Friday, August 07, 2020
When you visit Spartanburg, be sure to support our Black-owned businesses, celebrate Black culture, and learn about Spartanburg’s 230 year history. Check out these Black-owned restaurants, bars and hotels, and educate yourself on the key role the Black community had in developing Spartanburg to what it is today.
Travel down a picturesque driveway on the outskirts of Downtown and pull up to where you’ll be spending your evenings during your stay, the Clevedale Inn. Full of history, this gorgeous bed and breakfast blends southern charm with modern accommodations for a vacation you’ll want to brag about. Originally built in 1913, this estate features various suites for you to choose from each with their distinct style.
After a night of relaxing, wake up to enjoy a delectable dish for breakfast such as sweet potato pancakes, red velvet waffles or a salmon croquette.
Take time to learn more about the impact the Black community has had on Spartanburg when you visit the Spartanburg Regional History Museum. Located on the Chapman Cultural Center’s campus in Downtown, this museum features pieces ranging from World War I through the Civil Rights movement up to the desk of Spartanburg’s first Black female representative, Brenda Lee. Honor the history of those that helped develop Spartanburg by learning and reading about the plight that faced slaves in a series of printed interviews from former slaves in the area.
Keep learning and visit spots that had a key role in the Black history of Spartanburg with the Black History Walking Tour from the Spartanburg Library. Highlighting events such as the Woolworths and Kress Sit-Ins during the Civil Rights movement and the Finch Hotel’s role in housing an African-American regiment during World War I, this self-guided tour will help you learn more about the heritage and history of local culture throughout the years.
In the heart of downtown sits the latest public art piece, a 230-foot mural along West Broad Street that simply states “Black Lives Matter.” Bringing together national and local artists of different backgrounds and ethnicities, this mural brings awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement in Spartanburg. With each letter assigned to a different artist, the mural’s varying themes depict the many cultures that help make up our community.
While some locals may remember Duncan Park as the home baseball field for the minor- league affiliate Spartanburg Phillies, its roots trace back to the days of the negro league Spartanburg Sluggers from 1928 until 1952. During those years, Duncan Park was the center for sports entertainment for the local Black community with big named players coming through such as one night in 1951 when a Brooklyn Dodger player, Jackie Robinson, took a break from his playing schedule and squared off against the Spartanburg Sluggers. Park your car, lace up your shoes, and go explore the pathways around the ballpark and throughout Duncan Park and enjoy the natural beauty of this park that was the entertainment hub for the Black-community in the 20th century.
Just south of Spartanburg in Woodruff, SC sits an unassuming building and some of the best barbecue South Carolina has to offer. Pulled pork, ribs, fried chicken, hamburger steak, the menu goes on and on full of classic southern barbecue favorites when you visit Mustard Seed BBQ. With so many dishes to choose from, stop by on a Sunday for their barbecue buffet and find which dish is your favorite.
“Cooking from the heart,” the tagline for Charlene’s Home Cooking, couldn’t be more spot on. Opened in 2010 by Charlene and Mike Davis, this meat-and-three serves up recipes that have been in Charlene’s family for generations inspired by dishes the family matriarch, Annie Laura Sims-Alexander, affectionately known as Ma Bessie, would make. Charlene’s home-cooked meals offer seafood twists on the meat-and-three, with shrimp and seafood plates joining ribs, roasted and fried chicken. And how could we forget the sides, like collard greens, yams and other fresh-cooked, seasonal vegetables.
If you’re looking for a meal that’s a little lighter, look no further than the
Monarch Café and Fresh Food Store in the Northside neighborhood.
This quaint café is a great place to enjoy a fresh meal while talking in the beauty of the nearby Butterfly Branch Greenway, a half-mile trail loop perfect for that post-meal walk.
Satisfy your sweet tooth in the heart of Downtown with Smallcakes Spartanburg, a cupcake shop that will help put the icing on your weekend trip. Choose from flavors like Chocoholic, Wedding Cake, and Caramel Crunch for a sweet treat, or take your experience to the next level with their Smash Cake and mix your cupcake with two scoops of their signature ice cream.
With a menu featuring triple chocolate brownie sundaes, strawberry shortcake cupcakes, and “World Famous” banana pudding, hop in the car and head to Lyman for a taste of Big Ben’s Desserts. Founded in 2015 by former NFL player Ben Hall, this shop is a great stop for lovers of banana pudding or really, anything sweet.
From the classic traditional cider to a hoppy IPA-style cider, head to Fat Ass Heifer Cidery and get a taste of their refreshing hard ciders. Named after a troublesome cow, this family owned farm in Campobello has acres of cider apples used to produce a variety of ciders such as Sassy Black Baldie, Lowline Dirty Heifer, and Ozark Mountain King. With gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, sit back and relax with a cold drink in hand.
Designed to bring back that nostalgic jazz club feeling in Downtown, Blues Boulevard is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy live music during your trip. With performances each weekend from jazz musicians across the South, order your favorite cocktail, settle in, and add a soundtrack to your evening in Spartanburg. Focused on promoting the growing arts culture in our community, you can also find paintings, photographs, and more from local artists throughout this cozy club. So if you’re looking to experience a satisfying handcrafted cocktail with the sounds of jazz music, then add Blues Boulevard to your itinerary.
With even more Black-owned businesses in Spartanburg, check out BLKSpartanburg, for a full list of Black-owned restaurants and businesses to support during your next trip to Spartanburg.