Laurens residents and visitors will have a family-owned steakhouse as a dining option for the first time in over two decades when “The Tailored Oak” opens its doors in 2022.
The new restaurant, which is to be owned and operated by chef and Laurens native Caleb Satterfield and his wife, Jess, is scheduled to open on the Laurens Historic Square this coming spring.
The Tailored Oak will be located on the first floor of the Swofford Building at 101 East Laurens Street on the north side of the square. The building is the latest restoration project of Barrett and Barton Holmes, the duo who recently won statewide recognition for the renovation of The Midtown Building, which is now home of the Coffee Roost.
“The people of this area have spoken pretty clearly about the fact that there is a demand for more fine dining options,” Satterfield said. “And specifically, they want a place where they can have a nice steak. We believe Laurens is looking for a place that is comfortable and approachable enough to enjoy a weeknight dinner, but also a place where they can celebrate the special occasions of life.”
Satterfield, who will serve as the executive chef of the new restaurant, is now working as chef de cuisine at the Grand Clubhouse of The Cliffs Valley near Travelers Rest. Jess Satterfield will assist with customer relations, marketing and other business operations.
While Laurens has had several chain buffet-style steak restaurants over the years, it has lacked a steakhouse since the closure of the iconic “Graystone,” which closed in the mid-1990s and was located at the corner of Farley Street and South Harper. Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn, said Laurens residents have made it clear they were ready for a new steakhouse.
“From the time I was running for mayor until now, I have heard clearly and consistently that our community wants additional fine dining options, and particularly a steakhouse,” Senn said. “There is a lot that goes into attracting such a restaurant. You have to find a restaurant owner who is just the right fit and match them with a building in just the right location. Fortunately, Caleb’s desire to return to Laurens and the Swofford Building’s renovation coincided at just the right time. But, even if you have a great building, a talented chef, and a great plan for a restaurant, all the financial details have to work out. By God’s grace, those details have finally been worked out.”
Main Street Laurens Executive Director Jonathan Irick expressed his organization’s excitement to welcome this new dining option to the square.
“This announcement is an example of how important it is to have a plan in place, working that plan, strengthening partnerships and growing new relationships,” said Irick.
The restaurant’s name is a nod to Laurens’ history, referring to the oak trees that once surrounded the county courthouse on the square and the city’s connection to Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the U.S. who once ran a tailor’s shop in the city.
“It’s fun to give a little nod to that part of our history,” Caleb Satterfield said.
The Tailored Oak will have very few “set” menu items. Satterfield intends to source as much of the produce and meats as he can from Laurens County farms. As a result, menu items will change from season to season, or even week to week. And, although the menu will be certain to feature fine cuts of grass-fed beef, it will also feature familiar Southern favorites. “We want to make delicious food with great ingredients and serve it in a welcoming atmosphere. We believe that’s the recipe for a successful restaurant.”
Satterfield’s vision for the restaurant isn’t just limited to the food that will be served to its patrons.
“We’ve been impressed by the partnership between restaurants, businesses, and the community in Laurens,” he said, “and we want to contribute to that.”