Dr. Mac Arnold’s Blues Restaurant in the Village of West Greenville is closing just before Labor Day, and the new tenant, Tipsy Music Pub, will move in Sept. 5 with plans for a complete renovation.
The new concept, however, will continue to honor the musical legacy Arnold built at 1237 Pendleton St. when it opens early October, and the new ownership team is uniquely qualified to follow through on that commitment.
The four Tipsy Music Pub co-owners are CHASS Productions co-owners Steven Scott and longtime Upstate musician Charles Hedgepath, along with Tipsy Taco co-owners Roger Carlton and Trish Balentine.
This latest venture for Carlton and Balentine comes soon after Tipsy Taco on Pelham Road celebrated its one-year anniversary in June.
Together, each with decades of experience in their respective businesses, the Tipsy Music Pub owners hope to open and run what will become a premier entertainment venue with music seven days a week and the capacity to hold 220 people and host national on down to local acts of all varieties.
Renovations to the approximately 4,200-square-foot space include opening up the center brick wall, enlarging the stage, a completely new sound system, all new lighting, and a fully-stocked, private green room with its own separate entrance and exit. Notably, décor will include the 17-foot decorative guitar removed from the former Hames Music Store visible from I-85 in Gaffney. Carlton, obviously pleased with this acquisition, says he plans to have every performer sign it.
Scott and Hedgepath, with their combined experience as producers and Hedgepath as performer, are intent on providing a professional experience for the musicians and lining up a variety of acts to appeal to all types of guests.
“We want to be that place where people want to go play in Greenville,” Hedgepath says. “We will have the best green room in town.”
Scott and Hedgepath, after decades working with musicians, want to create a venue that will not only be able to accommodate high quality acts, but actively attract them.
“We want it to where we’ve got musicians battling to get into our facility even though we might be the same size or just a little bit bigger than the norm around here,” Scott says.
And with Balentine, formerly of Corporate Deli, current owner of DishOut Café & Catering, and the brains behind the inventive Tipsy tacos, on the team, the food will be a main feature, along with bourbon and whiskey-heavy bar offerings and a “Tipsy” beer on tap made by Goose Island. Some of the fresh, craft cocktails will be named after iconic songs. “Sunday Funday” will be an actual event, along with bluegrass and gospel brunches.
“People pair wine and food and beer and food,” Hedgepath says. “We’re taking it to the next level where we can actually pair a whole experience.”
Depending on the entertainment for the night, be it bluegrass or Southern rock, Balentine may create special menu offerings to complement the theme.
“It has the great infrastructure that Tipsy Taco has set up but with a different creative outlook,” says Charles Hedgpath. “Everything is in tandem. Food to me is equally as important, you know, to be kick-ass on both sides.”
The printed menu will include small plates and sharable finger foods, such as oysters a few ways, shrimp, wings, and “funky” mushrooms, to name a few dishes Balentine is toying with.
“Just the average, kicked up a notch, I guess, with a little twist to it,” Balentine says, describing the overall feel of the menu.
Balentine will have full creativity with the menu, changing it as often as she wants and according to what’s fresh.
“The good thing about what Trish does is she takes what’s normally an average thing and does it way above average,” Hedgepath says.
Balentine says a key feature will be a late-night menu, “because that’s the type of place this is,” and also to attract and cater to service industry employees who are getting off work at 11 p.m. and looking for something to do.
“Being in the food industry and the entertainment industry, we miss out on a lot of food and drinks sometimes,” Balentine says. “I really want that to be an invitation to people in the industry to come later and enjoy themselves.”
Hours of operation are tentatively 3 p.m.-midnight on weekdays, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. until close on Sundays.