Wild Ace Pizza expanding to Spartanburg

VandenBerghes opening third World War aviation themed restaurant

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, February 8, 2013

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Wild Ace Pizza & Pub will open April 1 in Spartanburg at 148 West Main Street. It will occupy the 3,500-square-foot historic Citizens and Southern National Bank Building on Morgan Square.

Jim Fair

Wild Ace Pizza & Pub will open April 1 in Spartanburg at 148 West Main Street. It will occupy the 3,500-square-foot historic Citizens and Southern National Bank Building on Morgan Square.



Enlarge photo

The view from the Citizens and Southern National Bank Building to Morgan Square with the statue of General Daniel Morgan.

Jim Fair

The view from the Citizens and Southern National Bank Building to Morgan Square with the statue of General Daniel Morgan.

Spartanburg has rolled out the red carpet for Chris and Denise VandenBerghe, owners of Wild Ace Pizza & Pub.

The third restaurant under the VandenBerghe’s brand will open April 1 in Spartanburg at 148 West Main Street. It will occupy the 3,500-square-foot historic Citizens and Southern National Bank Building on Morgan Square.

“The city has been actively involved rebuilding downtown,” Denise said. “The City, Chamber and Downtown Association said ‘we’re going to help you.’ It’s the same way Greer was when we came here.”

The restaurant will seat 250 and feature bars on both floors of the building. The menu, hours, craft beers offered and restaurant décor, World War aviation, will be consistent with other Wild Ace properties. Outdoor dining will be featured with a patio in front of the building. “That’s become our trademark,” Denise said.

Brian Powell, from Greer’s Wild Ace, is the manager of the Spartanburg location that will employ 40.

Roland Zimmer, owner of the approximately 140-year old building, will install Solar Power Systems to provide heated water, the first of its kind in downtown Spartanburg. Denise said “green” LED lighting will be pervasive, similar to the other Wild Ace restaurants.

Ironically, the VanderBerghes will occupy a second building that previously housed Justin’s Steakhouse. Wild Ace moved into the building on Trade Street in 2009 when Justin’s closed and was the impetus behind Greer’s downtown revitalization. “It seems like we’ve been following them around,” Denise said with a laugh.

Couture Closets previously occupied the bank building and is relocating.

Denise said they twice came close to make an offer for the former bank building but didn’t, “because it just didn’t feel right at the time.”

Spartanburg is banking on Wild Ace Pizza & Pub to be a magnet for more downtown businesses. Across the street from Wild Ace, a city block of buildings is vacant. “It’s about the same it was in Greer when we opened Wild Ace,” Denise said.

Converse, Sherman Chiropractic, Spartanburg Methodist, USC Upstate and George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, and Wofford colleges provide a demographic the VandenBerghes will tap into. “We will be catering to the college kids and the city is talking about bringing more events downtown,” Denise said.

April 1 coincides with Wild Ace opening in Travelers Rest last year and Acme General Store in Greer. Greer’s Wild Ace opened May 1, the weekend of the Family Fest.

 

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