Baguette & Co., a prominent French bakery in downtown Spartanburg, shuttered on Wednesday.
But it will soon be replaced by HenHouse Brunch, operated by Greenville-based chef Malcolm Garrison and his fiancé, Lexie Martinez.
The couple has targeted opening in mid-November. Their eatery will serve a simple menu of breakfast and brunch foods, including a few pastry recipes passed down by John Bellefontaine, owner of Baguette & Co.
“It’s amazing,” said Garrison, a 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry who previously served as the executive chef of the Greenville Marriott. “It has always been a dream of ours to open our own place.”
Garrison said he moved around a lot as a kid. After high school, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in Charleston. He said he fell in love with South Carolina.
When he retired from the Coast Guard, Garrison went to culinary school in New York and then decided to settle in the Upstate after he graduated.
He took a job at Romano’s Macaroni Grill off Pelham Road in Greenville, which is where he met Martinez, of Mauldin, who grew up in the restaurant industry.
Garrison said the couple originally planned to open a food truck. They came to downtown Spartanburg to get their business license and learned that Bellefontaine was interested in selling the storefront he opened in August 2015.
“We thought it was perfect,” Garrison said.
He said the restaurant will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The couple plans to hire additional help as their business picks up.
Garrison said the eatery will have a selection of coffees from Spartanburg-based Little River Roasting Co.
Diners will be able to enjoy dishes like eggs benedict, and fresh biscuits and croissants.
“We will have a few specials, but I just want to keep it simple and yummy,” Garrison said.
He said the couple expects to sign their lease for the 780-square-foot space at 201 Wall St. adjacent to Hub Diggity on the ground floor of Spartanburg developer Royce Camp’s multi-use building across from city hall.
“It’s a wonderful space, but I think it needs consistent operation,” Camp said. “I think there’s a great opportunity there.”
Bellefontaine could not be reached for comment Wednesday. It was unclear whether he plans to continue operating the bakery that he and his wife, Veronique, started at the Hub City Farmer’s Market in 2011.
Bobby Beauvais, owner of Hub Diggity, said he is pleased the space will soon be occupied. He said he hopes the recent influx of new restaurants to the city’s urban center will encourage local officials to court more companies that want to relocate to downtown.
“I love being downtown,” Beauvais said. “We need more people walking and living in downtown.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/henhouse.brunchtruck.