New Restaurant to Open at Site of Rock Hill Civil Rights Sit-in

You might remember the story of the Friendship 9. A new restaurant will honor that history.

A new restaurant set to open inside Rock Hill’s McCrory’s Building, honors the old and celebrates the new. The restaurant will be called Kounter. Chef Rob Masone of Kre8 Events & Xperiences is the restaurant owner and executive chef. He and the developers had a vision for the McCrory’s Building, the site of the Friendship 9 Protest during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, students from Friendship Junior College staged a sit in at McCrory’s to desegregate the lunch counters there. The students followed the Movement’s new philosophy of “jail no bail’ to lessen the financial burden of bail and to draw greater attention to racial injustice. Eight of the nine men were sentenced to hard labor at the York County Prison Farm. A judge threw out the convictions in 2015.

This coming September, Kounter will emerge inside the McCrory’s Building on what some call hallowed ground. Chef Rob plans to make the historic counter the centerpiece of the restaurant where he will serve fine and funky cuisine for which Kre8 Events & Xperiences is known.