Downtown Fort Mill
Coming into Fort Mill’s downtown from the south, you come over the train tracks to a beautiful park. Just across from the park is a gem of a restaurant, with the fitting name Hobo’s. As a beautiful place to listen and watch trains, Hobo’s pulls on the southern hospitality of comfort food while offering modern takes on the food of the generation that rode the rails, The Hobos.
In the traditions of a county that lost 25% of its male population as casualties in the American Civil War, the park on main street is called Confederate park, but as the pictures suggest, it currently feels like any small-town park in America the week of the 4th of July.
Ambience and Character
Although Hobo’s Grill has a great indoor dining area and bar, I prefer the outside standing tables. The atmosphere is clean, the view is great, and the noise level is manageable. Whether you want to sit in the air conditioning or manage the southern summer heat under the shade and the fans while listening to the trains running by, the choice is up to you.
I enjoy listening to the train as I eat my lunch, some people may not.
The Meal: Hobo’s Standout Burgers
After sitting down to my table, and contemplating the simple menus of burgers and brews, I chose a meal that matched both my history as a westerner and my current life as a resident of York County, South Carolina. So I got the Mack and Mack (Carolina Burger) and paired it with Colorado’s classic, New Belgium Fat Tire Ale.
Coleslaw, chili, a burger patty, and jalapenos; this meal was made to fill you up while providing a diverse sample of southern comfort and southern fire.
The meat was cooked to my order, the chili had the right amount of spice, and the coleslaw was crunchy with the right combination of sweet and zest.
Slaw is one of my favorite southern comfort foods, and it made this burger stand out as a quality Carolina burger. While the chili and the jalapenos might fit well with a southwestern burger, the coleslaw and bar-b-q sauce make the burger a great Carolina classic.
Paired with the balanced malt and hops of the New Belgium Fat Tire, the meal was a study in contrasting flavors in food and in culture. As a recent transplant to the Metrolina area (indeed, who isn’t a recent transplant around here?), I appreciated Hobo’s local feel (including the #eatlocal and #drinklocal on the server’s shirts) while still providing an Americana diner experience that feels rooted in history and in many more locations than this one small town in the giant Charlotte metro.
Although I wondered if I could eat the meal, there was just the right amount of food for me to eat and feel pleasantly full, but I would probably have taken some home if I was less hungry.
While there are many chains across the area, there are some restaurants that are worth the drive to an area you might not go normally, and Hobo’s is one of these. Locally owned and operated, the food, drinks, atmosphere and staff are all examples of modern urban restaurants. If you want anything besides great grill grub and beautiful brown brews (they have other colors too, but I couldn’t stop the alliteration!), you best be going somewhere else. But, if you do want classic grill food and a great variety of drink (including some non-alcoholic micro-brews, for those who love artisan drinks and can’t do the alcohol), then come on in (or out) to Hobo’s in Fort Mill on main street.
Tell them Paul sent you!
This post was written as part of a regular content section on York County businesses that Paul Davis does with LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space. To get notified about more of these business reviews, follow LOOM on Facebook, bookmark the LOOM Blog or subscribe to Paul Davis Solution’s small business updates.
At LOOM, we encourage our members to support locally owned businesses, and in turn, the community supports them. Hobo’s is a LOOM Community Benefit Partner …. a local business owner who supports our members while reaping the benefits of the increased foot traffic and brand marketing done by our staff. These partners offer helpful and creative discounts to our members for goods and services in the downtown and greater Fort Mill area.