This Woodsy Hangout is the Best New Thing in Travelers Rest
by Jason Greer
What do you get when you take some of the best things about Travelers Rest — good food, culture, and time with friends — and put them all together in one space?
You get The Grove.
The Grove is a brand new event venue recently created by the entrepreneurial folks at local eatery Upcountry Provisions. It’s the latest example of all these things coming together in that special way that only Travelers Rest can do.
What was just a wooded, overgrown lot a few months ago is quickly becoming one of the most exciting new event spaces in northern Greenville county, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated couple well known around town for their tasty food at Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro.
About five years ago, Stephen and Cheryl Kraus opened their local eatery in a small building on State Park Road that seemed, at the time, unsuited for a restaurant. But with some vision, teamwork, and a relentless approach to try new ideas, they have been a significant part of the refreshing of Travelers Rest’s downtown area.
“I lived in Travelers Rest while studying at Furman and loved the small-town charm that was developing,” says Cheryl. “Steve saw the economic and community benefit of a rails-to-trails project in St. Louis prior to moving to South Carolina. So together, we believed that the city of Travelers Rest, combined with the expansion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, would create a great location for our restaurant.”
Now, they’re expanding their concept by revitalizing the lot next door and creating The Grove, where, in coming months and years, they hope to create a gathering location for events like receptions; company get-togethers; and even intimate concerts.
“When the property next door to our restaurant became available, we immediately latched onto the vision of extending our offering to the community in and around Travelers Rest,” explains Cheryl. “It certainly has felt like launching a new business in that we started with a rock piece of land that needed power, water, development — which is similar to when we leased the three-bay garage building that is now retrofitted into our restaurant.”
“We really want to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary,” says Stephen.
And that is exactly what they’ve been doing in this lot for the last few months in a space that is quickly taking shape. The Grove features an open, grassy area; small stage; lights hanging from trees above; blooming rose bushes; hand-hewn tables; and a restored creek, too.
“We hope to create an intimate outdoor venue that is available for both musicians and parties, that both beautifies and helps develop the current ecosystem that exists on the land,” says Cheryl.
The new Grove site is a way to bring a sense of the woods into Travelers Rest’s little downtown, too. This may just be the start of structures that blend in with the environment and become a catalyst for memories yet to be made under our Southern sky.
“There really isn’t a place like this in Travelers Rest,” says Cheryl.
Over the next few months, you can expect to see The Grove continue to develop and grow. The plans are to have it be the site of Upcountry Provision’s Friday night Community Concert series, which now happens on the site of the bakery at the recently expanded patio area. A handful of picnic tables and also longer tables with real tree bar stools invite guests to enjoy their meals, and the music, outdoors.
But the first big event coming to The Grove will actually be Bovinoche (which translates to “the night of the cow”) on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, May 14, 2016. There will be music and some of Upcountry Provision’s wonderful and beloved appetizers and desserts.
The real show-stopper for this event, though, will be open-roasted beef, goat, and even llama. (Yes, we said llama.) It’s all part of what promises to be an extraordinary, slow-roasted meat event. Renowned pitmaster Jeff Bannister has toured regionally, introducing many to whole, slow-roasted meats that will be sure to please all the senses. Whether you’ve met these meats or you’re about to, you won’t want to miss it.
(Hey! We’ve even got a special, exclusive discount for Bovinoche right here for our blog readers at TravelersRestHere. You can buy your tickets knowing that this event, the first of many gatherings in this space, will benefit Meals on Wheels and also the Green Beret Foundation.)
To get your tickets (plus an exclusive $20 discount) for Bovinoche, visit our events listing.
If you’re interested in inquiring how Upcountry Provision’s Grove site could make your upcoming event extraordinary, then please contact Cheryl Kraus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writer: Jason Greer and Celeste Hawkins
Editor: Celeste Hawkins
Photography: Jason Greer
Disclosure: This is a post sponsored by Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro. In addition, our writer was invited as a member of the media to Bovinoche for free. All opinions are our own.]