Greenville restaurant vets opening 'Take Care,' returning to Village (2024)

  • Business News
  • Ariel Turner
  • July 2, 2024

A new restaurant concept from former chef and co-owner Alex George and chef de cuisine Jen Anderson will open early 2025 at 1233 Pendleton St. in the Village of West Greenville.

The two friends and business partners officially announced a signed lease and plans July 2 for “Take Care,” their pop-up that has been operating on Tuesday nights at Sum Bar since March. The pop-up will continue until the new brick-and-mortar opens in a 3,200-square-foot space combining half of the former Red’s building and the entirety of the adjacent Lash Bar.

A 25-seat indoor/outdoor bar, two dining rooms, private dining room dubbed “The Office” by the leftover signage from a previous tenant combine with the patio for 130 seats total, making it the largest restaurant currently in the Village.

Thursday through Monday, for dinner and weekend brunch, Anderson and George will serve the food they want to eat at the moment, encompassing a large range in prices, whether that’s $5 tinned fish and chips at the bar or a $200 tasting menu.

“We try to do food that is familiar, but we do something different with it,” George said.

Anderson added: “Sometimes the food we want to eat is a grilled cheese, and sometimes the food we want is a steak with caviar.”

Take Care in the Village of West Greenville

The regularly changing menu based on the freshest local ingredients will always include a feature from their pop-ups — the family meal that is offered free of charge to its recipient.

“We will always offer something substantial and filling for free,” George said.

They are designing the space to feel like their personal living and dining rooms, or at least provide a nearly seamless transition for them from their homes to work. The goal is for guests to feel that level of comfort and ease.

Anderson’s previous background in art and interior design and George’s in graphic design influence their choices. Both have strong and complementary aesthetics reflected in the mid-century modern elements that evoke both the glamour and simplicity of dining in New York City in the 1950s and ’60s.

“We want the space to feel like it’s been there longer than it physically has because it’s sentimentally existed inside of us for so long,” Anderson said. “You don’t have to worry about leaving a water stain on the bar.”

Anderson has been given the unofficial title of experience manager along with the roles of chef de cuisine and kitchen manager.

The decor will include their own personal collections of cookbooks and poetry books, art from good friends and even in the kitchen, touches of home, like George’s grandmother’s cast iron pans.

“I have a whole lot of experience feeling not super safe in other kitchens and don’t want to be dreading going in to work,” George said.

The actual physical location of the building will also be a homecoming for the two.

“The Village feels like home to me,” George said.

The original Golden Brown & Delicious (GB&D) opened in 2016 on Pendleton Street in the corner property now occupied by Bar Margaret before moving to The Commons as an anchor tenant in 2019. Anderson worked alongside George at both locations, and they’ve both called the West Greenville neighborhood home at various times over the last eight years.

For months before leaving their previous roles at Golden Brown & Delicious, Anderson and George dreamt up and planned a concept that would be an extension of the existing brand. It would feature their unique culinary perspective of approachable, yet elevated, dishes and focus on attentive hospitality.

Given the high volume and demands of a food hall environment, along with the financial needs and vision of the other business partners, they realized the project they’d been planning would never properly exist in that space and under the current circ*mstances. Both George and Anderson resigned their positions and within days were popping up as “Take Care” via social media and at Sum Bar.

“That’s not to say I was unhappy, but I had taken it as far as I could go,” George said. “It needed somebody who could understand its limitations. It’s in better hands for what that restaurant needs to be in The Commons in Unity Park.”

Now they’re calling the shots on every aspect, drawing inspiration from eight years of working and dining around together and pouring all of that into a remarkable guest experience.

The Southern colloquialism “take care” has many meanings, and through personal reflection they both realized what they loved most about working in restaurants was taking care of the people they love through food and service.

Other local businesses have taken care of them as the pop-up gained momentum. Sum Bar opened its dining room and kitchen for use in the same way George had supported Sum Bar in its pop-up days. Rakan Draz of Avison Young helped find Take Care’s permanent home. A.J. Arelleno of Savereign designed Take Care’s first logo. Lindsey Montgomery, George’s sister and owner of popular coffee shop The Village Grind, is providing additional kitchen space when they need it. The full brand identity will be done by Sidewalk Studio, which is also designing menus, posters and the social media graphics used weekly to announce the pop-up menus.

Anderson and George believe attention will help set them apart.

“That’s the difference between service and good service,” Anderson said. “Take the extra time and care how we interact with the guests. Show respect for the food and for the guests.”

Ariel Turner
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