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Wade’s Restaurant in Spartanburg Awarded James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Honor

Family-owned restaurant milestone

Wade’s Restaurant in Spartanburg Receives Prestigious James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award

‘Quality food, timeless appeal’ Puts Longtime Spartanburg Restaurant Among Nation’s Best

Wade’s Restaurant, a cherished institution in Spartanburg for over 75 years, has earned significant recognition for its “quality food and timeless appeal” by the James Beard Foundation. The award comes under the category of America’s Classics Award, a unique recognition bestowed upon locally-owned restaurants that “serve quality food, have timeless appeal, and reflect the character of their communities.”

Created in 1998, this award category acknowledges establishments that portray an immersive culinary experience synonymous with their local flavor. Along with Wade’s, five other restaurants across the country have bagged the James Beard Foundation’s 2024 America’s Classics Award, sponsored by HEINZ.

Other Award Honorees

The other winners this year are restaurants spread across various American cities – Mandalay in San Francisco, Vietnam Restaurant in Philadelphia, Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge in Brookings, South Dakota, Sylvia’s Restaurant in New York City, and Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge in Las Vegas.

Setting the Benchmark for Excellence

Co-owner Hamp Lindsey expressed his gratitude, noting the honor as both humbling and unexpected. According to Lindsey, the staff at Wade’s Restaurant, currently numbering 130, were the true heroes for the consistent hard work and high service standards they maintain daily.

“I’m most proud for all of those at the restaurant that put the hard work in every day. To receive an honor like this, that you didn’t apply for and is given by industry professionals, is very special,” Lindsey said.

75 Years of Culinary Excellence

Wade’s celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this year on March 6. Originating from Mrs. May’s Grocery, a small grocery store and lunch counter established by Wade and Betty Lindsey in 1947, the eatery eventually transformed into Wade’s Restaurant in 1949.

The restaurant, owned currently by the Lindsey’s children Hamp Lindsey and Carole Miller, developed its legendary menu famous for its meat-and-three options that it still serves to date. A third generation, including Wade Lindsey III, the General Manager, and Anna Lindsey Liles, the Marketing Director, have joined in maintaining the restaurant’s legacy.

Boost for Local Tourism and Commerce

The award not just recognizes and celebrates the efforts of the Lindsey family but also enhances the reputation of Spartanburg. Hamp Lindsey acknowledged the positive impact on the community, celebrating the recognition bestowed upon the city.

“I’m excited for Spartanburg,” Lindsey said. “Spartanburg has been really good to us, and it’s just as fun to see the city get this recognition. I think it’s something the whole community can celebrate, not just us.”

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Wade's Restaurant in Spartanburg Awarded James Beard Foundation's America's Classics Honor Spartanburg SC

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