A new coffee shop with a unique name and purpose has opened this week at 120 Shaw St., Greenville, across from the new Ballentine Food Service Equipment building at the corner of Shaw and Rutherford streets.
Mountain Goat, a cafe and bike shop, is a new venture from the founders of the outreach ministry GOAT (Great Outdoor Adventure Trips) and its funding generator Mountain Goat Climbing Gym.
The gym at 61 Byrdland Drive closed in June so efforts could be put toward the coffee shop. GOAT founder Ryan McCrary says they are working with an undisclosed partner on opening another climbing gym in the Greenville area, but he could not reveal further details other than that it will not necessarily function as part of GOAT or a nonprofit.
The new 2,400-square-foot cafe in a former auto-repair shop is divided into three distinct spaces. About 400 square feet on the side of the building closest to Rutherford Street is the bike repair shop, where the students involved in GOAT and residents of the surrounding neighborhood can get their bikes repaired for free. The left-most 200 square feet is a designated space for after-school tutoring, which is a service GOAT also offers.
The cafe sits in the middle, and aside from the La Marzocco espresso machine on the counter, it’s a no-frills space with a concrete floor and white walls that can accommodate 87 customers. Four glass garage doors facing the parking lot flood the space with natural light.
The coffee shop serves locally roasted Methodical Coffee, canned beer and wine, and pastries from Upcountry Provisions.
It also provides a safe after-school space for the under-resourced students GOAT serves to receive tutoring and eventually work, either in the bike-repair shop or the cafe.
McCrary says the location has caused some discussion.
“My concern going into this was that there might be some feelings of gentrification with a bunch of white people coming in to drink fancy coffee and beer,” McCrary says.
But, he says, local residents have been extremely positive about the project, and the goal is to keep prices low enough to be affordable.
Aside from being used as a cut-through from the North Main area to Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery or Hampton Station, most nonresidents have had little reason to drive through this particular neighborhood.
“I think it’ll be a cool way to, hopefully, bridge the gap between the two neighborhoods,” McCrary says.
Planned hours of operation are 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Limited Sunday hours may be added.
In 2008, McCrary began leading outdoor trips for underprivileged children on the weekends. Those trips soon grew to a full-blown nonprofit under the name GOAT. Aside from the outdoor adventures, GOAT’s programs have provided a pathway for at-risk students to engage with a trained mentor and grow to earn actual jobs at GOAT, previously at the rock-climbing gym.
The day-trips were previously funded by the for-profit climbing gym, and now the coffee shop takes up that mantle. Local corporate partners, such as Dapper Ink and The Landmark Project, are also financial contributors.