History of Table 301

Table 301 is not just a group of restaurants – it’s a group of people who truly love food and a group of businesses dedicated to the highest standards of hospitality.

Diverse in exquisite flavors and consistent in excellent service, Table 301 creates experiences that make Greenville, SC an irresistible stop on the culinary map.

At every Table 301 establishment, every table is the best table in the house.

It all began in 1997, with the opening of the now Greenville dining staple, Soby’s New South Cuisine. Table 301 is now Soby’s, Soby’s on the Side, The Lazy Goat, NOSE DIVE, Passerelle Bistro, Southern Pressed Juicery, Highway 301 Food Truck and Table 301 Catering.


The Story Behind Our Name

The name Table 301 represents our commitment to transparency between our patrons and our kitchen. It literally references a single table, number 301, in our first establishment, Soby’s New South Cuisine. The table is located at the top of the stairs on the second floor; it is closest to the kitchen and with the best view of the dining room. It seats two guests and sits directly above the kitchen. The guests can see the Chef. The Chef can see the guests. Our servers are the link between the two. It’s a great representation of our no-walls welcome philosophy.

Many of the tables on Soby’s mezzanine overlook the kitchen, as if they were Chef’s Tables. But every guest, whether near the kitchen or sitting at the bar, should feel as comfortable as is they were chatting with friends around a big table in their kitchen at home. That’s the spirit of the no-walls welcome – complete transparency. What-you-see-is-what-you-get, in the best and broadest sense of that phrase.

Next time you eat at Soby’s, ask for table 301 and find out what we’re all about.

Charitable Activity

At Table 301, we’re passionate about our community and proud to be able to give back and support those around us. Since the beginning, and even before Soby’s opened it’s doors in 1997, we’ve focused on helping local nonprofits.

Table 301 is proud to have contributed over $1.2 million in 15 years to deserving nonprofits and causes in Greater Greenville. We can’t help ourselves. We just believe in giving back to a community that has supported our business so well over the years. Besides, it’s fun and it makes us feel good to see what our contributions can mean to those in need.

Given the number of requests we receive, we’ve decided we can do the most good and have the greatest impact by focusing our support in the area of Basic Human Needs. By that we mean: food, clothing, and shelter. If your request fits, then just please complete an application for assistance. Table 301 seldom contributes cash, but we do give lots of other great goods and services that can translate into proceeds for your organization. We can’t promise that we’ll say “Yes” to your request, but we promise that we’ll give it a hard look.

If you represent a non-profit that is seeking our help, simply fill out the Table 301 Donation Request Form here.

This application is good for all Table 301 properties. We require at least 30 days to review your application.

With the public’s continued support, we hope to provide many more years of fine dining and many thousands of dollars of philanthropic assistance to deserving organizations in the Upstate

Our Team

Carl Sobocinski

President, Table 301

Carl Sobocinski is founder and president of Table 301 Restaurant Group, located in Greenville, South Carolina. Carl has spearheaded the company’s growth and development over the past 20 years which now includes 10 signature restaurants in its portfolio: Soby’s New South Cuisine, The Lazy Goat, NOSE DIVE Gastropub, Passerelle Bistro, Highway 301 Food Truck, Southern Pressed Juicery and Table 301 Catering & Kitchen.

A native of Durham, New Hampshire, Carl made his way to South Carolina and Clemson University where he pursued an architectural degree. Following his graduation, Carl quickly realized that his true passion aligned more with the hospitality industry and community service than architecture and design. In the mid-90s, he took a leap of faith and opened his first restaurant called The 858 in Greenville. Soby’s New South Cuisine followed in 1997 and the rest is history.

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Today, Carl is an active contributor to Greenville’s and the state of South Carolina’s business and charitable communities. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee for the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA), the Furman University President’s Advisory Council and Mentor Greenville where he participates as a volunteer through the Frazee Dream Center. Carl was nominated and selected for a Liberty Fellowship in 2014, a program that recognizes grass-root leaders of South Carolina and asks them to collaborate on creative solutions to some of the state’s greatest challenges. In spring 2017, he was chosen to participate in Furman University’s Riley Institute DLI Upstate Class XXIII, an initiative that seeks established leaders in the area to help examine critical issues to the state and how they can drive positive change. On a national scale, Carl served for three terms as a board member for the National Restaurant Association where he held the position of Chairman of the Jobs and Careers Committee.

