Taste of things to come
Published 3:49 pm Friday, October 18, 2013
Greenville residents got a glimpse Thursday night of what a seafood eatery set to open in the Camellia City is expected to look like.
Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon and Wintzell’s Oyster House CEO Bob Donlon unveiled a rendering of the restaurant at the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Chamber Chowdown, which was catered by Wintzell’s Oyster House.
Donlon said he expects the restaurant to open in April of 2014.
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Donlon plans to locate Wintzell’s along Interstate Drive across from the Interstate Plaza shopping center. The Timberland Log Homes building is currently located on the property. That building will be removed to make room for the restaurant.
The City of Greenville has also agreed to widen Interstate Drive to give the restaurant more room for its building and parking.
“We’re going to move the road over to straighten it out some,” McLendon said. “They are going to be moving the road the same time we are going to be building the Wintzell’s, so we’re excited about it. They’re a great restaurant, and they’re going to be perfect for Interstate 65, and perfect for Greenville.”
City officials first announced that Wintzell’s Oyster House planned to open a restaurant in Greenville in December of 2011. At the time the plan was for the eatery to be open by the summer of 2012 in order to capitalize on the beach traffic along Interstate 65.
But a lack of local investors slowed the process. However, Donlon has said all along that he is committed to bringing his restaurant to the Camellia City.
“The Mayor, the council and the people of Greenville have gone out of their way to keep the pressure on us to come to Greenville, and that’s exciting,” Donlon said. “We want to come to Greenville, and we made a commitment to do that last April when we purchased the lot (along Interstate Drive.)”
According to Donlon, Wintzell’s Oyster House would likely employ 125 workers at its Greenville restaurant.
Wintzell’s, which was founded in 1938 by J. Oliver Wintzell, has locations throughout Alabama and Florida. The eatery is know for fresh Gulf seafood, and was named in Willard Scott’s All-American Cookbook for the best oysters and crabs.