Brooks Brothers closes downtown; new West End rooftop bar; Duke’s mayo shipment lawsuit | Greenville Business

It appeared the once-mighty Brooks Brothers clothing brand might emerge from its summertime pandemic and bankruptcy struggles and maintain a brick-and-mortar presence in the heart of downtown Greenville.

But, after a fall season reopening, the doors to a signature retailer of the ONE building appear to be shut again, this time permanently.

The store remained open through the holiday shopping season but the space was cleared by the first weekend of the new year and a partition placed inside the entrance to the store. There was no signage to share why or indicate what is next. The Brooks Brothers website shows the store as “permanently closed,” unlike locations in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte and Gaffney that reopened after temporary COVID-related shutdowns.

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In August there was renewed hope for the brand — which began in 1818 in Manhattan — when the company was bought for $325 million by the SPARC Group after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy the previous month.

In 2013, the Greenville store was heralded as a sign of downtown’s arrival as a retail district when it opened in the ONE building. The Post and Courier has reached out for more information and will report any new developments, including what might be next for the prominent retail space.

On the roof

West End rooftop wine bar

A rendering of the proposed Sweet Sippin’ rooftop wine bar. Equip Studio/Submitted

There will likely be a new rooftop bar with a familiar name in Greenville’s West End.

The Sweet Sippin’ wine bar is asking for the city’s permission to create a rooftop space on top of the building that previously housed the Cocobella Boutique on Augusta Street, between the Green Lettuce and Eggs Up Grill restaurants.

Sweet Sippin’, which has an intimate, event-based establishment in downtown Simpsonville and another at the Gather GVL food collective a block from the new West End location, requires city design approval. The wine bar would inhabit suite C of 21 Augusta Street, a building constructed in 1933 that was once home to the Bangle Leather Belting Company.

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The rundown

  • A shipment of Duke’s mayonnaise, made in Greenville County by C.F Sauer Co., is the centerpiece of a lawsuit between Lloyd’s of London and global shipping firm Danzas Corp. The product was fine when it left the Upstate, but Lloyd’s alleges once it arrived at the Port of Charleston “the freight handler failed to make sure a refrigerated cargo container with 20 pallets and 2,300 packages of the sandwich spread was set at the proper temperature before being sent to a supermarket chain in Chile.”
  • Tourism revenue took a crushing hit in 2020 due to the pandemic but South Carolina seems to have fared better than other states in some key areas, according to The Post and Courier’s Emily Williams. Among the areas the state stayed ahead of national averages: hotel occupancy, and retention of leisure and hospitality jobs.
  • Signups for health insurance plans made available by the Affordable Care Act rose in South Carolina for 2021. According to The Post and Courier’s Mary Katherine Wildeman, “the surge in sign-ups could be attributed to the fact that an unusually high number of workers lost their jobs — along with their employer-sponsored insurance coverage — during the coronavirus pandemic that rocked the economy starting in March.”

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Quick hits

  • A 200-unit, waterfront, student community near the intersection of Tiger Boulevard (Highway 123) and Holiday Avenue is moving forward after more than $23 million in equity was secured for the project. Dockside Clemson has frontage on Lake Hartwell. The four-story development includes more than 20,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and apartments ranging from studio to four-bedroom. According to a news release, JLL Capital Markets “worked on behalf of Fountain Residential Partners to secure the equity through CrowdStreet, Inc.”
  • Greer-based Broadband Infrastructure Inc. secured an additional $7.5 million in capital in a funding deal with Emigrant Business Credit. The telecommunications solutions company, which operates Absolute Technologies and Carolina Underground Solutions, provides a variety of services related to laying and connecting fiber optic cable. “We are in an industry boom, based on the massive fiber optic infrastructure buildouts taking place across the country, and these buildouts will likely go on for the next 10 years,” said Broadband Infrastructure CEO Brad Cunningham in a company news release. “Securing access to significant capital is critical to growth and long-term success.”

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Seven-figure real estate

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Follow Ryan Gilchrest on Twitter at @ryangilchrest.