Rick Erwin’s The Standard: A Refined Kitchen makes debut in Spartanburg

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Spartanburg’s historic Drayton Mill got some more of its panache back Wednesday.

Greenville-based restaurateur Rick Erwin opened the doors to his sixth eatery, The Standard: A Refined Kitchen.

The 7,000-square-foot concept, which is the largest of all of Erwin’s fine-dining establishments, is located within the former textile mill’s 98-year-old Tudor Revival-French Eclectic company store at 1800 Drayton Road.

Diners will find affordably priced American dishes, as well as a good selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails, in a rustic, modern space.

“I am certainly very excited,” said Erwin, owner and founder of Rick Erwin Dining Group. “It took a lot of work to get us here, but we’re finally ready. I can’t say enough about the support we’ve received so far.”

Customers fill up the main dining room of The Standard: A Refined Kitchen during a recent soft opening.

Erwin’s restaurant was announced in June 2016 as an anchor for the second phase of the 115-year-old mill’s redevelopment as a vibrant mixed-use community featuring residential, commercial, and recreational amenities.

The first phase, which kicked off in 2014, included the construction of 289 luxury loft apartments — Drayton Mills Lofts — in the mill’s spinning and weaving buildings.

In early 2016, developers began the second phase of the revitalization—transforming the mill’s old cotton warehouses and company store into an attractive destination for restaurants, retailers, and office users.

In addition to The Standard, industrial developer Agracel Inc., Bella Latte and Mozza Roasters, and Melotte Enterprises have opened at Drayton Mills Marketplace.

Elissa and David Farmer, franchise owners for Burn Boot Camp, announced in January they signed a lease for 5,000 square feet to house their fitness concept. The couple has been hosting pop-up boot camps at the mill for several months.

On April 26, Karen Rampey, owner of Henderson, N.C.-based Pi-Squared Pizza announced she signed a lease on 3,300 square feet at the Marketplace.

“We congratulate Rick and his team for really delivering on their plans to bring a high-quality dining establishment to Spartanburg,” said John Montgomery, principal of Spartanburg-based Montgomery Development Group, the majority owner of Drayton Mills Marketplace. “We think this will continue to energize our efforts to create new opportunities for residents of Drayton and Spartanburg, and provide economic growth for the surrounding community.”

Montgomery said the Marketplace was meant to complement the Lofts. But both projects are part of a long-range plan to revitalize the former mill village and bring hundreds of new homes to the area.

Tara Sherbert, managing partner of TMS Development, the majority owner of Drayton Mills Lofts, said the luxury apartments are almost fully occupied.

“To add the Marketplace component, where now these residents not only have the opportunity to enjoy each other, whether it’s dining, drinking coffee, or soon-to-be working out at Burn Boot Camp, they get to enjoy the outside community coming to Drayton,” Sherbert said. “We are now a truly a live, work, play community.”

According to the mill’s National Register of Historic Places nomination form, Joseph E. Sirrine, a distinguished textile mill designer of the early 20th Century, designed the company store.

The building has a cruciform layout, a slate hipped roof, and pressed tin ceilings inside.

During the mill’s heyday, the building housed a grocery store, post office, business offices, and other operations.

The mill and its store shuttered in the mid-1990s.

The Standard occupies a majority of the store building, but there is still almost 3,000 square feet available for other tenants.

Erwin said he has hired about 60 employees for the restaurant and hopes to fill about 20 more positions.

The eatery has seating for almost 200 diners, a private dining room, and a 2,500-square-foot outdoor patio.

Its menu includes starters, such as crispy calamari and Reuben spring rolls, soups, salads, sides, burgers and sandwiches priced between $3 and $14.

Entrees, including as prime sirloin meatloaf, grilled twin beef filets, herb grilled chicken cordon bleu, ribs, and market fresh fish, range from $12 to $32.

For dessert, diners can enjoy a seasonal cobbler, or brownie sundae for $6, or butterscotch blondie a la mode for $7.

Initially, the restaurant will only be open for dinner, but Erwin said he soon plans to begin serving lunch.

For more information, visit www.rickerwins.com.

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