Across the Carolinas, mills were the backbone of the economy for many communities for generations. When industries left to relocate overseas, entire cities and towns suffered, as did supporting businesses.

Today, these former mills are gaining new life. A new generation is rescuing the historic structures and revitalizing neighborhoods, while also providing new jobs. Among the weathered bricks, tarnished metals and lofty ceilings, many restauranteurs and chefs see modern possibilities to nourish the next generation and keep Carolinas’ mill history alive.