Redevelopment team working to transform downtown Florence

Redevelopment team working to transform downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Downtown Florence is on its way to transforming its entire look. It's an effort to bring more attention than its seen in years.   The newest addition is Fiasco, an Italian dining experience the owners are hoping will bring even more foot traffic to the area.

Fiasco is in its first full week of being open. Staff are still hanging up pictures getting the inside ready, while cooks prepare fresh food made daily for the dinner hours.

Nathan Moody, the Regional Manager at Fiasco, says, "The whole purpose of the restaurant is that experience. So we bring a whole new experience to downtown Florence that's only going to bring more businesses and people to the downtown area."

Moody is also part of The Indigo Road, a firm based out of Charleston which helps bring innovative restaurants to cities like Atlanta and Columbia.  Moody says he was excited Florence was the group's next stop. He was challenged by the New Florence Development team to transform the building, and to do it fast.

"First thing that came to my mind was I have to open this thing up in 30 days, it's going to be a fiasco, so I text 'Fiasco' back to him and he says, 'I love it -  lets name it Fiasco,'" said Moody.

The entire menu is filled with handmade and locally-sourced pasta, paninis and pizzas that will cook in the large wood burning oven. Dale Barth, one of six investors with the redevelopment team, New Florence Development LLC, and part owner of Fiasco, says there's nothing like it in downtown Florence.

"We think downtown needs to be redone - it should have been redone years ago, and why not downtown?" Barth said. "We believe in our area, you know it's a great place to live with beautiful old buildings; lets just put some life back in them and lets go."

Barth is also involved in developing Kress corner off Dargan street which will have the first-ever apartment living in downtown with retail and a rooftop bar and restaurant set to open this February.

"People used to pass through here, but now they are stopping and saying, 'Hey this is a pretty little place,'" Barth said. "It's a central part of the Pee Dee where people can shop and eat and have fun, so we're just going to add to it down here, it'll be fun."

With the help of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, who invest money into the infrastructure, Barth says he and his his team hopes downtown Florence will become a thriving culinary district.

Fiasco is open for lunch Monday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m-2:30 p.m. and dinner is 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday they are open until 10:00 p.m. and closed on Sunday.

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