MacSmith Country Store
For seventy years, Mac Smith's Country Store has been an upstate landmark on Lebanon Road just outside Pendleton.
From its humble beginnings as a neighborhood general store, this third-generation business is now grilling up delicious burgers for its patrons.
Exclusive Photography: FishEye Studios, Greenville, SC
“My dad let me sell hotdogs when I was a teenager. We had a self-serve station set up,” Mac explains. “After a little while, I started making them myself for the customer, and it kinda turned into a full menu.”
The menu includes some unconventional entrees, like the Bird Dog, for example – beer-battered fried chicken tenders nestled in a toasted hot dog bun and topped with bacon and cheese. Served with a side of Mac’s famous tater tots and an ice-cold Coke, this dish will have you licking your fingers for more! Or match it with other classic sides, like homemade slaw or beer-battered onion rings.
Mac has been running the Country Store for twenty-two years. “Feeding people and living a good life, being good to people, that is like a ministry to me.”
Mac uses only fresh, local beef for his burger patties. “That’s the secret of a good patty. The meat’s never been in a freezer, it’s not over-seasoned, and you can taste the beef.” Mac grins before adding, “and some patience, of course.”
Mac Smith is the third generation to run the store. His grandfather began by selling dry goods. When Mac’s father inherited the store, he added some fuel pumps and began processing meat, including homemade country sausage. Since his dad’s passing, Mac Jr. has kept the tradition alive, stocking the cooler every Thursday with fresh sausage made from the family recipe.
The pork sausage is something of a celebrity in the community. The freshness of the meat makes all the difference in its flavor!
Being located off the beaten path has presented its challenges. “You’re going to see some rough days and you’re going to see some good days,” Mac says. “That’s where your love for what you do keeps you pressing through. No one else would come out here, put up a building and try to sell burgers. The only way this place has survived is by being flexible and changing as it goes. And if I know one thing about life for sure is that it changes. When the changes come along, you gotta be ready to take them, and change.”
Mac Smith’s Country Store is full of history and family memories. From the photos on the walls to the smiling face behind the counter, every inch of the room breathes a love for the community. That love keeps the grill hot, the menu rotating and the music flowing and makes Mac’s Country Store a favorite spot to go for all things delicious!