EDITOR'S NOTE: "Sandlapper Slept Here" is a column that appears in each issue of Sandlapper Magazine, featuring bed-and-breakfasts and historic inns throughout the Palmetto State. Here's an example. If you find it interesting, you may want to peruse our back issue listings for information about previous columns.
There was a time when guests who stretched out at this place stretched out for good. The Inn on the Square has been the site of a funeral home, cab company, furniture store, dance hall, beauty shop, music store, grocery -- even a car dealership. The modern structure was upwardly expanded from the original 1929 building (there are three levels now).
At 48 rooms, you don't call this a bed and breakfast. But it qualifies easily for this column because of its quaint charm, the personal attention you get from the staff, the special touches in each room and ...well, the over-all feel of the place. There is a 17-item buffet on weekday mornings. There's a whole, self-contained restaurant, in fact. More on that later.
Not only is it on Greenwood's revitalized uptown square; it's designed in a square. From the walkways around the second and third levels, guests lean over the rails and gaze down through the full height atrium on the activity in the lobby. (Inner guest rooms have windows opening onto the atrium.) Don't expect a lot of noisy bustle down there. Clustered seating with subdued lighting and fine furniture are conducive to quiet strolls and relaxed conversation. Soft music drifts from the Polo Lounge, patterned after an English pub. A tinkle of silver and crystal emanates from The Dining Room (the restaurant) across the way.
"It's totally self-contained," notes Judy Wessels, group sales manager. "There's the restaurant, lounge, meeting rooms, ballroom. We'll take your clothes to the cleaners, if you'd like."
The inn offers three sizes of accommodations: king, queen and twin. You'll find elegant furniture (an armoire in lieu of a built-in closet, for example) and a writing desk in each room. There's room service and cable TV, so if you want, you can retreat for the evening in quietness and pampered comfort. A pool awaits outside.
Owned by Tom Fischer (whose Graystone Restaurant draws diners to Laurens), the Inn on the Square opened in 1985. Vanna White has stayed there, as has former fullback Larry Csonka. The typical guest? "We do a lot of corporate business during the week, a lot of weddings on weekends." says Linda Foxworth, catering sales manager.
The Dining Room offers fine dining in a chandeliered setting. Chef Pascal Hurtebize is from a village outside Paris and is known for his soups and sauces.
The breakfast buffet includes grits, scrambled eggs, cream gravy, southern-style meats plus less common items like salmon cakes and various fruits, pastries and juices. The weekend breakfast is only continental, but never mind that -- eat light in the morning and save your appetite for Pascal's dinner fare!
The Inn on the Square (104 Court Street, Greenwood, SC 29646 223-4488) has 48 private rooms; $39.95-59.95 weekends, $59-65 weeknights. Children okay. 12 nonsmoking rooms available. No pets.