Connie and Susie Bakeman co-own Still Water Grill and Catering in downtown Greer. The sisters-in-law opened the restaurant and bar on Trade Street in September, hoping to provide a fun place with good food on top of Connie’s experience in the catering business. Still Water sits between Pour Sports Pub and Blue Ridge Brewing Co. on the far end of Trade Street, the main business stretch of the city. Still Water is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch, and it’s open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner and karaoke.
Connie: We’ve definitely taken a complete change around as far as what we were when we started, what we wanted to offer Greer, and what we’re offering to Greer now. When we opened, we wanted to be kind of like a shag club with beach music and dance music.
Susie: We did that for about six weeks. We said, “Well, we can’t sustain this.” We brought in karaoke, and the people around here love to sing. They’re not all good, but they love to sing.
Connie: We do gourmet sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, quesadillas, that kind of thing. The nights we’re open … we do a meal kind of thing. (On Thursday night), we had chicken enchiladas. (On Friday, we had) pork tenderloin.
Susie: We don’t want to be locked in to have to cook the same thing each day. They’re not the same every night. … We have a fig and brie pizza, a prosciutto pizza, a pesto pizza — which is pesto, sun dried tomatoes and Asiago cheese. Who thought that up, I don’t know — but it’s delicious.
Connie: Everything we make is homemade. We make everything ourselves.
Building on experience
Susie: (Connie) has been in the food business for about 10 years. She owned a catering company for about 10 years.
Connie: I still have customers from when I was open in Greenville that have stayed with us.
A good time
Susie: We did the election here. We did the Clemson-Alabama (national championship) game on Monday night. We’re not usually open Mondays, but we opened for that.
Connie: On Thursday nights, we want to start doing some different things — comedy nights, open mics. We want to do trivia. We want to do a few different things.
Susie: We’re going to celebrate every party possible. We looked at the calendar … we’re going to do a Valentine’s dance the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. We’re going to do Mardi Gras here. We’re going to do St. Patrick’s Day here. We had the biggest New Year’s bash on the street. People who bought tickets for (another event) ended up here.
Connie: We like to party, so that helps.
Susie: Our door is open at night when the music is on, and people come from out of everywhere. We want everyone’s doors to stay open on this end of the street. We’re not in competition; we feed off of each other. We can’t wait until (Blue Ridge) opens their brewery next door. We’ve joked about poking holes in the wall.
Advice for entrepreneurs
Susie: Be open-minded, because what we thought we were going to do is not where we’re at now. You have to do what the people want to do.
Connie: It’s about your customers. It’s not really about what you want.