The owners of Encore Gastrolounge, 732 A S. Main St., announced earlier this week it would be closing the last weekend of September, and the new restaurant tenant has announced it will be opening later this year.
Sabor Latin Street Grill, the popular Charlotte, North Carolina, fast casual eatery with 12 locations, will open in the 2,400-square-foot, 66-seat, restaurant space near Fluor Field and Husk Restaurant that also formerly housed American Grocery.
Encore owners, Elizabeth Hunt and Heather Frechette, who also own On the Roxx bar next door, will continue ownership of the popular late night spot and upstairs event space, but announced the closure via Facebook saying, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our time at Encore and all of the support of friends old and new but we have decided to move on to other pursuits.”
Sabor’s menu draws on favorites from El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia. The scratch-made kitchen creates salsas, empanadas, gorditas, arepas, yuca fries, nachos and tacos.
“We make our food fresh every day, from the masa cakes used for arepas, to the stuffed empanadas, braised meats, grilled carne asada and our unique salsas,” says Dalton Espaillat, CEO of Raydal Hospitality, the ownership group behind Sabor Latin Street Grill and Three Amigos Mexican Grill & Cantina. “It is important that every customer experiences the best we have to offer.”
The growth of the Sabor concept mirrors the growth of the Carolinas, Espaillat says. Sabor opened in Columbia this summer, and Raydal Hospitality is considering Spartanburg and Greer for future Upstate growth.
“We are responding to the numerous customer requests and trying to make it convenient for our fans,” Espaillat says. “I love Greenville — it’s halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte — and there are so many great restaurants in the area.”
The demand for Sabor in the Carolinas is reflective of the national fast casual market, according to a recent report by industry trade publication Skift Table. The hospitality sector generated close to $250 billion in 2017, and is poised to grow at 2.3 percent per year for the next five years, a cumulative growth of 12 percent.