‘Garden on Market’ pop-up restaurant to serve food, beer

There’s soon to be a new restaurant on Market Street in downtown Clinton, but for a while at least, its operations will be limited.

Local professional photographer Taylor Martin plans to open “The Garden on Market,” a “pop-up restaurant and bar” inside the Spindle Tree photo studio and event space at 303 Market St.

Plans now are for it to operate only on the days the new Clinton FARM Market will be open – Fridays from May 7 through October.

Although Martin has not yet settled on the exact times, the restaurant will be open afternoon and evening hours, and will be operating longer than the 3 to 6 p.m. time that the famers’ market will be open nearby in the Commerce Street parking lot.

The Spindle Tree is in the former site of a short-lived Cajun restaurant that went out of business about three years ago.

The Garden’s menu is still to be determined, but one thing is clear: Martin won’t be doing any cooking on site for now. He plans to offer “local small plates” from restaurants and caterers in Clinton and Anderson County, he said.

“As for the bar, we plan to serve beer and seltzers,” he said. “We will go before the Clinton Beer Board on March 22 to see about getting our beer permit.”

Martin said he’s both looking forward to and nervous about his new enterprise.

“I have always wanted to do something downtown,” he said. “Sometime last July I started looking more at what I might do. I’m part of the younger generation, so I think it’s important to bring more youthful events to the city.

“Fortunately, Spindle Tree will let us rent indoor and outdoor space for our business,” Martin said. “The owners, the Birkbecks, will still be using the space, just not when we’re using it.”

His main goal, he said, is to “have a place where the community could gather.”

“It’s important that we support the farmers market to help local farmers and the local shops, and be able to eat and drink local.”

Martin said he eventually wants to move beyond the one-day-a-week seasonal operation.

“We want to ease into it with this, and see how it goes,” he said. “I’m hoping that by the end of October, The Garden could become a permanent establishment on Market Street.”

While Martin is still taking photography assignments, he has slowed down on that a bit to focus on his new venture.

He has been posting teasers about his enterprise on Facebook, but with few details.

“I am excited, and I think it will be great,” he said.