Game on in Hub City!
By Hope S. Philbrick
Maybe you carry a deck of cards with you wherever you go. I don’t.
No need to BYO games to Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Proof that being bored is banished in Spartanburg, several bars and retailers share a common theme: Game tables, boards and grounds stand at the ready, inviting play. The games transform these places from quick stops where you might merely quench thirst or curiosity into genuine fun hang outs where it’s charming to linger. Without further ado, here they are:
Growler Haus has a foosball table on its upper level. The bar on the main floor has 24 taps of different styles of beer, with lots of seasonal and micro-craft brews in the mix. Buy by the glass or growler while digging into beer-friendly bites like boiled peanuts, soft pretzels, sandwiches and flatbreads. You could sit at the bar or in a “conference room,” but climb up to the L-shaped upstairs to sink into a sofa or play games.
Motte & Sons Bootlegging Co., the city’s first micro-distillery, keeps three chess and checkers tables near the tasting bar. Play while enjoying sips of spirits like whiskey, brandy, rum and vodka that are made using local ingredients. Also on-site is a marketplace that sells local food products including a variety of nuts and candies sold by the pound. Sip + munch + play = a winning combo.
AC Hotel by Marriott Spartanburg keeps a pool table adjacent to its lobby bar. Locals and hotel guests can’t resist the bar’s nightly cocktail specials, chic style, and vibrant business-meets-pleasure ambiance.
FR8 Yard is a beer garden with its kitchen and bar tucked into retired shipping containers The street-food inspired menu presents upscale versions of beer-friendly bites like chargrilled marinated chicken on a stick, veggie dogs, and loaded fries. It’s adjacent to Sparkle City Mini Putt, a free nine-hole mini golf course! Just bring your own putter and golf ball, or borrow one from a participating downtown business.
The Black Derby Barber Co. is inspired by the barbershops of yore and yesteryear, long before hipsters were even a glint in the eyes of dapper dudes. Traditional straight razor shaves are a pampering experience that include hot towels. Classic clip cuts and shoe shines are other services. Complimentary beverages are offered. A chess board invites dignified, intellectual competitions.
There are many more ways adults can play in Spartanburg:
- Test your knowledge of trivia on the Music Trail self-guided walking trail or the Revolutionary War Trail self-guided driving tour.
- Set your own speed records racing around on one of the mountain bike trail loops at Duncan Park.
- Challenge your friends to a footrace on the paved trail at the Cottonwood Trail at Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve.
- Play 18 holes of Frisbee golf at Tyger River Park.
- Paddle in kayaks, canoes or Jon boats across Lake Craig at Croft State Park.
- Walk, jog, skate or bike the Mary Black Rail Trail.
- Watch the NFL’s Carolina Panthers practice each summer at Wofford College.
- Get behind the wheel for an adventurous test-drive unlike any other at the BMW Performance Center.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to the Spartanburg SC CVB for hosting my recent visit.