The Drayton Mills Marketplace in Spartanburg has grown this summer.
The textile mill-turned-marketplace and apartments has added a diverse group of new shops and activities: among them a tattoo shop, barber shop, bakery and a drive-in movie series.
Many who still live in Drayton and worked at the mill are excited about the changes according to The Sherbert Group CEO, Tara Sherbert who led the development and construction management of Drayton Mills.
“The mill village behind the mill has always been so supportive (and) involved,” Sherbert said. “It’s the community, it’s the mill village. They used to work here, they lived here and then the mill was taken away from them. But they wanted to stay a community, so they stayed connected.”
Stewart Winslow was a horticulturist for Milliken & Co., the company that used to own the textile mill. Winslow is still connected to Drayton Mills, living in the former weave building that now is used as loft apartments.
“It’s a big project and the thought of it just being a vacant lot with half-broken bricks would’ve been terrible for the community,” Winslow said of the mills’ development.
Drayton Mills only has one more commercial space left. It’s 1,700 square feet near Holliday Brewing, Pi-Squared Pizza and Bella Latte and overlooks the pond.
Here’s the new additions you can find at Drayton Mills Marketplace:
Former MMA fighter Ashley Rushing and Landrum native Tyler Maupin opened Bareknuckle Barbershop Aug. 1 behind Dray Bar and Grill.
When an injury put an end to Rushing’s fighting career, she turned to the hair industry, another passion she’s always had.
“My family’s always done hair, so I’ve kind of always been around it,” Rushing said.
While Rushing does the barbering, Maupin works on the financial side of the business and created the name and branding for Bareknuckle Barbershop. Artist and Spartanburg native Leon Wilkie created the logo, two fists (or bare knuckles) holding a pair of scissors.
The shop also displays belts and other MMA memorabilia from Rushing’s career.
Bareknuckle Barbershop is open for business at 1802 Drayton Road and a grand opening will be held in September.
Art decór and oddities shop Dr. Drayton
Adjacent to Bareknuckle Barbershop in the same building, Wilkie, who designed the barbershop’s logo, will open Dr. Drayton, an art decór and oddities shop.
“I really never thought there would be a place or an opportunity to do what I do back home,” Wilkie said in a statement. “I was especially excited to see the growth and potential on my side of town.”
Wilkie will showcase his graphic design and other work, meet with clients and sell his artwork in the new space.
Wilkie is hoping for a Halloween opening date this year for Dr. Drayton, he said.
Above Dr. Drayton will soon be a luxury penthouse space for wedding parties and other groups using the 1800 Drayton event space. The space will be available for viewing Sept. 1.
Tattoo Lounge at Drayton Mills
In the same building as both Dr. Drayton and Bareknuckle Barbershop, Mark Monroe and Josh Glasser plan to open Tattoo Lounge at Drayton Mills by mid-September.
Monroe and Glasser have two other locations in Connecticut and Miami. The Connecticut location is close to New York City and boasts well-known baseball players, musicians and actors among its clientele.
Glasser is a lifelong artist who has worked in sculpture and acrylic oil and has been in the tattoo industry for more than 18 years, Monroe said.
“He’s the best artist you’ll ever probably meet in your entire life,” Monroe said.
Monroe, a former Marine, police officer and firefighter, considers the new shop an “upscale” tattoo parlor.
“It’s custom-drawn, everything done to your liking,” Monroe said. “(We) sit down with you, see what ideas you have… and we can collaborate that all together and customize something that would fit you and then we tweak it to your liking.”
Monroe said he would like to have four artists working in the shop: Glasser, who specializes in realism tattoos, another artist who specializes in black and gray tattoos, one color artist and one artist that would handle walk-ins so they wouldn’t have to turn away the business.
Divine Servings bakery
Like Rushing, Brenda Mitchell has had a major career change.
Once an ophthalmic tech in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mitchell has pursued her dreams of baking and has opened up Divine Servings in Drayton Mills Marketplace.
“I’ve been baking for friends and family for over 25 years,” Mitchell said. “It’s just been a passion and I decided that it was time for a career change.”
The bakery is currently working out of the 1800 Drayton kitchen doing online and phone orders, but Mitchell would one day like to open a storefront or sell her cakes and cupcakes out of Bella Latte next door.
Divine Servings specializes in flavored cupcakes — Reese’s, strawberry lemonade, hummingbird. Mitchell also makes specialty cakes, bread pudding, cheesecake, brownies and cookies.
To see more information or place an order visit DivineServings.com or call 864-316-4710.
Changes to Dray Bar and Grill
Those who worked in the textile mills or have family who did might remember the old diner and pick up window in the Drayton Mills Company Store.
Dray Bar and Grill’s new Fetch ‘n Go window mimics this — and guests can visit to pick up a Burn Bootcamp After Burn smoothie, acai bowls, milkshakes, wraps and salads.
“(It) is very easy for folks to just walk up to the bar without having to go inside the restaurant to pick up takeout things,” Sherbert said.
As a result of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster banning indoor dining due to COVID-19 for a while earlier this year, Dray Bar and Grill saw an opportunity to improve its outdoor patio seating and interior design inside the restaurant.
“The decorating has all been changed, it’s very lively and colorful in there,” Sherbert said.
On Aug. 13, Dray Bar and Grill launched a monthly drive-in movie series on Thursdays at dusk in the parking lot next to the restaurant. Attendees can watch from their car or socially-distanced in the nearby lawn.
Dray Bar and Grill is also planning on launching a monthly dinner-and-movie series in the 1800 Drayton event space Thursdays, starting Sept. 24.
Beets by Dray: Market and Music series
This summer the Beets by Dray: Market and Music series rolled out each Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. Attendees can find artists, the Hub City Farmers Market Mobile Market, cooking demonstrations and free beard trims from Bareknuckle Barbershop at the weekly event.
Artists’ booths are spread 10 feet apart and guests are required to wear masks.
“We’re getting good response, and we’re able to operate safely,” Dray Bar and Grill Chef and Owner Bob Munnich said in a statement. “We’re blessed with a lot of space here, so we can keep people separated and really maintain the safety of our guests and our staff.”