Fun at Fretwell

The Fretwell adds a social atmosphere to the Mary Black Rail Trail


Photo courtesy

Finished photo of the Fretwell on the Mary Black Rail Trail.

Ellie Schafer, Viking Voices Co-Editor

Along the Rail Trail in Downtown Spartanburg, Gervais Hollowell’s Little River Roasting Company has built and opened a new venue called Fretwell. It opened in late spring of 2022 and with the start of a new school year, is still going strong.  Little River Roasting Company is a local coffee bean roaster that mostly deals in fair trade coffee from around the world and is now housed in the new Fretwell complex.

The new venture known as the Fretwell offers a casual and unique outdoor setting to visitors, including families.  The property includes plenty of wide-open green space to put out lawn chairs or blankets, as well as picnic tables and benches.  There are games like cornhole available, and there is even the opportunity to bring along four-legged family members.

Leah Chandler (12) is a frequent customer at all Little River Roasting Company locations and is excited to be able to visit Fretwell soon.

“I really love Little River and having a new branch really adds to it. To be able to listen to live music while getting coffee seems great, and I can’t wait to check it out,” Chandler said.

Fretwell is a community area right off Marion Avenue. There they host many events, including an evening farmers’ market, live music with local bands and food trucks.

Fretwell currently features “The Spartan,” which is a refurbished trailer that has snack foods, sweet treats, and soft or hard beverages. In addition to the food and drink, every second Thursday of the month Fretwell hosts karaoke night from 7-9 pm. It is a place to hang out with friends, family or pets and grab something to eat and drink.

Each Monday at 7 pm, Fretwell hosts trivia night. Every week there is a different theme sure to test those that come to play. One may be required to know a vast number of topics that span from the knowledge of the Marvel franchise to 90s television shows. The weekly trivia topic is posted on the Fretwell website and dressing up is encouraged.

Thomas Brobson (12) has been to Fretwell and enjoyed trivia night.

“The atmosphere at Fretwell felt friendly and there was always something to do there like getting a coffee or playing some yard games in the open area. The trivia night was pretty fun and interesting, and the questions that they asked were about Pixar movie characters and different scenes from those movies,” Brobson said.

Fretwell also has an event known as ‘Off the Clock,’ where local musicians come to perform on Friday nights from 6-9 pm during the summer.  A few more events Fretwell hosted over the summer months were the Hub City Farmers Market on Wednesday evenings, along with food trucks and live music.

English teacher Donovan Brooks is intrigued and excited about the opportunities Fretwell is going to bring to the Mary Black Rail Trail.

“I am curious and want to know more, I hope they do a better job about promoting it. I would like to follow up and see the music there,” Brooks said.