William Cribb’s restaurant portfolio has expanded during the past few years.
But the Spartanburg chef always smiles when he thinks about where his food journey began — a 30-seat eatery he opened in 2010 at 121 N. Spring St. in downtown.
With the help of his business partner Raj Patel, Cribb is going back to his roots with a new venture The Kennedy that is expected to open this summer in the 2,200-square-foot restaurant building at 221 E. Kennedy St. that formerly housed Renato’s.
“It feels great,” said Cribb, co-owner of Cribb’s Kitchen on Main, Cribb’s Catering, and two Willy Taco locations in Spartanburg and Greenville, and FR8 Yard, a beer garden concept planned for a vacant lot at 125 E. Main Street in downtown Spartanburg. “It’s good to get back to our roots. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Patel said he and Cribb have been discussing the concept for several months. They were looking for the right building.
“We wanted it to be something small, something intimate,” Patel said. “It’s not going to be a ‘center of the plate’ kind of restaurant. We’ll have seasonal, simple, great dishes. If radishes are in season, then we’re going to serve something with radishes. If tomatoes are in season, we’ll do something with tomatoes.”
The owners said the eatery will be open for dinner seven days per week. They’re still deciding what hours it will operate.
Patel said dishes will range from about $8 to $20 and include a variety of options crafted from fresh, local ingredients. The menu will be innovative and constantly updated depending on what is in season.
Cribb said his younger brother, Jamie Cribb, who has been cutting his teeth at the Wild Olive on Johns Island near Charleston, will move back to Spartanburg to serve as chef de cuisine at The Kennedy.
“He has been learning and has helped in numerous ventures,” the elder Cribb said. “Creatively, he’s as good as I’ve ever been. He’s a hell of a chef.”
Patel and Cribb said they hope to hire 20 to 25 employees for the venture. The building is in the process of being renovated.
They said the Kennedy’s food will be complemented by a selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
Tyger River Smart Farm and a few other local sources will supply most of the eatery’s ingredients.
Cribb was recently named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador for 2017. He will be cooking for several groups next week that will be in town for the state Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel
“We’re completely excited to have a group with their quality and track record go into that building,” said Craig Jacobs, a broker for Spartanburg-based Spencer Hines Properties and a partner in JIM LLC, the group that owns the building across from Spartanburg Community College’s downtown campus. “We think this is going to be great for downtown.”
Jacobs brokered the lease agreement with Cribb and Patel.
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