Gather GVL is nearly completely leased and has broken ground at 126 Augusta Road.
The two-level, U-shaped food hall constructed out of shipping containers with a central green space and plaza was announced in November 2017, with the goal of opening by August 2018. In the plans, each shipping container houses a different restaurant with common seating areas located throughout.
Momentum slowed, however, as the developer, Four Oaks Property Group, hit some snags with state and city permitting given the unique nature of the project and that this development will likely establish a precedent for future similar projects. Having now received the site permit, Four Oaks is moving ahead with demolition and site preparation with a new goal of opening by early spring, says Doug Cross, managing principal of Four Oaks.
All but one of the 13 restaurant units are now spoken for, and that last one may remain an incubator for new local chefs to use on a less-permanent basis, Cross says.
The most recent leases signed continue the trend of Gather’s offering a wide variety of cuisines: Mike’s Philly Cheesesteak and Roast Pork; wine bar Sweet Sippin’; authentic German cuisine from Prost!; and plant-based smoothies and bowls from Cocobowlz.
These new concepts join already-announced tenants HenDough, Mercado Cantina, KO Burger, Al Taglio, Greenville Beer Exchange, Saki Saki, Rocky Moo, and West End Coffee Roasters.
Mike’s Philly Cheesesteak and Roast Pork
Longtime Charleston chef Andrew Fallis, who now lives and works in Greenville, is bringing his childhood Philadelphia roots to Gather via authentic cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, along with Philly staples Tastykakes, cannolis, and Italian ice.
How he describes his concept: classic, simple, straightforward.
“Going to keep it as traditional as possible,” Fallis says.
Fallis, who worked for the Indigo Road hospitality group in Charleston for 10 years, and his wife, Michelle, work at Stella’s Southern Brasserie. They moved to Greenville after experiencing Charleston’s extreme growth and were looking for somewhere new to launch their own concept.
To develop that concept, Fallis let the combination of the smaller container space with the larger communal dining area dictate what would work.
“What do I know [that] I can do and execute well,” he says of his thought process.
Already a successful wine shop and tasting room in downtown Simpsonville, Sweet Sippin’ will open its second location in the food hall. Owner Julie Redman says what drew her to Gather is the collaborative aspect with the other restaurant tenants and the local music scene.
“The most exciting part of it is that I love their vision of bringing the multicultural aspect together,” she says.
Redman, who is still developing the menu, says her plans include wine flights, offering an experience like a brewery for customers to sample a variety of wines in a nonpretentious environment, including still and sparkling varieties on tap. She also plans to pair wines with menu items from the other restaurants.
She says the Sweet Sippin’ container will be more than just a bar with counter service.
“We’re in the age of experience,” Redman says. “It’s not just about buying local or supporting local. People want to have an experience while doing that.”
From business partners Al Sartorius, Robin Greenstein, and Harald Schmidt comes Prost!, which will feature traditional German comfort food and specials found at German beer festivals. The menu will be drawn from Schmidt’s southern German background, having been born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany.
Sartorius is also of German descent, though he was raised in the United States. His parents were German immigrants, and he continues to travel abroad to emerge deeper in the culture of his predecessors, acquiring insight in traditions and also new cultural developments in the Old World.
The goal with opening Prost! is to continue to spread the excitement for German food and beer in Greenville and the region by adding another touch of international cuisine to the food scene, Schmidt says.
“Al, Robin, and I appreciate Greenville with everything it has to offer; we appreciate the traditional components as well as current influences, additional business coming to Greenville, tourism, overall growth,” Schmidt says. “We are happy to be part of Gather GVL and hope that our contribution will support the city in its effort to remain a fantastic place to live.”
The popular acai and pitaya smoothie bowl food truck that parks several times a week at the Liberty Bridge landing will be opening its first non-mobile location in Gather.
Co-owners Danny and Jennifer Morales launched the truck in May and regularly sell out due to their popularity. Now they plan to expand their menu in the new location to include breakfast items such as waffles, oatmeal, and protein bites.
Both registered nurses from New Jersey, the husband-and-wife duo dreamed of having a permanent location, but the food truck was an easier jumping-off point when they started the business only a few months after moving to Greenville. Parents of two young daughters, the Moraleses also loved the family-friendly concept of Gather.
“Cocobowlz is doing really well, and we want to give our clients somewhere to go more consistent,” Jennifer Morales says. “We don’t have tables. We want to see our customers happy and comfortable.”
Once Gather opens, Cocobowlz will still operate as a food truck, but that schedule has yet to be determined.