Santiago Mariani is an Argentinian native who moved to Spartanburg in 1996. He is now a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS®, and loves serving those who wish to make the heart of the Upstate their home. He can often be seen downtown, meeting with clients and friends, or walking down the streets, enjoying Spartanburg’s lively scene.
Get Santiago’s guide to a perfect day downtown, or build your own using the shoppingand dining options available in Downtown Spartanburg.
As a realtor and lover of my city, my time in Downtown Spartanburg is a mix of enjoying the treasures that are already among us, and imagining the exciting projects that are to come.
At Spill the Beans, I walk into the spacious, brightly-lit coffee shop for a caffeine-infused boost from one of the many friendly baristas who greet me by name.
Weather permitting, I sit by the open glass panels at the front, enjoying perhaps a Mexican Hot Chocolate as I talk to a new acquaintance or an old friend. Not far from us, a saxophonist can be heard playing some jazzy tunes from one of the street corners where once only the occasional car driving by could be heard.
His melodies intertwine with the laughter of children playing with their parents just across the street at the Denny’s Plaza playground. Some go running into the Imagination Station for a new toy with their dad while their mom heads over to the Bloom Hair Lounge next door to get done up. Others point excitedly to Hub City Scoops, eager for their little faces to be smeared with one of the many tasty flavors that are offered there.
Going in myself for a scoop of the Ultimate Oreo (my favorite!), I then stand outside and envision the three towers that will soon be built. I can almost see those on the right tower looking down at another band playing at the FR8yard below, home of Spartanburg’s most amazing pretzels, with perhaps the latest football game playing on their massive outdoors screen. With so much talented variety offered consistently on their stage, it never gets old! It also doesn’t hurt that their local beer, offered by RJ Rockers, is among the best.
For lunch, I head towards Groucho’s Deli, a well-known establishment in town, passing a mix of trendy boutiques and specialty shops on the way there. Their Reuben variation is always my go-to. It’s downright delicious!
Ready for another stroll with an eye towards the future, I walk down Church Street and stand at where Broad Street intersects. Recently, a Planetarium was announced for Spartanburg. It will stand next to and connect with our County Library. I can picture myself sitting inside the dome theater already, letting my mind expand to the mysteries of the universe, or perhaps enjoying a light show.
I smile as I also imagine the families from the nearly finished Fitzgerald Apartments zooming past me on their bikes. Those dedicated bike lanes will really pay off! And to my right, I envision what the new County/City Building might look like, reaching up perhaps four to six stories high, where I will easily be able to take care of both my car taxes and that parking ticket that I keep forgetting to pay.
From not too far in the distance I hear another good beat echoing, beckoning me to draw near. I follow the music all the way to Morgan Square; it’s now nearly evening. And so I work my way through a street filled with tables and festivity.
There’s so much activity now that Main Street traffic has been cut off! Will I get the juicy-licious Hangover Burger at Burgär, a tasty milanesa at Mezcal, or Delaney’s Irish Pub’s famous fish and chips? For now, I enjoy for a bit people dancing outside, as it’s Music on Main Thursday, after all! Had they perhaps been previously bowling at UnderPin Lanes & Lounge, where they had some of their gooey fried Oreos, or having a blast at Craft Axe Throwing instead? “Love where you live,” a mural proclaims just down the road. That’s easy when Spartanburg is your home!
After deciding on some Vietnamese food, I meet some friends over at the Lemongrass Kitchen; their pho simply can’t be beat! I leave to go back to my car parked near Spill the Beans from earlier. Before setting off, I look over to the large beams of the new County Courthouse that are going up even now, multiple lights flooding the darkening skies.
And then, as I make it to my car, I see one last message springing organically from the city—“HOPE”—painted so vibrantly on a Dunbar Street wall. The future sparkles before us; Spartanburg, lead the way!