Holmes Hot Dogs
Grab lunch—a dog with the Holmes family’s homemade chili is your best bet—in a local landmark. Not far from the commercial bustle of Spartanburg’s Westgate shopping area, is a tiny eatery that has served the mill village of Arcadia since 1946. Holmes is a landmark to generations of people whose families lived and worked in two nearby textile mills. It’s also a lunchtime landmark to all classes of people who love its kitschy décor and its menu of fries, dogs and more dogs.
Holmes Hot Dogs is a place to step back into the past. When it opened, textiles were still going strong and most of the people in the area still lived in cottages owned by Mayfair Mills. (Mayfair sold off the homes to residents in the early 1950s).
In the Great Depression a teenager named Walter Holmes had a paper route that took him past this little building, then-named Gardo’s—a restaurant, barbershop, and Esso gas station serving increasingly mobile mill workers. Holmes occasionally enjoyed a bite to eat there, and when he returned from service in the U.S. Navy, he bought the business in 1953. Gradually the supermarkets put him out of the grocery business, but the Holmes family has never stopped serving hot dogs. You’ll find plenty of retro flourishes, and you can even get an old-fashioned bottled soda. (Cheerwine is a local favorite.) It’s open 10 am to 4 pm weekdays, and a family of four can eat for about $25.