When Cheraw native Sam Hoover came back to his hometown, he began looking at places to start a restaurant.
“Out of curiosity I was driving around town, and we kept seeing all of these for-rent signs,” Hoover said.
Once Hoover — who had been managing restaurants, pubs and catering services for 13 years — found a possible location, he called chef Michael Rogers. The two discussed opening a restaurant in Cheraw.
Hoover and Rogers then spoke to a building owner about renting a location, but the negotiations fell through. The pair began looking around town, when they learned that the 130 Second St. building that previously housed Oskars Restaurant and Bar was available.
The two acquired the building and began to enact their vision for a restaurant. Hoover said from the idea’s inception, he and Rogers wanted the restaurant to specialize in Italian food, using farm-to-table ingredients.
“There’s three things that are different about our kitchen,” said Hoover. “We don’t have a microwave, we don’t have a fryer. we don’t even have a can opener. Everything is chopped. We cut our own meats. We have an arrangement with U.S. Foods that they will deliver our fish every day.”
Hoover said this method of food preparation sometimes means running out of a dish or ingredient, but he is completely fine with that.
“Last night we sold out of raviolis,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it probably takes like two hours of prep before we open to make raviolis. All of our plates are made to order anyway, so if we run out of something, all that really means is we already sold out of it. I’m fine with that.”
Hoover said freshness is more than just a big deal at the Green Door.
“It’s the only deal,” he said. “It’s what we’re doing differently.”
The Green Door had a soft opening on May 29 and has been open to the public since May 30. In that short time, Hoover said the feedback he’s received from patrons has been positive.
“The reception has been off the charts,” he said. “Everybody has been very happy.”
Reach reporter Randy Garner at 843-537-5261 and follow him on Twitter @CherawChronicle.