Esso started out as a gas station and a bar before it ever became a restaurant. Before 1933, the only known building on the property was a fruit stand. That year a gas station was built, with the gas pumps sitting alongside Highway 93 where there is now a stop sign. Sometime between 1940 and 1952 a bar was installed, and between 1956 and 1958 Esso was the only place in Clemson customers could go in, sit down and have a beer. In the 1980s, Esso stopped selling gas (a full history is available at www.theessoclub.com).
I've enjoyed many a cold beer there through the years.