St. Paul Square, the historic commercial and entertainment complex on the Near East Side, has been undergoing revitalization in recent years, thanks to an influx of new businesses and residential developments. Now, the owner of multiple popular bars and restaurants is embracing the spirit of renewal with a new bar.
Developer Steve Mahoney, the impresario behind Francis Bogside, George’s Keep, Hanzo, and Blue Box Bar, plans to open Lilly’s Greenville in late May at 1160 E. Commerce St. Unlike his previous concepts, the spot will be stripped down with no curated menu — or as Mahoney describes it, a “nice, little, straight-up … neighborhood bar.”
In that spirit, there will be no food served inside Lilly’s, although there are plenty of dining choices in the district, including Smoke BBQ Brew Venue and Toro Kitchen + Bar. It is also a stone’s throw away from the River Walk and Hemisfair.
“We’re just going back to basics,” Mahoney said.
In addition to the prime location, Mahoney said he was attracted by the vibe of St. Paul Square, which features Sunset Station, a historic train depot-turned-event venue, and architectural jewels like the Art Deco Cameo Theater.
“It’s just a cool spot, it has a really cool feel,” Mahoney said.
Keeping with the historical theme, Mahoney named the concept after Lilly May, grandmother of a bartender at Mahoney’s Pearl mainstay Blue Box. The “Greenville” part is a nod to her hometown in South Carolina.
Aside those few details, Mahoney isn't revealing many details. He did tease that Lilly’s will have a back patio and be open 4 pm to 2 am daily. The full vision for the bar will be revealed prior to opening in the days ahead.