As of 2017 the Starving Artist Café is Permanently Closed.


For almost six years this was the website for the Starving Artist Café, an eattery in the town of Easley, SC. Founded in 2011, The Starving Artist Café aimed to serve the freshest seasonal produce from the heart of South Carolina. Supporting the area’s local artists, the cafe and its gallery was a relaxed setting for morning coffee or an afternoon teatime treat. The Starving Artist Café was also open Friday and Saturday evenings until 9pm for dinner and live music events.

As of 2017 the Starving Artist Café is Permanently Closed

Content is from the site's archived pages.

The Starving Artist Café
114 NW Main Street, Easley, SC, USA
+1 864 644 8450


Longing lost: Since the Cafe was a quick jump from where I lived in Greenville, my friends and I spent a lot of time at this eatery. We actually identified with the starving artist name. Not only did we plan our escape from the suburbs here as teenagers, but we also held a number reunions here. My fondest memory is a gathering in which we purposely discussed "nothing". My friend Pete was going to school in New England and was taking a course in philosophy, learning the approach to concepts we rarely discussed back home. He explained that there was a scholarly approach to discourse that started with a definition of an idea and then reached a logical conclusion based on sound arguments. He brought along his laptop and had us read a very entertaining post, In Search of Nothing, that investigated various takes on the idea of "nothing". This was not a silly conversation once we got into it. The ancients were able to draw significant conclusions about existence and even God from the definition of nothing. If you think about it, nothing is not an easy thing to define. Is it the absence of everything or is it the same as the math idea of zero? We obviously never reached a conclusion we could all agree on, but what fun this exercise was. What I would give to relive those hangouts with my buds at the Starving Artist.


Tax beef forces Easley eatery to shut down

Mike Eads, / Published May 24, 2017

Downtown restaurant closes after six years on Main Street

Owner Vicki Ciplickas papered the windows with statements criticizing City Hall for not renewing her business license.The Starving Artist Cafe in downtown Easley closed Saturday after six years of operation. (Photo: Ken Ruinard/Independent Mail)

EASLEY – A dispute over city taxes has closed downtown's The Starving Artist Café after six years.

Owner Vicki Russo Ciplickas shut down the popular breakfast and lunch spot Saturday night after her city business license expired. City officials wouldn't issue her a new one because of a dispute over hospitality tax collections.

Ciplickas said she sent tax payments that never turned up at City Hall.

“I stopped paying because they couldn’t find those checks,” Ciplickas said. “The checks go across the street to City Hall, then take months to cash if they are cashed at all. The accounting over there is very poor.”

An independent audit of the city's books turned up problems last year, including the failure to track all of the businesses that need to pay hospitality taxes and/or maintain city business licenses. 

Mayor Larry Bagwell said the city tried to work out an agreement with Ciplickas over the back taxes and business license. That is true, Ciplickas said, but she said she asked for an additional 90 days to get caught up and was turned down.

The business license expired April 30 and the grace period for renewal ended Saturday.

“She (Ciplickas) is the only person in the city who is not caught up with hospitality taxes,” Bagwell said. “We’ve got 113 people paying hospitality taxes in the city and she’s the only one who hasn’t paid.

"To be fair to everybody, you need to treat them alike," Bagwell added. "I hate that it got this far with her (Ciplickas), but we bent over backwards for her.”

The mayor didn’t deny there have been problems with bookkeeping. He said one batch of 2015 hospitality tax payments was lost when a city worker left the checks in their truck, which was subsequently stolen. He said, however, no taxpayers were billed again for those payments and the matter has been straightened out.

“We had a couple of incidents like that, but no one lost any money,” Bagwell said.

The audit blamed the problems on recent employee turnover and lax oversight, but it also noted that city officials have addressed those issues.

Bagwell credited Ciplickas for her civic-mindedness. The café was honored as the 2015 Small Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. She is a past president of the Easley Downtown Business Association and served on the Doodle Trail committee.

“I think she’s got some good ideas, but you’ve got to follow the local code," Bagwell said. “We’ve just never been able to please her.”

Don Williams owns and operates the Quik Copy Print Center with his wife, Diane, across Main Street from the restaurant. He said the migration of customers to strip malls outside the city has helped put a lot of downtown shops out of business in the last few years.

Retailers outside the city limits don't have to pay the city's hospitality tax, and they don't work out of older buildings that require more maintenance and higher insurance bills.

"The cost of doing business downtown is kind of tough, especially with the kind of business Vicki is in, with its low margins," Williams said. "Vicki was a trouper, though, and did the best she could with it."

Ciplickas told the Independent Mail on Monday that she doesn’t know what will happen next. She posted the following message on the Facebook pages for the chamber and her café Sunday morning:

Vicki Ciplickas, owner of The Starving Artist Cafe in downtown Easley, looks at posted flyers on her store windows on Tuesday. Each one has R.I.P. on them, one for each of the 69 businesses who recently left downtown. (Photo: Ken Ruinard/Independent Mail)

“Thank you for all your years of support and love. While The City has bankrupted me financially, I am the richest girl in town! With love, Vicki.”



The Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery is the most unique restaurant in Easley, SC

Reservations preferred for dinner but not necessary.
(864) 644-8450​


Founded in 2011

We offer a wide range of choices from completely vegan macrobiotic plates to sandwiches, salads, and innovative entrees with vegetarian, seafood and poultry choices. Be sure to check out our daily specials and join us for weekend Brunch, enjoy.

The Starving Artist is also the destination for all events and parties hosted in house or catered for any occasion. Our art gallery features creations by local artists which lends to a unique and special atmosphere. Dine in or take out, come by for Tuesday afternoon tea or Sunday brunch, take part in breakfast, lunch or dinner, live music and lots of laughs. 
The Starving artist was founded in 2011

Our philosophy from the beginning has been to serve the freshest food using our greatest resource, products and produce locally right here in South Carolina. Where ever possible we produce our items in house from fresh natural ingredients. The Starving Artist is certified Carolina grown "Fresh on the Menu", preparing menus that include at least 25% Certified South Carolina Grown foods and products in season. 

We offer a wide range of choices from completely vegan macrobiotic plates to sandwiches, salads, and innovative entrees with vegetarian, seafood and poultry choices. Be sure to check out our daily specials and join us for weekend Brunch, enjoy.

The Starving Artist is also the destination for all events and parties hosted in house or catered for any occasion. Our art gallery features creations by local artists which lends to a unique and special atmosphere. Dine in or take out, come by for Tuesday afternoon tea or Sunday brunch, take part in breakfast, lunch or dinner, live music and lots of laughs.

Hours of Operation:

Monday 8:00am - 3:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 3:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 3:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 3:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm 
Sunday 10:00am- 2:00pm

Vicki Ciplickas

This proud owner, mom, and wife is now serving you delicous food and selling art.

Our Jersey girl goes southern with an Italian twist! Making and creating a variety of cuisines for your enjoyment.

Vicki grew up in NJ with a passion for cooking. She began by making simple yet amazing homemade food for her husband and two daughters, now she is making them for you! Serving, cooking, and selling beautiful works of art!

Chef Anne Young

Our Chef is a classically trained French chef from Baltimore International Culinary College in Baltimore, MD. She graduated with a Restaurant Management degree, as well as a cooking and pastry degree. She also was a Junior Board member of the ACF and studied in Cavan County Virginia, Ireland. She worked at Jaques Claude's in the inner Harbor and the Hyatt in downtown Baltimore as well as worked in the Park Hotel in Cavan Ireland, and the Sheraton University Hotel in Syracuse, NY. 

Now our hardworking chef is making yummy desserts and entrees freshly everyday for you.


Every Party is Special To Us!

Let us create a custom menu that will thrill and impress your friends and family. Whether in our Cozy Restaurant or at a Location of your choice, our goal is to exceed your expectations!​

We can assist you with decorations, entertainment, party favors and custom cakes.
Please contact Vicki Ciplickas at (864)644-8450 for all your catering needs, both on-site and off-site.




Our chefs prepare every dish with care to ensure our customers enjoy the best dining experience possible. We also strive to use only the finest ingredients from local food suppliers and farmers.

Please enjoy our menu selections. Our chefs enjoy creating new masterpieces, so check our Daily specials often posted in the cafe.

Let us create a custom menu that will thrill and impress your friends and family. Whether in our Cozy Restaurant or at a Location of your choice, our goal is to exceed your expectations!





October 3rd, 2015


October 10th, 2015


EVERY Thursday at the Starving Artist




You don’t need to be “Starving” to be an Artist. Tuesday Evenings at 7 PM,

Dale Stone will be demonstrating and teaching YOU to create your very own “Masterpiece”. And so that you don’t “Starve” the lesson will be served with a Glass of the “One Hope Wine”of your choice along with a Cheese and Fruit Plate. Wine,Cheese, Art Lesson and Supplies $25 per person plus tax & gratuity ($31.75 total). Additional Wine and Tapas will be available to order.

Reservations are Required with a $10 Deposit 864-644-8450



Join us on Tuesday Afternoons for High Tea from 3- 5 PM Reservations are Required!



Welcome to Afternoon Tea at The Starving Artist Cafe

'Afternoon Tea' did not exist before the 19th century. At that time lunch was eaten quite early in the day and dinner wasn't served until 8 or 9 o'clock at night. But it wasn't until Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, asked for tea and light refreshments in her room one afternoon, around 1830, that the ritual began. The Duchess enjoyed her 'taking of tea' so much that she started inviting her friends to join her. Before long, having elegant tea parties was very fashionable. Demand for tea wares grew and soon there were tea services in silver and fine bone china, trays, cake stands, servers, tea caddies, tea strainers, teapots, and tea tables.
At The Starving Artist Café, we are delighted to offer our “Americanized” version of Afternoon Tea. Invite your girlfriends, your book club, your bridge group, your bible study, or anyone you would like to join us Hats are welcome, Tiara’s are encouraged!
Quiche Bites 
Assorted Tea Sandwiches and Canapés
Sliced Seasonal Fruit
Fresh Baked Scones & Devonshire Cream
Assorted, freshly baked sweet treats
And your Choice of the Following Charleston Tea Plantation Teas:
 A rich, full-bodied South Carolina Breakfast Tea
 Tea with the sun ripened fresh taste of a Southern Peach
A true American Classic
Unique and Refreshing green tea
$12.95 Per Person Plus Tax & Gratuity
$6.95 For Children under 10
Tuesday Afternoon Tea by Reservation Only (By Monday Before)
2:30-4:30 PM
Call for Large Group Discounts or Special Dates




