Cantina 76, locally-owned, Mexican-inspired taqueria and bar, will expand into downtown Greenville, S.C., opening its newest location in ONE City Plaza on Main Street August 1, 2016. The Greenville restaurant will be the third Cantina 76 location for the Columbia, S.C. brand.
Offering a simple yet diverse menu of fresh and affordable Mexican-inspired fare and beverages – including the signature Cantina Margarita sweetened with natural agave nectar – Cantina 76 specializes in creative, award-winning à la carte tacos and signature margaritas in a casual, high-energy atmosphere.
Cantina 76 will join Greenville’s ONE City Plaza in the heart of the downtown Main Street district at 103 North Main Street, Suite 101, across the plaza from the new Aloft hotel. The location sits at the front of ONE City Plaza, the shopping, dining and business square redeveloped in 2013 at the intersection of E. Coffee and Main. The plaza, filled with public seating, plant life and water features, serves 1,200 office users and nearly 20 local and national businesses; it is adjacent to two parking garages with free parking on evenings and weekends.
Owners Jeb Babcock, Chad Elsey, Rob Ward and Craig Wyatt are old friends and Columbia, S.C. natives – Babcock went on to attend Clemson and the others, University of South Carolina. They have long envisioned expanding the Cantina 76 brand to the Upstate since founding it in Columbia in November 2009. The ideal opportunity arose when the ONE City Plaza space became available.
The 4,098 square-foot space has 161 seats: 120 seats inside, 17 seats at the bar and 24 seats outside on ONE City Plaza. The interior design is contemporary with eclectic, rustic décor and warm lighting; meanwhile, TVs at the bar and throughout the dining room will entice dedicated sports fans. Renovations to the former space aim to replicate the upbeat, energetic yet easy-going ambience for which Cantina 76 is known at its two Columbia locations, on bustling Main Street and on neighborhood-centric Devine Street.
“We’re thrilled to bring Cantina 76 to the folks of Greenville,” says Chad Elsey, co-owner of Cantina 76. “The restaurant has been successful in both of the Columbia locations, and we really think the fun atmosphere and fresh food and drinks will translate well to Greenville’s vibrant, thriving market. It’s very exciting and satisfying to see this brand grow across the state.”
Cantina 76 will be open for lunch and dinner seven days per week; Monday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to closing, staying open between lunch and dinner with extended bar hours on a case-by-case basis.
Monday – Tuesday 11:00 AM–9:30 PM
Wednesday – Thursday 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 11:00 AM–10:00 PM or later
Sunday 11:00 AM–9:00 PM
Drink specials include Happy Hour with half-priced Original House Margaritas and $1 discount on all alcoholic drinks, Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.; 2.50 Corona and Corona Light on Friday, 11:00 a.m.-close and half-priced Original House Margaritas on Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Since 2009, Cantina 76 has provided Mexican-inspired cuisine and concoctions, made fresh daily and delivered with friendly, efficient service to the Columbia area – becoming a staple in the Midlands for locals and tourists; students and professionals alike.
Guest-favorite items at Cantina 76 include the self-titled Cantina Margarita – made with choice of tequila, fresh lime juice and agave – and the Peruvian shrimp taco with fried wild-caught Gulf shrimp, jalapeño coleslaw and sesame chili drizzle over a flour or corn tortilla. Other popular choices are the Original Margarita, chicken teriyaki taco, BBQ brisket taco, dirty queso and BBQ chicken quesadilla; as well as the house-made salsa, made from fresh, seasonal S.C. tomatoes; onions and roasted poblano peppers.
The restaurant boasts multiple customers’ choice awards from several Columbia publications, including best taco, best margarita, best Mexican restaurant, best happy hour and best bang for your buck.
Photo of Cantina 76 owners by Will Crooks
About Cantina 76
Cantina 76 is a lively, independently-owned taqueria and bar that specializes in fresh Mexican-inspired cuisine and signature margaritas; providing a fast yet satisfying dining experience for business professionals, young groups of friends and couples of all ages in a casual, upbeat atmosphere with seating inside and out at two locations in Columbia, S.C. and one in downtown Greenville, S.C.