Upstate Headlines: 15 can’t miss holiday events

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A collection of the top Upstate headlines for the week of November 28, 2016

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15 can’t miss holiday events (and four more worth the drive!)

Whether you’re looking for a new tradition for your family or want the details on old favorites, the Upstate has plenty of seasonal events planned to keep your family busy. Here’s a listing of the most popular and new holiday events happening this December.

1479833520-bridge2_300dpiSouth Carolina’s other city finds its culinary identity
Families and groups of teenagers stroll down Main Street on Saturday evenings. Couples turn off the thoroughfare into Falls Park to grab dinner at Passerelle Bistro, where they dine on both classic French dishes and Southern interpretations like grilled pork chops with Carolina rice gratin. It’s just one of many new restaurants that have recently opened in this town in the Upstate region, less than a four-hour drive from Charleston and at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “They’ve done such a great job of creating this awesome downtown area that’s a throwback to how downtowns used to be,” says Joe Clarke, chef and owner of American Grocery, also located on Main Street. “It’s always packed.”

860-south-church-street-google-maps-screen-shot-642x325Church St. farm-fresh fast food concept, Elev8, to open January
The concepts of farm-fresh and fast food don’t usually go together, but two recent Greenville transplants are hoping to change that. Certified nutritionist and fitness trainer Jonathan Willis, often recognized around town for his many tattoos, and his fiancée, Kaylee Gonzalez, started Elev8 Next Level Nutrition meal delivery service on Jan. 23 of this year to provide farm-fresh, locally sourced healthy meals to people who don’t have the time to cook but want to eat right. After a successful eight months selling subscriptions and delivering meals to local gyms, Willis says they are expanding their concept to a recently renovated dry cleaner property at 860 S. Church St. that has a drive-thru window.

bishop-furniture-renderingNew apartments, retail planned for Bishop Furniture building in downtown Spartanburg
Another important piece of downtown Spartanburg’s urban landscape could get a new lease on life. City Council on Monday approved an agreement with Greenville-based developer Blue Wall Real Estate, which plans to invest $10.5 million to transform the former Bishop Furniture building at 174 E. Main St. into a mixed-use facility with 46 luxury apartments and ground-level retail. “This isn’t finished yet,” said Bogue Wallin, principal of Blue Wall. “This is just the first step.”

636141166415196017-juiceapp-0000Restaurants cater to consumers’ busier lives
Cultural shifts have changed the way we dine out, and subsequently, how restaurants serve. Particularly restaurants in busy downtown areas are finding it necessary to match their customers’ busy lives. People don’t have time to order, sit down and eat. Instead, more and more restaurants are seeing customers order, take out and eat at their desks. Now fast food does not just mean going through the drive thru at McDonald’s or Burger King, but a chance to get a wholesome salad sampler, a cold pressed juice or a quinoa bowl.