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Downtown Woodruff continues to grow. Read about five new businesses. – Spartanburg Herald Journal

Downtown Woodruff is growing and fast.

The city’s offerings have expanded over the past few years to include wine bars, candy shops, fine dining, and salons. Main Street has seen nearly a dozen new businesses in the last two years. Many of the new businesses are family-owned and operated.

“We’re much more ‘on the map’ now. People are talking about what’s going on and getting more interested in businesses here,” said Alyson Smith, city of Woodruff Community & Economic Development director. 

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Here’s a look at some of the city’s newest businesses downtown. 

Claudio’s Bistro

Daniel Romero, left, is the manager of Claudio's Bistro with Chef Santiago Sanchez.

Claudio’s Bistro (206 A S. Main St.) opened in May. Manager Daniel Romero said the restaurant’s owner Claudio Garcia, who also owns Bronco’s Mexican Restaurant, wanted to bring fine dining to the city. 

► Claudio’s Bistro serves lunch from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and the menu includes a number of salads, burgers and wraps at around $10-12 a plate.

► The restaurant’s dinner menu includes ribeye steaks and octopus. 

► The restaurant also has a few unique starters, including its teriyaki cauliflower bites, which can be ordered as an appetizer or as a wrap or bowl. 

This is one of Claudio's Bistro appetizers, a dish of Teriyaki cauliflower bites, these are cauliflower bites lightly tossed in a teriyaki sauce, topped with roasted peanuts. Prepared by Chef Santiago Sanchez.

► The restaurant also features a full bar and making dishes and drinks with natural flavors and local ingredients.

“Everything is made here, everything is fresh,” Romero said. “We use local companies for the fruits and vegetables and everything; we try to support the local companies.”

► Current dinner hours are Mondays from 3-10 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

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Main Street Sweets

Dee Harper Dimsdale is the owner of Main Street Sweets in downtown Woodruff. Here are some of her candies and sweet treats.

Dee Harper Dimsdale opened Main Street Sweets (119 S. Main St.) in October 2020 bringing uplifting treats to downtown during the pandemic.

► The bulk of Dimsdale’s inventory is nostalgic candies like Bit-O-Honeys and Mary Janes that customers can pick and choose from to create their own mixed bag of candy.

► Another popular option is Main Street Sweets custom candy baskets. Dimsdale said they were especially popular last Halloween when many events and parties were canceled due to the pandemic. 

“You tell me about how much you want to spend and what they like, then we’ll custom do it,” Dimsdale said.

► Dimsdale also stocks a variety of small toys from fidget toys to Pop Funko figurines. 

► Main Street Sweets is open from 12-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Drew Harper Craig, who is the owner of Wolverine Axe Throwing & Arcade, wanted to create a business to add to the entertainment in downtown Woodruff.

Wolverine Axe Throwing & Arcade

And down the street, Dimsdale’s son Drew Harper Craig opened his own business in May, Wolverine Axe Throwing & Arcade (216 S. Main St.). 

► Craig wanted to give Woodruff residents and visitors something to do on a night out downtown. 

“Woodruff’s got all new restaurants and bars, but there’s really nothing to do other than go out to eat and go home,” Craig said. “We wanted to bring something where you could go out on a date night or bring your family out.” 

► You can play according to axe throwing league rules, Craig said, or just relieve some stress. For $20 per person, you get one hour of throwing time. 

►Wolverine Axe Throwing features two throwing sections, one for small groups of up to four people and one for large groups of 12 or more. 

► The arcade in the back features classic games like air hockey, skee ball, basketball, and Ms PacMan. 

Drew Harper Craig, owner of Wolverine Axe Throwing & Arcade, shows off the arcade room at his business in Woodruff.

► Craig plans to expand the food offerings — currently sodas and snacks —  to include beers.

Tap Three

Tap Three Pub & Bar (102 S. Main St.) was the brainchild of Ben Harrison, who began investing in properties in downtown Woodruff in his 20s. 

► Harrison, who is also a musician, wanted a local place for people to come hang out and listen to live music. The venue mainly features country, Americana bands and singer-songwriters. 

Tap Three Pub & Bar is one of the newest businesses in downtown Woodruff.

“Tap Three opened about a year ago. I had an empty building and I’m a musician in a band out of Charleston, so I would see a lot of cool spaces that had music, so I wanted to bring a little bit of that to Woodruff,” Harrison said. 

► The restaurant-venue features a simple menu — flatbread pizzas, wings, and wraps. Seating is available indoors or outdoors. 

► Despite its name, the venue features six beers on tap. 

Tap Three Pub & Bar in downtown Woodruff also includes outdoor seating.

► An expansion is on the horizon. Harrison is currently renovating the space next door to Tap Three so larger groups can perform. 

The Yellow Butterfly

The Yellow Butterfly employee Meghan Richards talks about the shop's variety of gifts and products.

The Yellow Butterfly (104 N. Main St.) arrived in downtown Woodruff was a little ahead of the development crowd opening in late 2018. 

► Debbie Davis opened The Yellow Butterfly, which is Woodruff’s only downtown gift shop. 

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► Employee Meghan Richards said some of their more popular offerings include the selection of Haute Shore bags and Sheila Fajl earrings and Ronaldo Jewelry pieces. 

The Yellow Butterfly employee Meghan Richard shows off some of the shop's unique baby gifts and other items.

► Richards said one of their more unique offerings is their boutique baby gifts — from nursery art and picture books to toys and clothes. 

“We just have a lot of items that you can’t really find anywhere else in Woodruff,” Richards said. “People love to give these as shower gifts.”

► The items are sourced from a variety of places. Some of them are even created in-state like the Kanga Coolers, designed by a group of Clemson University graduates. 

► The Yellow Butterfly is open from 11 a..m-5:30 p.m.Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m.Saturdays.

Samantha Swann covers Spartanburg County K-12 schools and colleges and the food scene in downtown and beyond. She is a University of South Carolina Upstate and Greenville Technical College alumna. Contact her at [email protected]