovation of the 10-story, 130,000-square-foot building into a vibrant mixed-use facility, said Little River is the building’s first new tenant to sign on.
Similar to its original Coffee Bar, the new Little River store will have some outdoor seating, Bakker said.
The Montgomery Building’s renovation promises to bring new commercial, office, retail, residential, and entertainment space to a prominent intersection near the city’s urban center.
When complete, the building will boast 63 apartments on floors four through 10.
The apartments will be a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units ranging from about 500 to 1,500 square feet.
The building’s second and third floors will have about 20,000 square feet of high-quality office space.
On the ground floor, the building will have a nearly 4,000-square-foot restaurant space at its southern end that also has 1,500 square feet of dining space in the basement.
In addition to Little River’s space, the first floor will have two other commercial spaces for new retail or dining options, ranging up 2,000 square feet.
“We are excited to announce that Little River Roasting Company will be opening a coffee shop in the Montgomery Building in the fall of 2018,” Bakker said. “The BF Spartanburg team couldn’t be happier with the first tenant for the Montgomery Building because of Little River’s vibrancy and great relationship with the Spartanburg community.”
Out of his love for fresh coffee, Hollowell launched his coffee roasting company in Spartanburg in 2001.
Little River’s coffee comes from farmers, cooperatives, estates, and importers in 20 countries, according to the company’s website.
The original Coffee Bar has been a popular local gathering spot since it opened in 2010.
In 2013, Hollowell opened a drive-through location Little River Coffee Bar East at 1624 E. Main St. on the city’s east side.
The company’s roasting operation is located at 460 Marion Avenue beside the Mary Black Foundation’s Rail Trail.
Hollowell said he currently employs 10 people and anticipates adding more with the new store.
He said he hopes to capitalize on the growth surrounding the Montgomery Building and believes it will not conflict with the business of his other two locations.
“It has always been our goal to give our customers good, fresh coffee,” he said. “All of the people who work for me want to see Spartanburg grow.”
Downtown Spartanburg’s coffee culture is prepared to grow exponentially during the coming year.
Abram and Heather Curtis, owners of the Greenville-based coffeehouse/creamery concept Spill the Beans, plan to open a new store in spring 2018 in a 2,500-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Aug W. Smith Building at 174 E. Main St. near Denny’s Plaza.
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks on Thursday, Dec. 7, announced its plans to open a nearly 1,800-square-foot store in the former Pink on Main space at 156 W. Main St. beside TJC Gallery near Morgan Square.