A historic downtown Spartanburg building that’s been vacant for seven years could soon see a new restaurant tenant.
The former Abby’s Grille building — and later Cornbread to Caviar — at 149 W. Main St. is under contract by The Peddler Steak House, a popular Spartanburg restaurant that’s been around since the 1970s.
Ricky Harris, a Spartanburg attorney who provides legal counsel for The Peddler, said the restaurant anticipates closing the deal in the near future on the 125-year-old West Main building, which is owned by former Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet.
“There’s been an interest to see a high-profile tenant go into that location, and for it to be a restaurant of the caliber of The Peddler,” Harris said.
If the deal closes, Harris said The Peddler would begin a month-long renovation of the new location and move the restaurant there in early summer or fall. The restaurant’s current location would close once the new space is ready to go.
The steakhouse has resided for more than three decades at 464 E. Main St. in the Town Square Shopping Center.
The Mathison family owned The Peddler for 14 years before selling it in 2006.
In 2011, Heather Mathison bought the restaurant back. Heather Mathison, who now owns and manages The Peddler, said a go-to restaurant like a steakhouse should be part of downtown Spartanburg’s redevelopment.
Mathison said moving The Peddler to the heart of downtown would not only foster the continued growth of the business by increasing its visibility and clientele, but it also would contribute to the revitalization of the area.
The West Main location is a larger space that would almost double the restaurant’s seating capacity and allow for outdoor dining, she said. The restaurant would add more staff at the new location, too, she said.
“It’s certainly a huge undertaking, but I think it’s something that’s worthwhile,” Mathison said. “To move such a long-standing, full-service restaurant to the downtown area into a historical building is a little match made in heaven.”
The Peddler Steak House is a small regional chain with other locations, including one in Greenville. The restaurants are known for their hand-cut steaks and cozy atmosphere that make for a unique dining experience.
“There’s so much personal history that people have with The Peddler,” Harris said. “The Peddler has been the destination for area residents for every special occasion of their lives throughout generations of families.”