The planned community of Hartness on Greenville’s eastside recently got a new addition, and it’s a tasty one. Located just inside the entrance to the 444-acre development, the Village Kitchen holds sway in the retail complex that serves as the community’s hub.
A hub is exactly what the restaurant will be, a chic, urban space with communal tables and counter service, where executive chef Tanner Marino will delight diners with his all-day menu. It’s a fast-casual spot where you can grab a muffin or pastry on your way to work, huddle over your laptop while you nosh on a buffalo chicken sandwich for lunch, or come back with the family in the evening to dig into flatbreads and small plates fired in the restaurant’s centerpiece pizza oven. Dishes will play on the chef’s Southern heritage, while adding multicultural twists (Italian, Asian, Latin). Much of the produce on the menu will come from the sustainable on-site farm that is the result of a partnership between Hartness and Mill Village Farms (check out the public farmers market on June 18, at 5:30pm).
We’re thoughtfully sourcing great ingredients and putting our own spin on them.
As the community’s heart in the Village Center, the restaurant will weave the Hartness family’s history into its space via a mural of patriarch Tom Hartness, who purchased the Pepsi Bottling rights in Greenville in 1940 and made his fortune developing packaging solutions for soft-drink companies. His collection of vintage soda bottles, dating from 1938 to 1982, fill the shelves above the counter.
Village Kitchen will hold about 100 seats, divided between indoors and outdoors. As the square footage is too small to accommodate a full bar, the restaurant will be launching a canned cocktail program. “This space is not built to do a lot of things from scratch,” shares Marino. “So for now, we’re thoughtfully sourcing great ingredients and putting our own spin on them.”
Though he was born in Michigan, Marino spent most of his life in the South. He earned his cooking chops in downtown Greenville at Devereaux’s with his mentors Steven Greene and Spencer Thomson. After starting out as a pastry assistant, Marino worked his way up, over six years, to chef de cuisine. “That was my culinary school—on-the-job training,” he says.
He was living with his wife and two small children in Chattanooga and working as the executive chef at the Westin when he heard about the opportunity in Greenville. “I wanted to come back for something special,” the chef explains, referring to the fact that he’ll be managing Village Kitchen as well as the catering and the future fine-dining restaurant at the boutique hotel currently under construction at Hartness. “I think this will be an amazing opportunity. Just like everything with this property, the possibilities are endless.”
Village Kitchen, 2000 Society St, Ste 100, Greenville. Open Tues–Fri 7am–8pm, Sat 8am–9pm, Sun 10am–2:30pm. Closed Mon. (864) 686-7900, villagekitchenhartness.com.
In the Kitchen
These sample savory dishes will get your mouth watering.
Breakfast of champions, nine-grain bread is slathered with avocado spread, Roma tomatoes and scallions, and sprinkled with Red Clay Everything Spice.
Chicken & Waffles
Chef Tanner interprets this Southern classic with a cornmeal waffle, Red Clay Hot Honey, and a garnish of pickled okra and peppadew peppers.
Fig & Pig Flatbread
One of the chef’s favorites, this flatbread is layered with goat cheese, prosciutto, and Brown Turkey figs, and topped with arugula dressed in a red-wine reduction.
Hartness Farm Salad
The seasonally changing signature salad will draw from fresh herbs and vegetables grown at the on-site farm.