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EXCLUSIVE: Restaurant group brings three fresh eating concepts to Chapin

Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – A local restaurant group is bringing three new dining concepts to Chapin and all three promise to make a great addition to the small town that is big on dining out. Happy Fork, the group that’s developing the eateries, CEO Ron Pereira said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the group was excited about the Chapin ventures and he felt the community would be too.

Pereira said that Happy Fork’s three dining options will all land in the new Chapin Commons, a state-of-the-art complex off Columbia Avenue across from Chapin High School. “We feel we are perfectly located for what we want to do, be a part of the Chapin community and partner with its schools as we introduce these exciting dining options to Chapin’s residents and guests. We are developing fresh new menus that will not only be exciting but also healthy and affordable for everyone,” Pereira said.

The first restaurant that’s expected to open in early November is named after Happy Fork’s Executive Chef Henry Griffin. Griffin Chop House will be an eating experience that every family can enjoy without breaking the bank according to Pereira. He said that Chef Griffin has years of experience in the business as the executive chef of Ristorante Divino, the Kingsman Cayce, and the Kingsman Lexington. Now he and Pereira have broken off from that group, closed Ristorante Divino, and quietly switched the Kingsman Lexington into the first Griffin Chop House. There, the partners rolled out an all new menu and concept without much fanfare. “We didn’t do a big media blitz or a ribbon cutting in Lexington because we wanted an opportunity to make sure our concept was where we wanted it to be,” Pereira said. “Now that we’ve made sure everything is working smoothly in Lexington, we’re ready to start letting more people know we are here and we plan to stay,” Pereira stated.

Griffin Chop House’s menu features items that will have your mouth watering from the start. You can enjoy a Certified Angus Beef Prime burger served on a potato bun with all the fixings, and choice of fries or coleslaw. This burger is not only of the highest quality, but at $10 is very affordable. You can also tailor your burger to your taste adding things like pimento cheese, pepper jack, mozzarella, or an aged horse radish cheddar. They even have one that features bleu cheese and caramelized onions for just a few dollars more.

If steaks are more your style, try any of their Certified Angus Beef steaks that are aged a minimum of 30 days by Griffin. Afterward, they are cooked to perfection with a proprietary seasoning to whatever temperature you prefer. A 12oz. ribeye, 8 oz. ribeye filet or 10 oz. prime strip will cost between $20 and $25!

In the mood for the absolute best? Try their Tallow Dry Aged specials. Tallow Dry Aging is a process where they encrust the beef in a homemade beef butter and dry age it for 60+ days to create the most tender and flavorful steaks known to man! The strip is $29, the ribeye $32, and the filet sells for $39. Keep in mind this is some of the very best beef treated in a very special way, with one side included. Sides are also extremely well thought out and expertly prepared. They include items like fresh crispy green beans, roasted wild mushrooms, baked sweet or russet potatoes, or grilled asparagus with oven dried tomatoes, just to name a few. Of course, it would take tremendous will power to pass on smoked bacon mac-n-cheese which is also featured on the sides list. Certainly there are several salads options available that include a fresh garden or Caesar salad with every type of dressing available for you.

If steaks just aren’t your thing, you can try the cedar plank salmon the house special bar-b-que ribs, pulled pork, half chicken, or smoked sausage. These are some of Henry Griffin’s specialties that have been developed over the years to be some of the best cooked meats you’ve ever put in your mouth. Henry also has his own mustard or ketchup-based sauces and will smoke just about anything including the meatloaf or prime brisket for sandwiches.

Please don't dare skip over the app menu. There's a bacon steak that's crispy duroc pork belly steak topped with a maple horseradish glaze and gremolata. Fire me one up while I make an appointment with my cardiologist. Sounds sinful yes, but oh so delicious, and you have to indulge yourself sometime.

In the same restaurant, there will be a dessert bar called Dessert Deca which will feature an assortment of desserts and pastries including a Dessert of the Week. These are developed by students enrolled in the Culinary Program at Chapin High School. That dessert will feature the student’s name and will be bought from the school and brought in fresh for Griffin’s patrons regularly.

You can enjoy dining indoors or on a fully enclosed patio that’s between building one and two. It’s family and pet friendly and there’s free Wi-Fi throughout the complex for those of you who have to stay connected.

There are two bars for your convenience and pleasure that features whiskies that are top shelf and further aged in an oak barrel in house. This is served in the same casual setting with mixed drinks that are just $8 during peak hours and $5 during the daily Happy Hour which is from 4-7:00 p.m.

If you bring a group of family or friends, you can order the Butcher Block that includes a full portion of several meats of your choice for sharing and family style sides. Many of these sides may be sourced from local farmers for a farm to table experience.

The second restaurant in the complex is being named Bakon Southern Eatery. Here, you can experience what they call charcuterie boards. These are large cheese boards that will feature an assortment of pancakes and French toast along with mixed fresh fruits. They also plan to serve a variety of quiches and other breakfast options.

Bakon has partnered with a coffee shop in Chapin to bring in seasonal and flavored coffees like pecan, as well as a standard or high-quality decaf. Want a little kick with your breakfast? Try several mimosas by ordering a flight, or enjoy a perfectly seasoned Bloody Mary spiced to your taste. There’s even a large selection of teas if you just aren’t feeling the standard southern sweet that day.

The third and final restaurant will be called Modern Fresca. This is a fast-casual dining experience that will include a drive-thru with health-conscious bowls, sandwiches, salads, and other lighter fare.

On any of the big seven diets like the Keto or the Paleo? Many items that will keep you on goal will be featured on this menu board. In fact, there will be a corresponding letter beside the items on the menu like a K for Keto friendly or a P if you’re following the Paleo plan.

CEO Ron Pereira said that the three restaurants give you every option in eating. “You can enjoy a luxury date night, or a healthy family meal without emptying your wallet.”

The key to all three of these restaurants is Happy Forks willingness to work with the town to make their menus and concepts work for everyone. Ron Pereira said that Happy Fork’s slogan is, “Because we give a fork!” and they really do about this community. “We plan to work closely with local charities and especially the school. After all, we are neighbors,” he said. “We are geared toward to the locals and want to be involved in what Chapin is doing. You’ll see us supporting the Booster Clubs, sports, and certainly the Culinary Arts program at the high school.”

You can see the Griffin Chop House’s full menu at griffinchophouse.com. Pereira said that after Griffin opens, they expect to open the subsequent restaurants within three or four weeks of each other.

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