Betsy’s Round the Corner welcomes customers with a soft opening

November 9, 2018

The name is new and so is the location.

But former fans of Betsy’s On The Corner found quite a bit they liked about Betsy’s Round the Corner on Thursday during a soft opening of the latest version of Betsy Simons’ popular restaurant in downtown Aiken.

“It’s kind of like coming back home,” said Sofia Johnson, who showed up for lunch. “There are new people on the staff, but it’s really nice to still see some of the familiar faces when you walk in and have them say, ‘Hey.’ ”

Clyde Davis also was happy.

“It looks great,” he said. “There’s a lot more room, and it isn’t as noisy.”

As for the food, “it’s still good,” Davis declared after eating a grilled chicken salad while his friend, Carole Smith, enjoyed a Reuben sandwich.

“I had lunch at least twice a week at the old Betsy’s, and I’m going to be having lunch at least twice a week here,” Davis said.

Betsy’s On The Corner closed Oct. 13 after offering comfort food in a diner-style setting for six years at the intersection of Laurens Street and Barnwell Avenue.

Betsy’s Round the Corner is at 224 Park Ave. S.W. Its home is a 7,836-square-foot brick building that has two floors and an elevator.

“There’s still so much to be done as far as the finishing touches, especially upstairs, but I’m very happy with the way it turned out,” Simons said. “The downstairs is my diner. It’s bright and happy. Upstairs is geared more for adults. It’s quiet and relaxed.”

Like the old Betsy’s, the first floor of the new Betsy’s has booths and a soda fountain. A sign from the old Betsy’s hangs on a wall.

The second floor of the new Betsy’s has a bar, subdued lighting and groupings of sofas and upholstered chairs.

“It’s a really comfortable gathering place,” Simons said.

Thursday’s soft opening was invitation-only, and lunch and dinner were served.

Nearly everything was free, but Simons asked diners to make donations to Friends of the Animal Shelter during lunch and Children’s Place during dinner.

Janice Wilson was spending the day with her granddaughter, Charley Wilson, and they had lunch upstairs at Betsy’s Round the Corner.

Both are former Betsy’s On The Corner customers.

“I was kind of worried when I heard they were moving away from the corner because it was kind of unique and special,” Janice said. “I was afraid it would lose its small town, diner-type feel, but this is really nice. I like the way they’ve decorated it and the atmosphere.”

When asked for her opinion, Charley raised her left thumb.

Compared to the old Betsy’s, the new Betsy’s will have longer operating hours and more menu options such as grilled salmon and osso bucco.

The new Betsy’s also eventually will be open seven days a week instead of six, with brunch being offered on Sundays.

In addition in the future, breakfast will be served Monday through Saturday.

Because there were problems with equipment during the soft opening and other issues that needed to be resolved, Simons wasn’t sure exactly when the new Betsy’s would open officially.

“We hope to have the grand opening next week,” she said.

For more information, call 803-226-0078 or visit the Betsy’s Round the Corner page on Facebook.

Update hourly