A Rochester, N.Y.-based hospitality group is opening a restaurant in Greenville — but not by random.
Bitter Honey is one of six restaurant concepts that makes up SCN Hospitality bar and restaurant group.
Josh Miles, founder and president of SCN Hospitality, who is originally from Greenville, said he’s been spending more time in Greenville to visit family and has been pleased with the direction the city is going in.
“Greenville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Southeast, and I wanted to take my roots back home and bring here what I’ve been doing up North,” he said. “After being in the market and looking at what other people are doing, I like to look at the community and see what it needs versus just what I want to do.
"(That’s how we decided) Bitter Honey is the proper concept for this neighborhood and lends itself to the demographic that surrounds it, with a fun family setting.”
The casual neighborhood restaurant will be located at 15 E. Stone Ave. and will serve elevated and authentic Mexican fare in a family-style setting.
As of July 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic/Latino population is up to 10.3% in Greenville County — a 40% increase from the population reported by the bureau in 2017.
“Bitter Honey’s chef’s father is from Mexico and his mother is American,” Miles said. “In the Upstate, the Hispanic population is growing, and we want to bring our twist on it with an artisanal, fresh and bright dining experience.”
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So, how did Bitter Honey get its name?
Miles said another big part of what they do is to focus on agave tequilas like mezcal.
During the distillation process of tequila-making, agave is harvested then crushed and cooked, he said. Under the first path of cooking, a bitter liquid is secreted that Mexicans refer to as the “bitter honey” and that’s a part of making tequila.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Miles’ business partner Zack Mikida, who over the past decade has spent a lot of time in Mexico, which has deepened his love for the country.
“He’s spent a lot of time in the more rural parts of Mexico, experiencing grandmothers cooking and getting a different side of authentic Mexican food,” said Miles. “The emphasis on really fresh ingredients is important to us. Everything has a from scratch focus, whether it be cocktails or food. You can come in and get chips, tacos, and a margarita or opt for a multi-dish chef-curated dining experience with more flavors and you can build your own experience.”
When asked if there are any plans to open additional locations or concepts at this time, Miles said no plans as of now.
In the meantime, Bitter Honey is anticipated to open in spring 2024.C