Published on June 10th, 2012 | by Kevin Barron10
First Look: Clay Pot Coffee Shop
When SCNow.com reported that the Clay Pot Coffee Shop was nearing completion back in January, I was eager to see the finished results. You may recall that I talked with Ray Reich, downtown development manager, about the downtown Florence food scene on a recent episode of the Pee Dee Food Show and the Clay Pot was mentioned as part of what I’ll label downtown’s newly developing “restaurant row.” Well, as of Saturday, June 9, 2012, with its soft opening to the public, the Clay Pot was ready for business and we were there.
As planned, we got moving early and headed out for a day of local fun in Florence. First, we ran a few errands. Next we headed to South Dargan and the Clay Pot. As it was early, we were some of the first visitors on this first day of business. Our impression? Impressive!
The dining room is larger than I expected and seats about 30 by my count. Al fresco dining is also available. The interior is filled with what could be called a collage of tables and chairs, nearly each one different from the others. My Mrs. and I enjoyed just pointing out the styles we recognized. The tall walls are pink and the natural light from the floor to ceiling windows is abundant. Toward the rear is the service counter with a display case filled with cookies, pastries, mini-cupcakes, and pies. Coffee is, of course, a staple and the blends come from the Pee Dee’s own Cashua Coffee. Clay Pot even has it’s own house blend. We ordered lunch, which on this first day was smoked turkey on a gorgeous bun with fresh slaw and tortilla chips. At $7.50 per person it not only hit the spot, but was not bad on the wallet either.
From what we’ve heard the food, where possible, will include locally-sourced, organic, and fresh ingredients. The related Facebook page states “The Clay Pot will offer a wide range of fair trade hot and cold coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, a selection of breakfast, lunch and dessert specialties.”
Not only a coffee house, the Clay Pot features local artists’ work including jewelry, paintings, furniture, and pottery. As a collector of small pieces of pottery – you know, objects that fit nicely in our dining room display cabinet – I looked long and hard and the mugs thrown by the owner, Peggy Brown. All were beautiful, some simple, some more stylized. I decided to wait until the actual pottery studio inside Clay Pot opens. That’s right, it will also be a working pottery studio in the future. I can see myself visiting a few times a month, especially since it’s not far from my downtown office.
In the future we’ll do a full Restaurant Review, but for now we thought you’d enjoy this first look at the brand new Clay Pot Coffee House. A Grand Opening date will be announced soon, so be watching for that online.
WED to SAT: 6:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
SUN: 8:30 am – 2:00 pm