Three Upstate entrepreneurs hope to woo diners in downtown Greenville with high-end flavors wrapped in the pillowy goodness of a French staple: the crepe.
Mayra Gallo, Susan Medellin and Anthony Burton plan to open their 2,800-square-foot concept Crepe du Jour Café & Wine this fall in the former Moe Joe Coffee space at 20 S. Main St. beside Miso’s on Main.
The upscale eatery’s menu will feature an offering of sweet and savory crepes crafted from fresh ingredients, specialty coffees, spirits and other goodies, say the restaurateurs.
“Everything we do, we’re going to try and take it to the next level,” said Burton, who moved to Greenville from Maine in 1996. “We want to give diners an alternative –something different that they can’t get anywhere else in downtown.”
The owners said they began talking about the possibility of opening the creperie after noticing a need for one in downtown.
Some details are still being finalized, but the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will operate Monday through Saturday and feature a sumptuous spread for brunch on Sundays.
In a few weeks, they will begin renovating the space. A coffee bar, ice cream bar and open kitchen will be situated on the left wall when customers enter. Seating will be on the right side.
The décor will be simple but classy, according to the owners, with a white paint scheme and wood furnishings and floors, according to the owners. They said they want it to be approachable for customers from all walks of life and hopefully a favorite romantic spot for couples.
Gallo, a native of Venezuela, who moved to Miami in 2005 and Greenville in 2007, will be the head chef and responsible for managing the kitchen.
She said she enrolled in culinary school at Greenville Technical College after deciding to follow her passion for cooking. Crepes happen to be one of her favorite meals to prepare at home.
Burton and Medellin, who is also a transplant from Maine, are owners of Anytime Fitness locations in downtown Greenville, Greer and the east side of Spartanburg.
They have been business partners for more than a decade, starting first with managing rental properties in Greenville and then opening their first location for the fitness franchise in the Cherrydale community in June 2006.
In March 2008, they opened their second Anytime Fitness off Wade Hampton Boulevard in Greer.
Medellin quit her full-time job in that year to go back to school and earn a degree in business from the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics.
While in school, Medellin developed a business plan for the Anytime Fitness location in Spartanburg, which she and Burton opened in 2012. Her transition to restaurateur not intuitive.
“I was resistant to [the creperie idea] at first,” said Medellin, who specializes in the accounting, bookkeeping and human resources side of the partnership. “The more we talked about it, the more we realized we didn’t want to be stuck in one area. We wanted to diversify our portfolio.”
Burton will focus on the sales, networking and creative parts of the new venture.
He said his interest in the creperie was piqued after sampling some of Gallo’s creations.
“My courage came from Mayra,” Burton said. “Downtown Greenville gets 11.5 million visitors per year. That’s something we’re really hoping to capitalize on… Owning two businesses and being part of a growing downtown is something we’re very proud of.”
The owners said they plan to keep the menu short and simple. But it will include a range of creative flavors, such as Hungarian and Japanese crepes. There will also be gluten-free and vegan options available.
Customers will be able to enjoy alcohol- or champagne-infused ice creams, mimosas, specialty coffees, waffles and other options.
The owners said they plan to hire about 20 people for the eatery, including servers, chefs and baristas, and plan to pay above average wages, in hopes of attracting and retaining talented employees.
“We are very passionate about this,” Gallo said. “We work well together as a team. The next few months are going to be very exciting for us. We hope everyone will come and try it because it’s going to be good.”
Those interested in jobs are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.