Carl’s dedication to Greenville led him to work with the Executive Committee of the Greenville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau where he was instrumental in the city’s “Branding Initiative,” a successful effort to use a portion of hospitality tax revenues to create a plan for marketing and promoting Greenville as a tourist destination. In 2006, he and platinum-selling singer-songwriter Edwin McCain spearheaded the creation of Greenville’s nationally-acclaimed, four-day food, wine and music festival called euphoria. Over the past 11 years, the event has evolved into a premier culinary and musical arts destination for thousands each September and has helped to raise important funds for Local Boys Do Good, a foundation that supports non-profits in the community. Today, Carl holds emeritus status on the board of euphoria.

Over the past two decades, Carl has been honored for his many contributions, including: South Carolina Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Greenville Jaycees, finalist for Greenville Magazine’s Nelson Mullins Business Person of the Year, and Leadership Greenville’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the Chamber of Commerce where he is a proud member of the Chamber’s Leadership Greenville Class 26. In 2015, Greenville Business Magazine inducted Carl into the 50 Most Influential People/Hall of Fame and GSA Business Magazine voted him as one of the “Top Twenty Most Influential Leaders in the Upstate.”

Carl’s passion for Greenville started long ago and he remains an enthusiastic supporter for the city’s growth and future. Much of the success with his restaurant group comes directly from his own mantra to provide all guests with an exceptional dining experience, one that exceeds their expectations. Today, his inspiration comes from raising his two daughters who keep him busy with everything from tennis to basketball and experiencing all the milestones that come along with being a proud father.

Rodney Freidank

Corporate Chef, Table 301
Executive Chef, Table 301 Catering

Freidank began his culinary career at age 16 in a New York style delicatessen in Long Island, New York, where he was born and raised.

His first chef position came several years later at a family-owned restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was this experience that inspired him to apprentice under Chef Pete Herring (CEC) in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

After three years of developing a serious appreciation for the freshest seafood of the Carolina coastline, he was lured to Greenville by the culinary talent of The 858 restaurant. Having worked his way from line cook to Executive Chef, displaying a true love of fresh ingredients and bold flavors, he was commissioned to help open Occasionally Blues restaurant and blues club. Freidank earned the status of Certified Executive Chef in June of 2001.

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Since joining Soby’s New South Cuisine in 1997, he and his staff have won several local culinary awards and accolades. In January 2000, he was given the honor of hosting a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. The James Beard Foundation is an organization that shares the same high regard for education and culinary excellence, as the entire Soby’s team. Chef Rodney opened Restaurant O as it’s Executive Chef and Partner.

Freidank is co-author of the award-winning Soby’s New South Cuisine Cookbook, which was published in November 2007.

In February 2008, Freidank was awarded the South Carolina Hospitality Association’s “South Carolina Restaurant Manager of the Year” award. This award recognizes performance that goes above and beyond the normal job expectations both at and away from work, including outstanding and unusual service to their company, to their customers and to their community.

Since January 2010, Freidank has held the position of Corporate Chef, Table 301. In early 2011 Freidank played an integral role in opening NOSE DIVE, the area’s first gastropub.

Freidank has been involved in opening the most recent Table 301 concepts including, Passerelle Bistro, a French-inspired bistro located in Falls Park, in the heart of downtown Greenville; Papi’s Tacos, a “taco truck without the wheels” casual concept featuring authentic Mexican tacos and tortas to go; and most recently, the Highway 301 Food Truck.

Nico Abello

Corporate Chef, Table 301

Nico Abello is a classically trained French chef who has worked in some of the best kitchens in France and the United States.  Born in Velizy Villacoublay, a small town outside Paris, Chef Nico knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the hospitality industry. He started culinary school at the age of 15 and initially worked in the front of the house, but soon gained an appreciation for the kitchen and decided a career as a chef was his destiny.

At age 17, he apprenticed with the two-star Michelin restaurant, Les Trois Marches in Versailles with Chef Gérard Vié and Sous Chef Laurent Zajac.  It was here that he launched his career, learning first-hand the hard work and skills necessary to achieve success in the restaurant business.

