In a tiny building that once housed the Clifton Mill barbershop, Dolline Inman serves up an old-school breakfast and lunch in a setting that evokes memories of textile mill life. If you want an authentic mill-village treat, come on Wednesday mornings, when a group of old-timers bring their musical instruments for a gospel sing-along.
There are no mills in Clifton anymore—they’ve all been demolished and the building materials recycled, but Dolline’s is where you find the old spirit of Clifton. Dolline, who grew up in the Cowpens mill village across the river, cooked at truckstops before deciding to open her namesake restaurant in the early 1990s. Her quaint country diner is located along the meandering streets of Clifton, a community so-named because of its unusual topography: giant cliffs on either side of the Pacolet River gorge.
Dolline’s diner is adorned with historic photos, including one of a 50-pound catfish that some locals caught in the Pacolet River. You can eat at the counter (and visit with Dolline or her daughter, Wendy), or have your meal in a tiny dining room. At lunch you can still get the mill village staples: pinto beans, cornbread, onions and sweet tea, all for less than $5. Cheeseburgers are the local favorite, although plenty of folks opt for the country-fried steak. At breakfast, if you’re feeling adventurous, try the livermush.