By: Bella Metts, Contributor
If there is one great thing about Greenville, besides its amazing downtown, it is the plethora of food options available. Greenville hosts an abundance of food options for people of all preferences. Whether you have food allergies, religious preferences or any other reasons; it seems that there is always a new place opening up in Greenville to fill your cravings. One quickly growing area is West Greenville.
Over the past few years, West Greenville has grown from unused buildings to a multiplicity of thriving local businesses, including a bustling restaurant scene. It is host to a wide range of businesses, from Kuka Juice, The Anchorage, Growler Haus, GB&D and The Village Grind. Five years ago, most of these businesses did not exist.
Local juice bar, Kuka Juice, says that their business has been picking up more recently. “The growth we have seen in The Village since moving in last December has been tremendous!” says Samantha Shaw, co-owner of Kuka Juice, “It has become a destination full of life and community. We are happy to call it home”.
Business owners in West Greenville are clearly happy with its flourishing progress. The owner of local restaurant GB&D has just opened up the newest addition to West Greenville’s bustling food scene, Carols. This new ice cream shop specializes in ice cream made using liquid nitrogen. They offer dairy free and vegan options, along with a wide range of mix ins and toppings, making them a popular destination in Greenville.
Although West Greenville is clearly flourishing and provides a good space for new small businesses, many people question whether its growth is for the better or not.
Gentrification is a buzzword often used to describe West Greenville’s recent growth. Gentrification occurs when middle class people begin changing an area to fit their tastes, which frequently causes rent prices to rise and displaces lower income residents that reside there. According to this definition, West Greenville definitely raises many important questions about Greenville’s sustainable growth.
West Greenville’s recent prosperity leaves it on track to keep growing, but what does this growth mean for lower income people in the area? How will Greenville address the problem of affordable housing for low income people as they continue to grow?
While West Greenville is a great area for dessert, a nice meal or just a coffee on the go, it raises many important questions that the city of Greenville has yet to confront.