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In Mauldin, Hidden Gems Are in Plain Sight

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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You probably wouldn’t expect a service station restaurant to be a big culinary draw. But in Mauldin, Tommy’s Snack Bar in Kellett’s Korner is the place where politicians and city administrators gather every morning to talk shop over coffee, grits and biscuits.

Celebrating more than 50 years in operation, the family-owned auto service center is one of Mauldin’s many curious and long-enduring establishments. Open for breakfast and lunch, it features a limited but very affordable menu, with hotdogs and hamburgers as the house favorites. For a truly local experience, this is the go-to spot.

Mauldin Pub is another landmark for social gatherings, best known for its karaoke and dance music. Billed as “The Friendliest Bar in the Upstate,” it’s a fun spot to shoot pool, down a cold brew and mingle with the locals.

For real local flavor, stop by Mauldin Open Air Market, an old-fashioned country produce stand going on its fourth decade in business. Open year-round, seven days a week, it features produce and products from a variety of Upstate farms and vendors, including Happy Cow Creamery, McCall’s Country Sausage, Hampton Acres (pimento cheese, salsa, jams and sauces), Blenheim Ginger Ale, Banana Manna and Suber’s Corn Mill. You’ll find seasonal veggies and fruits, too, and vine ripe tomatoes all year long.

Got a sweet tooth? Gretchen’s Abs, Cakes, Cafe and Supplies can satisfy your sugar cravings. Another Mauldin fixture with 36-plus years in the baking business, this friendly shop is known for its freshly baked cookies, Kentucky butter bread and sweet potato cake topped with a caramel drizzle. Yum!

Sure to become a local favorite, Stella’s Southern Bistro is scheduled to open in late 2019, introducing the area to the culinary magic of Chef Jason Scholz, proprietor of the original, critically acclaimed restaurant in nearby Simpsonville. His new location in Mauldin will feature the same Southern farm-to-table cuisine that has earned him accolades from Upstate diners and visitors to the area.

Among the city’s historic treasures is the Gosnell Cabin, located on the grounds of the Mauldin Cultural Center. Dating back two centuries, the cabin was built out of 12-inch by 8-inch heart pine beams on property near the Poinsett Bridge in northern Greenville County. Three generations of Gosnells lived in the cabin until 1941. After falling into disrepair, it was restored and relocated to Mauldin.

The cabin is open for viewing only twice a year — during the Mauldin Garden Club’s Spring in Bloom and the cultural center’s Christmas festivities — but you can look at the outside of the building anytime.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.