The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 12 Out Now! Good Luck with Exams and Safe Travels!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Don’t fret, Fretwell is here

The front of the Fretwell outdoor recreational space to be used for serving local food trucks. Photo by Cameron Carsten.

Spartanburg has seen a lot of growth in recent years, and that growth has begun to expand outside of the downtown area. One of these new developments, overlooking Spartanburg’s Mary Black Rail Trail, is Fretwell, an outdoor recreational space.

This new place not only hosts Little River Roasting Company, but also has The Spartan, which is a permanent snack bar with drinks, sandwiches and desserts. Fretwell also hosts an assortment of local food trucks.

Mark Olencki ‘75 and Gervais Hollowell ‘85 are two of Fretwell’s five co-partners. Olencki also works as Wofford’s photographer. They’ve been looking to create a hang-out spot in Spartanburg for the last two decades.

Story continues below advertisement

While Olencki initially hoped for something like Gather Greenville, he had a change of heart during the process.

“(Gather Greenville) is perfect for Greenville, and Fr8yard already did that and is perfect in downtown,” Olencki said, “but we want to open a place that is family-friendly and quiet, just a place you can relax and have fun with your friends and bring your kids.”

“We always thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have an outdoor space where kids can run around, and you can serve beer and wine and listen to music?’” Hollowell said.

As well as being family-friendly, it could also serve as a nice place for a night out with college friends.

Hollowell is also Little River Roasting’s owner and has used the space to expand that business as well.

The company’s facility, which had its previous building adjacent to Fretwell for over the last 20 years, currently serves hot coffee, as well as its different blends of coffee from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hollowell hopes to open a café area in the building as soon as October of this year.

The space also hosts a variety of events throughout the week. Trivia Nights take place on Mondays, with topics ranging from beloved shows from the 80s, 90s and beyond, to more general trivia on topics like Disney. Later in the week, Fretwell hosts bands and other special events.

When there are no events going on, visitors can still enjoy a variety of food and drinks at The Spartan, as well as play outdoor games such as cornhole and frisbee or try to outsmart someone on a big connect-four game.

Other big projects in the area include the expansion of the Spartanburg Rail Trail into parts of downtown as well as the Fitzgerald, a new apartment building currently in development that will have 132 luxury apartments.

Another project the two hope will help Fretwell is a set of apartments further down the Rail Trail currently being developed by Lat Purser.

Partly because of these new projects, Olencki and Hollowell expressed a hopeful view for the future of both Fretwell and the area of Spartanburg around Union Street, only a couple of blocks away from Wofford’s campus.

The two men’s vision for the future of Fretwell include one or two more buildings on the property. However, Olencki explained that they were waiting for the perfect match.

“With building costs, there’s no reason to build it and then look for someone to come; we would much rather wait for a person of interest and then fill that spot,” Olencki said.

Hollowell expressed hopes for the project to add another building and business to the space in the next year or two.

“We need to find something that ties in with the rest of Fretwell,” Hollowell said. “Preferably it’d be great to build a 3000 or 4000 square foot building for some brewery, but anything that draws attention to this area would be great.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cameron Carsten
Cameron Carsten, Managing Editor
Donate to Old Gold & Black
Our Goal