The owner of longtime downtown restaurant The Cotton Patch is adding a second location in Evans.
Owner Bryan Mitchell anticipates opening the restaurant, to be named either Eli’s Cotton Patch West or Eli’s American Kitchen, by January across from the Evans Wal-Mart in the Shoppes at Camelot shopping center, 4446 Washington Road.
The new restaurant will retain many similar features of its riverfront counterpart, such as a casual, low-country theme, but also will allow Mitchell more space and storage to experiment with his cuisine offerings, he said.
“I’ll be able to do things out there that I can’t do down here,” said Mitchell, who also owns The City Club on Broad Street. “This is a historic building, so modifying it literally takes an act of Congress.”
Mitchell opened the original The Cotton Patch on Halloween 1990 at 816 Cotton Lane, just off Reynolds Street.
The new eatery will take up two storefronts totaling 3,000 square feet within the Evans shopping center and can accommodate 160 diners inside, more than double the indoor dining capacity of the downtown location. The restaurant will open with about 50 employees, he said.
The continual growth in the Evans area factored into his decision to open the second restaurant there, said Mitchell, adding that other downtown restaurant owners with locations in Evans have told him their sales in Columbia County have on average doubled or tripled.
“We’re hoping to follow that trend,” he said. “There’s a lot of pluses for us out there.”