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Word has been circulating the square and Main Street that some shops are “closing” while others are moving, and it all amounts to a kind of “Musical Chairs,” a game of long ago. In the game, folks jumped up from their chairs as the piano played and when it stopped they sat wherever. Now it is a bit more organized and planned, what is going on in Edgefield, but businesses are moving to new locations, and only one is possibly closing.
The businesses told their stories to The Advertiser reporter, Tiffani Ireland, and our readers will find the facts written by her and as told to her by owners, new occupants and one store that is phasing out – the SPCA store.
Wayne and Nancy Luquire will soon be ending their tenure as staples in the Edgefield restaurant scene as they plan to close Ten Governor’s Café, Friday, Aug. 30. “We’re not as young as we used to be,” Mrs. Luquire told The Advertiser when speaking of the pending close of the long established eatery. Not getting any younger and recent health issues help put the idea of retiring from the restaurant business in their heads, but, as Mrs. Luquire said, “An opportunity presented itself,” and so they took it.
That opportunity involves another familiar name in the Edgefield food business, Chef Bob, owner of Chef Bob’s Café. Chef Bob will be taking over the Ten Governor’s location. He will close his current restaurant, located behind the Ten Governor’s on Simpkins Street, over the Labor Day weekend and will reopen in his new spot on Main Street the following week.
“I think it will be a positive move for downtown,” Chef Bob told The Advertiser regarding his relocation. He went on to assure that diners can still expect his same “good, Southern style lunch buffet” as well as his current evening openings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. As for his future plans for the café, Chef Bob said he hopes to eventually add more evening hours and is entertaining the idea of one day serving breakfast.
Mrs. Luquire said she and her husband are very excited for Chef Bob and wish him much success. While happy for Chef Bob, Mrs. Luquire did say that it will be difficult for her and her husband not seeing all their regular customers. “We made some very good friendships through the restaurant through the years,” Mrs. Luquire stated. “We’re gonna miss ’em.”
Of those loyal customers and friends, Mrs. Luquire said she and her husband would like to thank them all for their years of support. She also added that she hopes the community will support Chef Bob as they have Ten Governor’s. In fact, Mrs. Luquire said she and her husband plan to join in the community’s support as they intend to become regular customers of Chef Bob’s Cafe. So the next time you see the Luquires in their former restaurant, they may be willing to sit and share a meal with you, but they will not be refilling your tea.
Downtown Edgefield is experiencing quite a few changes to its business fronts of late, and Mercy Me plans to add to the changing landscape by moving. But have no fear; they are only going directly across the street to the old Petal Pushers location. “We’ve been super happy at our current location,” Caroline Bland, co-owner of the retailer, told The Advertiser, “but we’re excited about the new location.”
In explaining the reason for the move, Ms. Bland said some months back Mercy Me! ended its relationship with Doncaster. As they are no longer a Doncaster Outlet, they do not require as much space. Additionally, Ms. Bland said Mercy Me! will be “getting out of the flower business.” However, customers can still expect to see master flower arranger, Nancy Gilliam, as she will be staying on with the clothing store. Ms. Bland said the intent for Mercy Me! is to “just focus on being a boutique” but, added, the store will still carry the same lines, including the popular children’s line Melissa & Doug that they do now.
Mercy Me! will close its doors on its current location at the end of business, Thursday, Aug. 29. They will celebrate a Grand Re-opening the following Thursday, Sept. 5.
The flower business may be dying out, so to speak at Mercy Me! (see our related story), but it will soon be in full bloom at The Purple Fence. Pamela Moore, owner of the downtown establishment, confirmed Monday, Aug. 26, that Maine Gilchrist, formerly of Mercy Me!’s flower department, will be bringing the flower business to The Purple Fence. “We’re looking forward to taking this new adventure,” Ms. Moore told The Advertiser. “We find the flower business will be something special to add to Edgefield Regional Arts (which is housed at the Purple Fenced).”
Nancy Gilliam, who has worked these past years in the flower department of Mercy Me!, will not be joining Maine in this venture. “I’m retiring from the flower business,” she told The Advertiser. She added she would like to express her appreciation to her customers for their support over the years, but of her protégé, Maine, she said she has full confidence in him and knows customers will continue to receive the care, attention, and works of art they have come to expect. Having been in the flower business for over 30 years, Ms. Gilliam said Maine “knows the flower industry from the bottom to the top.” “Nothing will have changed,” Ms. Gilliam said of the flower shop’s move to The Purple Fence, “just the location.”
The flower shop at Mercy Me! will close with the store at the end of business on Thursday, Aug. 29. Ms. Moore said that by the end of the following week, she hopes to have the flower business up and running at The Purple Fence. “We’re very excited because this puts together the art, the pottery, … the things we think are beautiful in our store,” Ms. Moore said. “It [the flower business] will enhance all this.”
By Tiffani Ireland
The Advertiser confirmed Monday, Aug. 26, that the SPCA Treasure Chest, located on Main Street, will be closing its doors in February. In speaking to The Advertiser regarding the close, Barbara Nelson of the SPCA said the downtown business was “breaking even at best.” Ms. Nelson went on the say the SPCA came to Edgefield with the intent to support the County in its efforts to build an animal shelter. However, she said the organization can not continue to lose money in the town.
For those who have supported the Treasure Chest, however, all may not be lost. Ms. Nelson said if community’s support increases for the store and it begins to turn a profit, the closing may be averted. However, if things continue as they have, the store will close when its lease expires at the end of February 2014.
By Tiffani Ireland