The Village family is expanding

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Lindsey Montgomery is moving her coffee shop, The Village Grind, across the street to a bigger space | Photo by Will Crooks

Two favorite spots in the Village of West Greenville are expanding, both in physical space and in offerings.

The Village Grind, the 3-year-old, 18-seat coffee shop owned by Lindsey Montgomery, is moving from its location at 1263 Pendleton St. almost directly across the street to a 1,300-square-foot redeveloped portion of the former Mutual Home Store of Greenville at 1256D Pendleton St., allowing her brother Alex George, to expand his neighboring restaurant Golden Brown & Delicious (GB&D) at 1269 Pendleton St. into the small coffee shop space.

George and Montgomery have amicably shared common seating space between their restaurants since George opened up a doorway between the two, but it is now time for them both to expand to allow their businesses to grow.

George plans to renovate the small coffee shop space into a full-service bar for GB&D and will also be opening an experimental ice cream shop named Carol’s across the street at 1256E Pendleton St. next to the new Village Grind location in another section of the former Mutual Home Store. The two new locations will share patio space out front and common restroom access at the back of the stores.

The former Mutual Home Store properties are owned by Branwood Properties LLC, of which Ryan Johnston is a member. Johnston is the former publisher of Upstate Business Journal and current managing director of 6AM City LLC.

Carol’s and the Village Grind will open simultaneously in early June if construction continues to clip along at its current pace. The GB&D bar expansion will take place over the July 4 week when many of the Village businesses shut down for vacation.

The Village Grind

“My initial dream for the coffee shop was never to be as busy as we are now, which sounds ridiculous, but the space is so tiny,” Montgomery says. “And it’s great that GB&D has opened up their space and we can sit with them, but it’s been tricky because it’s not all our space.”

When George was talking about opening up the ice cream store across the street, Montgomery began thinking about possibly moving also. She toured all of the spaces, and eventually realized what she needed to do.

“I’ve had to slowly realize my reality that I need to do something different, but it’s just too small,” she says about the current space to which she has grown attached. “I’ll miss my little shop because I love it so much. I’m so sad about it because it was like my firstborn child, and now he’s going to college and graduating. The thing I first dreamed up is no longer going to be here. But it gives me the new chance to rebuild it all across the street.”

But regaining the Village Grind brand identity will be a major benefit of the move.

“It’s been so great sharing space with GB&D, but I think people are confused,” Montgomery says. “They think we’re the same thing. It’ll be so nice to have our own identity again.”

The cheerful baristas and eclectic mid-mod decor with light pink and greenery will still be present in the new space, but the working environment with more space will be a welcome change.

“I still really want it to feel like Village Grind, so still that really warm and inviting atmosphere,” Montgomery says. “I just want it to be so much better. I didn’t know what I was doing when I was designing that space. So I think my biggest excitement is to be able to rebuild the bar into a functioning unit. I think everything I did I’m realizing I did it in the most inconvenient way to be working back there.”

The new space features a skylight over the new, spacious bar; seating for 40 inside with 10 more outside on the patio; and the original tin tile ceilings, exposed brick, and built-in shelves.

“I love keeping as much of the natural building as possible,” she says.

Montgomery, who is currently on maternity leave after giving birth to her first child, is considering opening for evening hours as well once she makes the move.

Carol’s Ice Cream

George recounts happy memories of playing Chinese checkers and eating vanilla fudge swirl ice cream at his grandma Carol’s house. Carol, who passed away seven years ago, was his paternal grandmother, and in her honor, he is opening the new 35-seat ice cream shop with his father as his business partner.

George says his goal is to take that nostalgic feeling and infuse it into the new ice cream parlor featuring large white tile, a black granite counter, and wallpaper-wrapped bar, but this won’t be a typical hand-scooped ice cream shop. George plans to use liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze the cream base while it is being spun in a standard Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

The benefit of using liquid nitrogen as the cooling agent is that it freezes the mixture quickly enough to prevent water crystals from forming. Practically, it means George will be able to use less fat and sugar while maintaining a smooth texture.

The ice cream counter will have a row of stand mixers where the staff wearing gloves and goggles will make ice cream to order, pouring the liquid nitrogen into the mixing bowls from creamer carafes.

“It’ll be part of the show,” George says.

 

 

Because of the custom nature of making the ice cream, he plans to limit the number of variables by serving composed ice cream dishes like composed desserts, such as a banana split or peanut butter fudge. Each dish will include the ice cream flavor, a topping, and a crunch and cost $6-8.

George is also excited about the possibility of recreating what he calls one of the best things he’s ever eaten — a warm, doughnut ice cream sandwich he had at Walt Disney World. For his version, he’ll make the doughnuts fresh, as he does for weekend brunch at GB&D, make the ice cream ahead of time, and then use a specially designed press to put it all together.

Carol’s will also have soft-serve ice cream, served plain, with sprinkles or dipped in chocolate for $1-2, as well as sorbet and a dairy-free ice cream option.

George plans to source milk from Southern Oaks Jersey Farm and Creamery, but because of the amount of waste created by using only the egg yolks and not the whites, he will use pasteurized egg yokes. George says he would like to use local eggs, but the amount of waste and the price point make it a difficult business option. For instance, for 10 servings of ice cream, he will use 30 egg yolks.

“You can only make so many meringues,” he jokes, referring to a typical egg-white-only dessert.

GB&D Bar

George plans to renovate and redecorate his sister’s coffee shop space into an “’80s, lounge-esque” environment with neon pink and dark wood, giving it its own identity from the dining room.

He is currently working on the design but is planning on 15-20 seats with lower seating as well as bar seating. The bar will be designed to flow with the single doorway between the two spaces.

Up to this point, GB&D has not had a cocktail program because George could not obtain a liquor license while the coffee shop shared his space. Now, he plans to continue expanding the current wine and beer program while adding a carefully curated selection of mid-level base liquors and a focus on simple, carbonated, and fermented drinks. The cocktails will be citrus and fruit forward.

The food menu offered in the bar will be separate from the main dining room.

Once the expansion is complete, GB&D will be open five nights a week for lunch and dinner. George says he is actively hiring bartenders, line cooks, and additional servers.

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