Holders bring GateHouse Restaurant to downtown

PICKENS — When father and son Dean and Jeff Holder decided to renovate the old LeJuans building in downtown Pickens, little did they know today they would be restaurant owners.
“Daddy and I had lots of fun working together remodeling the building,” Jeff Holder said. “Our hope was that someone would lease the building sharing our vision for a restaurant that would be a modern version of what it once was. We listened to quite a few groups with their ideas, but when we met with Chef Lee Pollard, we knew we had what felt like the perfect fit for Pickens.”
Pollard brings to Pickens and the surrounding community more than 50 years of experience and hard work cultivating his love of serving the very best. Previously, Pollard was with Calhoun Corners and Pixie & Bill’s Restaurants in Clemson and most recently with Lee’s Café 11, named for himself and located at the Market on Highway 11 with the Cliff’s Communities to name a few.
Because of his reputation for preparing delicious meals, Pollard has many repeat customers who continue to follow him, enjoying his talents and gifts of fine food preparation. He is continuing his love of cooking at the GateHouse Restaurant, which offers a unique dining experience blending traditional, southern cuisine with touches of upscale dining in a family atmosphere. Guests are invited to come as they are and enjoy an eclectic menu that has something sure to suit every taste.
An award-winning chef, Pollard was honored in 1981 for his soup recipe in South Carolina Cook Book. In 2005, The Heritage Corridor showcased his delicious peach crepes, and in 2007, Pollard won the “Best of the Best” in Southern Living Magazine for his peach cobbler. His barbeque has also been recognized statewide among various publications as well.
The restaurant also features historic Hagood Mill’s grits, which are available on the buffet, accompany the featured appetizer, Fried Green Tomatoes and are served with the ever-popular Shrimp & Grits entree. The grits are also sold at the restaurant in the Grab & Go case, along with Pollard’s homemade signature salad dressings, sandwich spreads, homemade cookies and various other selections. Additionally, the Boar’s Head Deli case offers sliced meats and cheeses to go, or visitors can order a ham or turkey for any special occasion.
The GateHouse Restaurant offers full-service catering and has unlimited service available to assist in planning special events. The banquet room, which seats as many as 80, offers on-site dining for business meetings or special events. Another option is the outdoor kitchen at Willow Creek Ranch, which allows onsite cooking. Guests can enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, which features a rustic open air pavilion, picnic tables, fire pit and rambling creek.
“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us since early November,” Dean Holder said. “Opening a restaurant has been a major challenge for a family with no restaurant experience. Our goal from day one has been to provide the best food and service we could for the people who come to the GateHouse Restaurant. With Lee’s guidance, we will strive to improve each day to make that happen.”
Located at 116 Ann Street in Pickens, GateHouse Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m-2 p.m. for lunch; 4:30-8:30 p.m. for dinner and on Sunday from 10:45 a.m. until 2 p.m. Take-out orders are also available by calling (864) 507-4310.