history of a spartanburg landmark

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! And we look forward to serving Spartanburg for the next 75 years.

 

Our Founders

Our Founders

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.

1947

1947

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.

1950s

1950s

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!

1960s

1960s

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”.

Honoring Betty

honoring betty, every day.

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!

1977

Next gENERATION

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.

1980s

1980s

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.

Busting at the seams!

Busting at the seams!

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!

Our Famous Billboards

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.

Weak
60 Years
A-Brand New Ear!
Amelia EARhart
Apple Cobbler
April Fools
Babe Root
Baked Ham
Batham v Superham
Bean me up Scottie
Beananza
Bean Franklin
The Beetles
BigBean
Brocco
Brockettes
ChristmasTea
Cluck Dynasty
Collared Greens
Comfort Food
CommenTater
Corn in The USA
Corn to be Wild
Creamed Corn
Cuuke!
DarthFork
Divas Live
Do you ear what I ear
Easter Legs
English Peas
Extreme Bakeover
Field Peas
Forever and allwades
Fork Awakens
Frankly My Dear
Fried Chicken
George Squashington
Go Green
Ham I Am
Ham Radio
Hash
Hey Macaroni
Ho Ho Ho
HollyWades
Honor Roll
Hot Apple Pie
I think I Yam
Two Peas in Ipod
Its all about Carrots
Jive Turkey
Jolly Ole St. Chick
Just Chew It
Lettuce Give Thanks
Liberty Bell
Lincorn
Little Drummer Boy
Mary Had a Little Ham
Meal or no meal
Meatloaf
Meditater
Monions
Navy Beans
No place like homemade
Okra says
Pea wee football
Peacasso
Peach music
Peas man
Peas on earth
Poll beans
Prom Bean
Rockin roll
Sas-Squash
Seasonings greetings
Spec-Taters
Spiderham
Starch Madness
Statue of LiberTea
Steamed Cabbage
String Bean
Supperman
Sweat Pea
Team dressing
Tweet potato
We come in peas
We hire the best of the bunch
William Mcgirt
Wonderful loaf
Yam Newton
Corny
Aim To Peas
Bean Crosby
C Food
Couch Potato
Cuke I am your father
Do the mashed potato
Ear Factor
Fork
Frozen Veggies
Grilled Chicken
Jeet Yet
Jingle Bells
Livon Vedge
Meal Any Yum
Obean
Pod
Pokechop
Roll Model
Uncle Sam
Wadey Bunch
Youre fried
Who let the veggies out?
Yam Session
50 years in business

50 YEARS IN BUSINESS

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.

Third Generation

THIRD GENERATION

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.

 

Awards

AWARD-WINNING

MEAT N' THREE

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

75 years in business

75 YEARS AND STILL ROLLIN'

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!

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