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Downtown Spartanburg: Why Now for Le Spice Restaurant and Bakery

An assortment of bread in a display case inside a bakery.

Nick Dhers, owner of Le Spice Restaurant and Bakery, had often been asked when he would open a location in downtown Spartanburg.

In March, he was finally able to answer that question.

Nick, who owns Le Spice with his wife, Ae, announced Le Spice Downtown would open in August in the former Dottie’s Toffee building at 155 W. Main St.

Le Spice, with its artisan bakery, modern kitchen and Thai and French influences, is one of the latest in a series of businesses – both new and established – announcing Downtown Spartanburg locations. Downtown locations are coming this year for Monster Subs, The Peddler Steak House and several other businesses.

Nick said he wanted to capitalize Downtown Spartanburg’s momentum while bringing the restaurant’s unique dishes to a new audience.

Q: Why open a Downtown Spartanburg location now?

A: A lot of people have been asking about it. I have a lot of East side customers, Converse Heights, all those neighborhoods. It seems like a lot of those people have to travel a lot, I see them on the weekend a lot. During the week, they don’t really make it out here. We wanted to go closer to them, and it was far enough from this one where it wouldn’t necessarily hurt it.

Q: How did it come together?

A: We’ve been looking for about a year. Dottie’s came up and I just inquired about it. Turned out, it (rent) wasn’t that bad. It put it in perspective like, ‘okay, we can do this.’ This one (the West side location) is financing that one (the new Downtown location). People really do like the food. That makes me confident. I have a good team with me that has a common goal and they love what they do. We want to spread that.

Q: What do you hope to bring Downtown Spartanburg?

A: I want to make it hot. My signage, I can’t wait to have it up. It’ll be called Le Spice Downtown, with ‘Downtown’ in pink letters like ‘Miami Vice’ from the 1980s or early-90s. I hope people get loose a little bit. Get loose, make going out to eat a fun event.

Q: Will there be any differences between the two locations?

A: The menu is going to be a lot of the same, and then some. We are working, we do have a menu that’s coming together. We’ve tried it here a couple of times. That’s really under wraps. We’ll have a beer and wine license, so we’ll be selling beer and wine. And there will be a dessert bar, where a chef is plating desserts in the middle of the dining room, which is cool since we’re known for baking.

Q: Why was having a Downtown location important?

A: I’m just so happy people are into it. When I was younger, people weren’t into homemade crepes. Authentic, street-style Thai food wasn’t a thing. I want to do it more and more. It’s exciting. People come up and say, ‘what are you going to do.’ They can’t wait. We can’t wait. There has been a push from the people themselves.

To learn more about the moves fueling the growth of downtown, register here for FYI Friday, The Rise of Downtown Spartanburg, presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. The event is set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday April 20.

(Written by Zach Fox, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.)