Wade's will be CLOSED on Memorial Day so be sure to plan ahead and get your Wade's favorites for the weekend, including BBQ Beef Hash, Cole Slaw, Green Beans and Potato Salad, on 5/26 & 5/28 ONLY!
From humble beginnings as a grocery store to a landmark meat n' three restaurant, the first 75 years have included a lot of hard work and dedication by many folks! We look forward to serving Spartanburg for the next 75 years.
Wade's Restaurant was founded on March 6, 1947 by Wade and Betty Lindsey when they purchased a small grocery store on South Pine Street in Spartanburg, SC called Mrs. May’s Grocery.
In addition to selling groceries, there was also a small lunch counter where hot dogs, sandwiches and soup were sold to the workers from Draper Corporation and Duke Power. The workers began asking Mrs. Betty if she would expand the grocery's lunch counter menu to offer hot, home-cooked meals. Betty agreed and began serving her family's recipes of southern-style meats and vegetables.
In the early days there was no choice of what you got on your plate. Betty would prepare plates each day and set them on the counter for customers to pick up. Every plate was the same. The workers would simply come by at lunch and select one of the pre-prepared home-cooked meals -- they knew it would be delicious!
As business continued to grow, the bustling cinder block restaurant on South Pine Street was enlarged to accommodate the growing number of regular Wade’s patrons. During the 50's, Wade’s was a typical drive-in restaurant where in addition to inside seating, customers were also served in their cars by "Curb Hops”.
On October 12, 1970 Betty Lindsey was taken from us way too soon due to cancer. While she is not physically with us in the kitchen each day, her delicious family recipes are still served at the restaurant in honor of her!
After losing Betty, "Pop" Wade was ready to retire. Not wanting the family business to end, Wade Jr. ("Hamp") and Carole, the son, and daughter of Wade & Betty Lindsey, took over the operation of Wade's in 1977. Immediately, they began to re-focus the direction of the restaurant from a drive-in that sold beer to a more family-oriented meat n' three.
By the early 1980’s Wade’s was becoming known as the place to bring the whole family for a great meal at a reasonable price. Hamp and Carole did everything they could to keep the family business evolving, even serving breakfast at one point! It wasn't long after Hamp and Carole took over that the now-familiar Wade's logo was created! The logo was designed to resemble a Wade's Yeast Roll. Before Wade’s was known for its veggies, it was the homemade Yeast Rolls that people talked most about. To this day, Wade’s produces 3,500 of it’s famous Yeast Rolls by hand each day.
In 1985 a second Wade's location was opened in the Pinewood Shopping Center just 3 miles north on the same street as the original Wade’s. It was an immediate success! But after much consideration, it became evident that the best business decision would be to close the smaller original Wade's location and concentrate on operating the larger Pinewood Shopping Center restaurant location, which was busting at the seams!
In 1995, Wade’s posted its first billboard, featuring a hand-drawn green bean with the headline, "'Bean' Me Up Scottie!" Little did we know that this ad was the beginning of what would become Wade’s next claim to fame in Spartanburg: a light-hearted billboard campaign with puns based on vegetables or other food items, which entertained Spartanburg residents for 22 years.
In March of 1997, Wade’s celebrated 50 years in business! Fortunately, Wade Lindsey was still with us to celebrate this milestone but sadly 4 months later we lost Wade "Pop" Lindsey at the age of 87. Hamp and Carole were so happy that Pop Wade was able to watch the business he started grow into a Spartanburg landmark.
After graduating Wofford College, Pop Wade's grandson and Hamp's son, Wade III, joined the team! Years later, Hamp's daughter Anna would also move back to Spartanburg after her time in advertising to join as Marketing Director for Wade's. We know Pop is very proud to see the third generation joining the family business.
Best All-Around Restaurant, Best Place to Work, Best Meat n 'three, Best Country Cooking, Best Sweet Tea, Best Fried Chicken, Best Meal for the Money, Best Diner and Best Family Restaurant by Herald Journal's Best of the Best Spartanburg Contest
Best Family Restaurant by Southern Living
Restauranteur of the Year by the Piedmont Area Restaurant Association
Small Business Award by the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce
Through the years our customers have continued to remind us that the reason they visit Wade's so often is the friendliness of the staff, the speed of service, and the quality and taste of the food. We look forward to serving Spartanburg for the next 75 years!