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Much of Chef Nico’s culinary inspiration came from the iconic chefs he’s worked with throughout his impressive career, including Philippe Letourneur, Thierry Conte, Franck Charpentier, Pierre Gagnaire, Daniel Boulud, JF Bruel, and Eddy Leroux.  In 2016, he opened the restaurant L’Appart in Manhattan’s Le District as Executive Chef, where he was awarded a Michelin star for six consecutive years.  It was during a visit to the Upstate for a culinary event in 2018 that Chef Nico and his wife fell in love with Greenville.  But it wasn’t until after living in New York City during Covid that they decided to make a lifestyle change and move south.  In 2022, he joined Table 301 as Corporate Chef where he currently is working closely with the restaurants to support and guide menu development as well as educate and mentor the company’s chefs and associates.

Chef Nico says, “I love what I do because it’s creative, and it’s very gratifying to see people happy with the food we produce in the kitchen. I appreciate working with our restaurants’ dedicated teams, including everyone from the maître d’, to the servers and sommeliers, and to the associates that help create the menus – they all help bring together a memorable experience for our guests.”

In his spare time, Chef Nico says he loves to spend time with his children and wife.  “I’m very relaxed.  I enjoy taking care of the house and having a list of redesign projects to complete. I also love cooking for my family and hearing my sons say ‘I’m the best Papa cook’.  I’m also interested in car racing, drinking good wine, and the outdoors.”

Steve Seitz

COO/VP, Table 301

Steve Seitz brings more than 35 years of restaurant operations experience to his role as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Table 301. Born in Charleston, SC, Steve grew up in South Florida, where his passion for the industry began at the age of 17, working at a friend’s restaurant and learning all aspects of the business.

Steve attended Florida State University in Tallahassee and earned his B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. It was a job announcement on the school’s bulletin board that led him to take a position right out of college in the British Virgin Islands, where he created and taught a hospitality program to the local students. That job introduced him to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, where he accepted a restaurant management position that allowed him to hone his skills and learn the intricacies of “island hospitality” while also exploring his love of the water, windsurfing, and spearfishing.

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After a short stint at Snowshoe Ski Resort, Steve returned to South Florida to work with Bayport Restaurant Group in Miami, FL.  A promotion to Regional Manager resulted in a move to Atlanta, GA, where he supervised two corporate restaurants and one in Orlando, FL.  After almost ten years with Bayport, Steve accepted a Director of Operations position in Charlotte, NC, with Chicago-based Levy Restaurants. During his tenure there, he oversaw two restaurants in Charlotte’s Bank of America Corporate Center, and properties in Chicago and Bloomingdale, IL. In 2005, Steve took a position with Burke Hospitality Group, a chef-driven regional restaurant group with locations in North and South Carolina, before meeting Carl Sobocinski in 2014. Their common philosophies about business and the industry led Steve to move to Greenville and work with Table 301.

“I love the constant changes that this industry offers along with the enjoyment that comes from bringing joy into people’s lives through different foods and hospitality,” says Steve. “Table 301 is uniquely different from anywhere I have worked before due to the incredible entrepreneurial spirit, community involvement, and commitment to its number one asset; its people.”

Steve has actively contributed to numerous charity and professional groups throughout his career including being an organizing member and supporter for the Share Our Strength/ Charlotte Taste of the Nation events, 1994-2014. He’s served on the Hospitality Education Advisory Committee for Central Piedmont Community College, as a Board Member of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Education Foundation, and is a current Board Member for the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA). He was named the state’s Outstanding Community Leader by the SCRLA in 2020.

When he’s away from the restaurants, Steve likes spending time with his wife and two children as well as doing anything outdoors – from taking an evening run to grilling out and, working in the yard. An avid hunter and fisherman, Steve spends as much time as his wife allows tending to his food plots and planning fishing trips to Florida.

