New business, opportunities for local businesses in downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Major renovation projects are bringing more business and foot traffic to downtown Florence.

"We are seeing continual growth with three businesses now here," said Andrea Frondorf, downtown Florence business manager. Frondorf manages three businesses that sit on restaurant row: Dolce Vita, The Library and 1031 American Grill.

The businesses said they are seeing more and more people stopping and taking in all the new developments that area has to offer.

The demand has grown so much that 1031 American Grill is undergoing new renovations.

The current hamburger-only joint will expand by April, reopening to have more options, plus 50 different beers on tap.

"It was strictly a gourmet hamburger place, but ecstatically you could have 30 people in there and it would be full," said Joseph Unrue, executive chef.

When up and running, the restaurant will be able to serve more people and will offer newer food selections and a totally revamped atmosphere, but this isn't the only change happening along Dargan Street.

Wholly Smokin', a BBQ joint just moved across town, also has plans to set up shop downtown.

On the north end, more changes are happening to the outsides and insides of some of the properties.

"They're working hard to get these things developed. These buildings are in bad shape, but they are coming in and gutting them out. They are remodeling them so that people can come in and establish great businesses," said Antwon Wells, owner of Nubian Brothers barber shop.

He said with all the new changes and developments happening along Dargan Street, it's only a matter of time before businesses in this area see even more positive effects from what's happening in downtown Florence.

"The more the people, the more attractions, the more customers we will get. We have a pretty good business going on, but the more people we have coming the more attractions downtown the more walk-in customers," Wells said.

Soon the city will begin work on adding around 130 parking spaces on the backside of the buildings along North Dargan.

Part of the plan includes adding spaces near where Dargan and Evans streets meet, which means the bus transit station will be pushed down a little bit to give room to those developments.

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