El Thrifty, a new Mexican cantina and upscale gaming concept developed by the former executive chef of Charleston’s acclaimed Indaco and a restaurant developer from Atlanta, will open in late fall 2018 along the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Greenville at 25 Delano Drive.
Featuring 7,300 square feet inside and 2,000 square feet outside, the space is currently under construction in the same development that currently houses Soul Yoga, Swamp Rabbit Crossfit, The Wheelhouse, and the newest Southern Pressed Juicery location.
“We wanted to create a dynamic, modern gathering place that takes guests from coffee to cocktails,” said co-owners Reid Olsen and Robert Berry of El Thrifty Hospitality. “El Thrifty combines casual dining, local coffee, classic gaming, and entertainment to inspire camaraderie, community, and fun. We’re thrilled to bring this concept to Greenville and grateful to be working with so many local businesses to bring the concept to life.”
Once open, El Thrifty will include an artisanal coffee bar offering locally roasted Methodical Coffee and a light breakfast menu; a spacious dining room serving fresh Mexican fare; café-style workspaces and areas for event rentals; classic indoor/outdoor games, including feather bowling, air hockey, shuffleboard, foosball, snookball, pool tables, jump shot basketball, darts, ping pong, and bocce, as well as an interior gaming lounge with stadium-inspired seating and custom banquettes; an indoor/outdoor bar and patio overlooking the Swamp Rabbit Trail and Reedy River; and large HD projectors throughout for viewing sports, live concerts, movies, and more.
The menu at El Thrifty, which will include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, will feature authentic Mexican dishes created with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Entrées will include carne asada with salsa verde, South Carolina-sourced ceviche, and pork carnitas tacos, as well as a kids’ menu served until 7 p.m. daily.
The bar will feature a large library of agave-based spirits, mescal, and tequila for craft cocktails and frozen drinks, as well as an assortment of local craft beer, wine, and bubbles.
Local businesses working on the project include Matt Tindall of Tindall Architecture Workshop, Larry Myers of Ineo Builders, Betsy Berry of B. Berry Interiors, Kerry Penwell of Drakes Penwell Design Group, and Brendan Smith and Hayes Wynn of Rooted.
Olsen, who lives in Atlanta, will lead business development and financial operations as president for El Thrifty Hospitality. Throughout his career, Olsen has led construction and the opening of operations for more than 40 food-and-beverage concepts throughout the United States. In 2017, he conceptualized, developed the real estate, and led the food and beverage operations at Queen Park Social in Charlotte, N.C.
As vice president of El Thrifty Hospitality, Berry will lead conceptual development as director of operations. Berry’s culinary journey began at Charleston’s Slightly North of Broad, took him to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he graduated with a grand diplôme, and brought him back to the States to Washington, D.C., and New York City restaurants before he landed back in Charleston in 2013 as executive chef of Indaco, a rustic Italian eatery on King Street. He then launched Pancito & Lefty, an authentic Mexican cantina, where he served as owner and executive chef.
El Thrifty’s hours of operation will be Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m.-1 a.m., and Monday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.