In the far reaches of Hotel Hartness, tucked away on a hard-to-find wall in an intimate little bar called The Captain is a subtle reminder that the feet about to traverse the grounds of the old Hartness family home are not the first to enjoy the site’s hospitality. Not by a long shot.
Photos that show people whose names stand without explanation — names like Willie Nelson and John Denver — are just a few from a large collection that Pat and Mary Lou Hartness keep mostly to themselves.
Despite their success in business and as patrons of charity (and the social mastery thereof) the Hartnesses don’t like to do much bragging, a tour guide explained on a recent media walkabout. So photos of those glory days remain largely private.
But their former home, with a long-lived reputation as the site of community gatherings, often in the name of charity, is about to be thrown open to an even more steady drumbeat of visitors.
Hotel Hartness quietly will open its 73 rooms to paying guests this month. The Captain will open for cocktail lovers. The full-service Spa H will open to people wanting a quiet and private escape. And at the fine-dining restaurant Patterson Kitchen + Bar, the tables have been set for weeks as new staffers — the first staffers — learn to take care of patrons with a Hotel Hartness touch.
A grand opening is planned in April, but it’s better to open softly and master those roles before the big crowds come, said hotel General Manager Albert Mertz. The facilities include 16,000 square feet of dedicated space for meetings and events.
Hotel Hartness is the crown of the overall Hartness community on Greenville’s Eastside on 449 acres of land that includes pastures, walking trails and private homes in an urban village setting.
The Village Center at Hartness, is home to Village Kitchen restaurant and specialty retail shops. Just as Hotel Hartness was designed so that locals could enjoy its amenities, the Village Center at Hartness is not just for those residents of private homes within the development.
Hartness, the urban village, was designed by urbanist, master planner and designer Lew Oliver, and won a gold award for a single-family community, 100 units and over, in the 2022 Best in American Living Awards by the National Association of Home Builders.
Most recently, Hartness partnered with the owners of The 05 and The 07, to develop The one 5 at Hartness. The restaurant will feature a full bar and lunch and dinner menu. The one 5 at Hartness will open in May and introduce a new concept to Village Kitchen at 2000 Society Street.
“We are excited to announce not only a new location but that we have joined forces with our dear friends the Hartness family,” Geno Iozzino, co-owner of The 05 and The 07, said in a news release. “Our niche at The 05 is bringing the feel of a cozy neighborhood bar and restaurant to surrounding residences while serving fresh and unique dishes accompanied by hand crafted cocktails. There is no better neighborhood than Hartness to bring our concept to, giving the community and Greenville’s Eastside a new restaurant to frequent.”