The Drive are back and driving business to Greenville’s West End

burger at mac’s speed shop

The long-awaited Greenville Drive season starts Wednesday night at Flour Field.

Businesses in the West End are ready for the added energy coming their way.

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“Baseball brings it all back home, it’s the American pastime right, great American pastime,” Shang Skipper, president of Mac’s Hospitality Group, said.

Skipper is thrilled the Drive are playing again. He said Mac’s Speed Shop anticipates more business.

“What it does for the West End, for our business is just incredible,” Skipper said. “We see a bump in sales 25-30 percent when they’re in town, so we’re ready to go, very excited.”

Skipper said the canceled Drive season last year was costly. He notes the restaurant lost $20,000 in beer sales alone. He believes, though, the Drive season will add to the momentum the restaurant is feeling now.

“Now here we are full circle and now we’re just trying to employ as many people as possible,” Skipper said. “It’s just such a relief, it’s such a feeling of ‘OK, we’re almost through this now, this is what we’re supposed to be doing.'”

Across the street sits Viva Villa. This marks the first Drive season for the Mexican restaurant. It opened in the West End back in December. Server Ashley Valencia is hopeful the games will increase exposure.

“Baseball season, hopefully, it will pick up a lot more and it will bring us a lot more business,” Valencia said.

Skipper said the extra business will be great but that staffing remains a problem for the restaurant industry. So he’s offering a $1,000 signing bonus for the next two weeks.


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