At long last, the empty, tired-looking structure that once housed a Kimbrell’s department store has been given new life, and a hoppin’ one at that. Carolina Ale House has pumped new life energy into the South Main area, with a sprawling, two-story sports bar and restaurant.
“We were really excited to be able to refurbish a part of the architecture in downtown with a great new restaurant,” said Lea Cooper, marketing director for Carolina Ale House.
Both levels feature their own bar, with 48 beers on tap, and plenty of televisions—two projection-screens downstairs and 16 62-inch flat-screens upstairs. There’s so much space that Carolina, Clemson and Furman fans each have their own designated areas at the downstairs bar, complete with plenty of school paraphernalia.
The restaurant is one of 16 Carolina Ale House locations in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, but Cooper said it’s really the ideal that all their restaurants strive for. For one thing, natural light and open air (in the spring, summer and fall) are a big deal. The atrium area near the entrance sits next to a bank of windows that open up in the warm season to the bustling sidewalk area.
The real showstopper is upstairs, though, where a retractable glass roof will allow for open-air “rooftop” dining during warm weather. In addition, windows along the front wall open up during the summer for a birds-eye view of Main Street.
“To me, it’s the essence of what our Carolina Ale House restaurants try to be,” Cooper said. “The whole feel of it is a couple steps up as far as atmosphere.”
In addition to the open-air features, the restaurant has classy dark wood floors, exposed-brick walls and exposed-beam ceilings. And while the focus is obviously on sports and drinks, don’t be fooled into thinking the food gets the shaft.
“We’re really big on our food quality,” Cooper said. “We prepare everything fresh daily. So it’s not your typical frozen food, reheated.”
The menu includes wings, pizza, burgers made of 100 percent fresh Angus beef, pastas, salads and steaks which are cut in-house.
Even better, the full menu is available during all business hours—that means until 2 a.m. each morning.
For more, check out our photo tour of Carolina Ale House.