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How this family-owned restaurant group is setting a trend in downtown Greenville

Krys Merryman //May 17, 2023//

How this family-owned restaurant group is setting a trend in downtown Greenville

Krys Merryman //May 17, 2023//

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The Bellweather adds another layer to the restaurant options in Greenville's West End. (Photo/Krys Merryman)The leading sheep of a flock; one that leads or takes initiative; a trendsetter.

This is what The Bellwether is named after and stands for.

The Bellwether Public House, next to Fluor Field at 941 S. Main St. in Greenville, is officially open.

From the owners of Urban Wren — also in the West End on N. Markley Street — the Lincoln family was trying to accomplish something familiar but also different to keep it exciting, to set a new standard for what casual dining could be, said The Bellwether Executive Director Nick Lincoln.

The Lincolns come from manufacturing. It’s where Lincoln’s parents got their start and what he did for 10 years before opening up shop in Greenville.

“We fell in love with the city, and at the time realized it was time to move on and do something different with my life,” Lincoln said. “I was so excited to open a restaurant here focused on quality and service, something new and unique with food like at Urban Wren.”

Craig Brown, owner of the Greenville Drive, loved what the Lincoln family was doing with the restaurant scene in Greenville, Lincoln said, and their investment in the West End. That was the beginning of The Bellwether.

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The Bellwether is a family-friendly casual restaurant in a way that embodies “fun food” that is still made from scratch and a place where you can bring the family, and not just on special occasions. The Bellwether has several TVs and has the feel of a neighborhood bar, said Lincoln, with a large patio on the backside of the restaurant near Fluor Field, a turf area for kids to play and cornhole boards.

“What we are striving for is great food you can enjoy in a causal setting, because great food doesn’t have to be expensive,” Lincoln said.

The restaurant features an elevated but family-friendly food menu, too: snacks such as “Cracker Jacks” and a warm pretzel with pub cheese, seafood and farm options, salads and homemade pastas, sliders and desserts.

Now, the Lincoln family has the best of both worlds with a fine dining and casual restaurant concepts, he said.

“We can be appealing to everyone living in this area with a handful of diversity on the West End, a destination side of town,” said Lincoln.

Between Urban Wren and The Bellwether, they have more than 50 employees and attract tourists in addition to locals who dine with them frequently, said Lincoln.

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When asked if the Lincoln family has any plans to open additional concepts at this time, Lincoln said they have had conversations but no concrete plans at this time.

“We love Greenville and the people who are here, and we will continue the trajectory we have been on,” said Lincoln. “As long as people still want what we are doing here, people who enjoy what we do and serve, we will keep giving and make dreams happen.”