Brian Crossan

Director of Operations, Table 301

You might say that Brian Crossan is the “go-to” guy at Table 301 Restaurant Group.  As Operations Director, he is instrumental in almost all aspects of the business — from hiring staff, managing schedules, cultivating talent and training servers to supporting Table 301 managers, analyzing sales, writing budgets, and opening new restaurants. Brian believes that to be successful in life a person needs to practice two of the following three things: a strong work ethic, intelligence, and/or good decision-making.  Simply put, he says, “At the end of the day, I do my best to make everyone who works here a little better in some small way.”

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Born and raised in Buffalo and the Finger Lakes area of New York, Brian grew up loving and playing sports.  (He remains an avid and passionate Buffalo Bills fan today!)  His dad was always a major influence in his life, instilling a strong work ethic in both he and his brother, Joe.  And in 2006, the three of them purchased a bottled water company in the Greenville area.

When the recession hit, times got tough and Brian realized that supplementing his income was going to be a necessity. He landed a server position at Soby’s and says that while he never had a desire to get into the restaurant business, he was pleased to find that the experience was similar to being the member of a sports team.  The competition and camaraderie among servers inspired him and the company recognized his leadership and exceptional guest service. It eventually developed into a second career pursuit.

While his family’s bottled water business recovered from the recession and went on to become a thriving business in its own right, Brian continued to work dual jobs for many years.  With his father’s retirement a few years ago, they sold part of the business and Brian earned the opportunity to expand his role with Table 301.

When he’s not working in the restaurants, Brian can be found spending time with his family – including his fiancée Emily, his friends, family, and his “crazy-eyed” cat, Doug.  A new lacrosse stick recently purchased has gotten him back on the field practicing his shooting skills when time allows. He also likes to occasionally split wood when he’s at his fighting weight (under 195 lbs) and not fainting from days of fasting.

Joe Crossan

Beverage Director, Table 301

Overseeing all aspects of the company’s beverage program, curating new products, training staff, and planning events is Joe Crossan’s current job but he’s been a part of the Table 301 family since 2004 when Carl Sobocinski first hired him as a server for Soby’s.

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Born in Buffalo, NY, and a die-hard Bills and Sabres fan, Joe got his introduction into the restaurant business working the back of the house at a local pizzeria. After high school, he landed in Greenville, SC, and started at Soby’s. Influenced by Carl, restaurateur Danny Meyers and concepts like “Law of Value,” Joe started to view the restaurant business as a career, and he took his first Sommelier certification seven days after turning 21 years old.

Around the same time, Joe along with his dad and brother purchased their first bottled water company and followed that up with three more in subsequent years. Working dual jobs for years (server for Soby’s and business owner) offered Joe invaluable experience and insight into both industries. He built his personal work ethic around the lessons he learned from his grandfather, Bud Carroll, about working hard, being good at everything you do, and taking care of family to heart.

With the retirement of his dad, the Crossan family decided to start selling part of their water bottle business which allowed Joe to expand his role with Table 301. In 2017, he was promoted to wine director of Soby’s and later accepted the position of Beverage Director for the entire company. His free time is spent with his wife Michelle and their daughter. A passionate food and wine connoisseur, Joe loves to share a nice meal and bottle of wine with friends on his nights off, grilling outside and enjoying their pool.

Michaela Leitch

Events & Sales, Table 301

Michaela Leitch was born in Austria and lived there until she was three. Her father was in the Tulle and Dye industry and was offered a position in Rochester, NY, which involved moving the family to Hendersonville, NC, where he opened his own Tulle and Dye business.

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Michaela has worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade, including eight years at La Bastide, a French country Inn and restaurant in Traveler’s Rest, SC. She then opened her own restaurant, Brasserie Ecosse, in Spartanburg with a business partner. She closed the restaurant in 2010 and started working part time at Devereaux’s, an award-winning fine dining Contemporary American restaurant in the Table 301 group. When Devereaux’s closed in October of 2013, Michaela was offered a full time position in either management or as an events coordinator at one of the Table 301 establishments. She chose to join the team at The Lazy Goat as their Manager of Special Events where she planned and oversaw all of the restaurant’s many private and semi-private events.

Michaela joined the Table 301 Corporate Sales Team in the Summer of 2015 and continues to work in planning and organizing events across our restaurants and private spaces.

In her free time Michaela spends time with her three children, Skye, Hope and Ian. She enjoys working out and stays active by taking her kids to gymnastics and soccer.