Yelpers Have Announced this Cafe is Permanently Closed

Collin J.  Liberty, SC
3.0 star rating 6/5/2017
According to the local newspaper this has closed due to a dispute over hospitality taxes. SORRY


Jim B. Chicago, IL
4.0 star rating 4/27/2017
The Place
The Starving Artist Cafe is located in downtown Easley across the street from the city hall building.  The name implies starving artist and there is art for sale as well.  It has a great corner location with ample parking.  It is also just off of Doodle Trail, so it's a nice place to stop after a bike ride.

The Menu/Food
There was plenty of options to choose from on the menu.  There also were several lunch special to choose from.  For lunch we ordered the Cuban Panini prepared with Roasted Pork, Ham and Swiss with Yellow Mustard and Spicy Pickles Grilled on Rustic Panini Bread with a side order of Chicken Noodle soup. We also ordered one of the specials Quiche with salad.  Both entrees were very good but my cup of soup was excellent but unfortunately a little cold.

The Service/Experience
Our server was friendly and efficient.  Our glasses were never empty and she checked on us often.  We are stopping back for breakfast so obviously we enjoyed the experience and I think you will too.



 Cyndi B. Easley, SC
4.0 star rating 4/1/2017
This is becoming a regular go to place for us...especially for breakfast!  The menu is petite, but in a good way!  The food is awesome, from quiches, French toast, cinnamon rolls, and my personal favorite, the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit...all fresh and made in house.  The staff is super friendly and they are always attentive to each guest.  A little soft rock and oldies play over the speakers allowing for conversation.  The restaurant is situated on a corner giving abundant people watching opportunities too

I'm glad they also have internet. I was able to place an order for my prescription eyeglasses at while I was waiting for my food. Great site that not only sells eyeglass frames, but also installs / replaces prescription lenses. I've used them several times for replacement lens for my older frames. You can just send in the frame and they fulfil and install the new lens. I might have gotten the site a potential new customer- our waitress. She was really interested in what I was doing so I explained the whole process to her.

To sum it's all good and we love everything about this place!.


Brooke C.  Liberty, SC
3.0 star rating 2/10/2016
I came here for lunch this afternoon and got the Starving Artist Special: King Ranch Casserole. It was at a good price range considering it also came with a drink.  I feel so bad for saying this, but my food tasted like it was warmed in a microwave... But, I ate it otherwise because I was starving. The service was ok.  They kept my sweet tea refilled, which is awesome.  One girl didn't seem happy to be there because she was kind of rude to me when I asked for a check.  The other girl working was a bit friendlier.

The place itself is much nicer than I perceived it to be.  There is also a display of local artwork that is available for purchase. 

Maybe it's different during brunch or dinner time? I would eat here again, but I wouldn't choose to eat the same thing.


Lily H. Charleston, SC
Follow Lily H.
3.0 star rating 3/16/2015
Service was SUPER polite and attentive. The food was just OK. I ordered the Irish Bangers breakfast plus hash browns. The sausage was perfect, coffee was flavorful, biscuit was standard, eggs (which I ordered poached) were the right kind of runny but not super warm, and the hash browns were dry, not warm, and unseasoned. I ended up mixing my runny eggs with the potatoes for some sense of moisture.

It wasn't until I left that I realized the dish was supposed to come with grits. Instead of adding hashbrowns to the dish, grits were subbed for hash browns, but I was still charged for an individual side. It's two dollars so it's not a huge deal but who knows, I could have missed out on some super awesome cheese grits that would make me forget about the dry hash browns.

This place is really cute and affordable! The staff was great and the next time I'm visiting the upstate, I might go back. I'll just skip the potatoes and pay more attention to my bill. :)


Roger H. Winston-Salem, NC
5.0 star rating 11/15/2015
What an experience! From the eclectic look of the cafe to the excellent customer service, The Starving Artist Cafe is a MUST if you're ever in Easley. The food is from home grown ingredients that are farm raised. I could almost swear that my grandmother was in the kitchen helping to prepare my Southern breakfast. The real gem of the establishment is the featured artwork of local artists that is available for purchase to help further the local arts council. Five stars all around!


AJ A. Atlanta, GA
5.0 star rating 11/15/2016
Excellent. I had lunch here and ordered the turkey club with side of broccoli salad. Everything was fresh and very good. Service was fast. Place was clean also.