Downtown Fountain Inn, South Carolina
Endearing Main Street “sells the town” with boutiques, food and fun
Fountain Inn residents have easy access to the big-city attractions of nearby Greenville. But many of the thousands who decide to make Fountain Inn their new home do so because it still hangs on to the family-friendly feel of a small Southern town. And that includes a wide array of shopping and dining, with a special emphasis on boutique stores.
“Our Main Street sells the town,” said Whitney Ferguson, a lifelong resident who has become president and CEO of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce. “Whether you’re planning to relocate or start a new business, you’ll fall in love with our city’s charming history and warm hospitality!”
Though Fountain Inn itself consists of a homey 10,000 people, the Greenville metro area is home to more than 500,000. That makes it the third-largest and fastest-growing urban area in South Carolina.
Many small towns and suburbs have struggled to keep their central business districts alive in the 21st century. And just a little over a decade ago that was the case with Fountain Inn. But an ambitious revitalization project put into place in 2006 has turned what used to be a greater-than-50% vacancy rate into a 90 to 95% occupancy rate.
A Streetscape Beautification Project widened sidewalks, added landscaping and increased parking. The former Fountain Inn High School building was converted into the Younts Center for Performing Arts, with a 418-seat auditorium.
Many of the new businesses have brought a boutique theme to Main Street:
- The Black Tulip, opened in 2015, is a lifestyle boutique with women’s apparel and home decor.
- I Declare! stocks gifts, home accessories and jewelry.
- Inn Season offers floral arrangements, interior design and home decor.
- Lilies on Main has floral arrangements for any occasion that can be ordered online.
- The Southern Sisters Boutique, run by sisters Danielle and Mary, offers women’s clothing, pressed-flower jewelry made by one of the sisters, jewelry, accessories and gifts.
- Unique Creations Upstate, featuring unusual art, antiques and vintage gifts.
- The Sock Ministry, with men’s apparel, accessories and personal styling.
EATING, DRINKING AND FUN
Six fast-food eateries and more than a dozen sitdown restaurants include:
- Bucky’s Bar-B-Q serves pork, ribs and chicken hot out of the pit and known for wood-smoked flavor.
- The Clock Drive-In has served up hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade chili and breakfasts on Main Street since 1981.
- Cucina 100 allows patrons to taste and sample the best Italian fare this side of Europe.
- El Patron Mexican Restaurant offers fun, casual Mexican dining, a sports bar and karaoke nights.
- Georgia Street Cafe offers traditional Southern fare for breakfast and lunch, including a super-hash-brown meal it calls “Trash Browns.”
- The Growler Haus is the city’s first craft-beer store, with more than 30 brands on tap.
- J Peters Bar and Grill gets high marks from guests and is praised for its convenient downtown location.
- Orion’s Bar and Grill, known for its “happy hour,” boasts that it provides “out of this world good and a stellar atmosphere.”
- Steam Coffee & Cream, a new coffee shop on Main Street.
- Sweet Catherine’s is the place you want to be if you’re looking for a quick lunch in a quaint and cute environment.
- Tacos & Bla Bla Bla offers traditional Mexican food.
- The Yard Bar is “a cool place to hang out with friends, play pool and hear live music”
- Frank’s House of Pizza, Pizza Hut and Tony’s Pizza & Subs all specialize in something flat and tasty.
- Carolina Growers Group, also known as “CGG Meats,” is committed to “the old time neighborhood butcher shop experience” with a full-line delicious meats, custom butchering, deli meats and cheeses, sandwiches and more.