SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A new dining and entertainment venue will soon be coming to a popular Spartanburg trail.
“The Rail Trail itself has gotten a lot more popular over the last couple of years,” City of Spartanburg Spokesperson Christopher George said. “They had a couple of years back-to-back of record numbers, and last year was another record for them.”
While many places shut down during COVID, one place saw a lot of traffic. That place was the Mary Black Rail Trail.
“People who are using the Rail Trail right now–I’m out there a lot–and it’s families with kids, it’s people out getting exercise, it’s just people enjoying the fresh air,” George said.
One of those people is Cheryl Robinson. She started using the rail trail when the pandemic first started and said she’s seen many benefits from it.
“The Rail Trail has helped me lose 54 pounds in a year,” Robinson said.
Robinson said she walks the trail several times a week.
Right now, there’s an empty lot she passes each time; but, soon, that lot will be a new dining and entertainment venue.
“We haven’t had one that’s oriented itself specifically to the Rail Trail this way,” George said. “And it’s a really good example of how trails like this stimulate economic development.”
Robinson told 7 News she thinks the new development would be another great benefit for people like her who use the trail often.
“It would be nice because a lot of us don’t have our water bottles with us, so we could stop and get a bottle of water or a drink or whatever they have,” she said.
“It’s really kind of the perfect thing to turn what might’ve been a little trip–where you’re there for maybe an hour or so–into a whole-afternoon kind of thing,” George added.
The new venue will have a restaurant and a coffee shop, and it will include space for food trucks and live music.
“What’s most exciting about it is the entertainment space and gathering space along the rail trail,” George said. “It’s something unique there, something you see in other cities, and we’re really excited to see one of these concepts come to Spartanburg.”
There is no official groundbreaking date just yet, but developers say they expect things to start moving by late spring or early summer, and they’re hoping phase one of the project will be completed by the end of 2021.