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IHOP returns on Assembly Street (803) 771-8308January 23, 2014 

Unhealthy Eating

Feb. 23, 2010, eight-month-old Alaster "Gator" Thompson protectively puts his hand on a stack of free pancakes as his uncle Kevin Johnson, right, looks on during the IHOP National Pancake Day Celebration


— The pancakes are back on Assembly Street – served on shiny new plates in a modern building.

IHOP – a Columbia landmark for nearly 50 years across the street from the State House – closed down almost six months ago. Bulldozers razed the funky, vintage, blue-roofed building, and crews built a new restaurant, which opened earlier this week.

It didn’t take diners long to find the new entrance, fronting on Assembly Street instead of coming off of the parking lot. The breakfast-all-day diner had brisk morning business Thursday.

The company said in August that it was time to rebuild the eatery, which opened in 1968, to the Glendale, Calif.-based chain’s newest specifications. At 4,200 square feet, it has 60 more seats than the old building, a bigger parking lot and 30 additional employees.

Diners still can get the restaurant’s signature Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity breakfast dish, as well as a range of classic diner foods, around the clock.

Also in Shop Around this week:

Tilted Kilt opens in Irmo

Chick-fil-A opening new Lexington location

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