Meet 2 of Columbia's party animals

The StateApril 22, 2014 

Hunter Gatherer Brewery and Alehouse on South Main in Columbia, a popular gathering spot.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH/THE STATE

Whether it’s one of Columbia’s many festivals, a venue where local bands are playing or an art show, Shannon Burke is “probably there,” says the Hilton Head native and USC art history graduate.

Burke, 25, the adult programs manager for the Columbia Museum of Art www.columbiamuseum.org, is a driving force behind the museum’s Arts and Draughts, which combines rock concerts, art tours, scavenger hunts and art projects – and don’t forget lots of beer. Burke also helped organize a Girls Rock chapter in Columbia. The camp for girls ages 8 to 17 (no musical experience necessary) is in its second year.

“I’m a behind-the-scenes person, and I like to make things happen to make other people shine,” she said.

Where do you go in Columbia?

The Whig (1200 Main St.) — “It’s a good chance to see people in town and get the scoop on what’s going on.” The WhigNew Brookland Tavern (122 State St, West Columbia), Art Bar (1211 Park St.) and Conundrum Music Hall (626 Meeting St., West Columbia) — music venues where she watches local bands, friends included.

Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Ale House (900 Main St.) — a good, relaxing place to meet friends. Baan Sawan Thai Bistro (2135 Devine St.) — a place to celebrate and have a glass of champagne.

Where else?

“I run a lot,” says Burke, who enjoys the windy Cayce-West Columbia Riverwalk trail (between Gervais Street and Knox Abbott Drive), or running through the city. “It’s a great way to wave at your neighbors” and see what’s new, she says. “I always have something to report when I go home.”

What’s the thing you’d like to do here, but haven’t yet?

See more music venues open up so more bands come here. (Wish granted? Tin Roof Columbia (1022 Senate St., www.tinroofbars.com/Home/Columbia) is planning a full music venue to open in 2014). A pretty good Saturday is to ride her bike to a local brewery to sample some flights and have a snack. The city’s “up-and-coming” micro-brewery scene is making that more possible.


For Lisa Mathias, living at Lake Murray is, well, all about the lake.

Mathias, a 52-year-old Charleston native, and her husband, Sam, are the owners of Mathias Sandwich Shop www.mathiassandwich.com on St. Andrew’s Road in Columbia. They don’t make the bar scene so much anymore, but staying near or on the water adds up to a great evening.

“I like the atmosphere of being at the lake,” she said.

Where do you go in Columbia?

Liberty Taproom on the Lake (1602 Marina Road, Irmo) – “It’s nice to sit out on the deck and have a drink. You might see someone you know, hop on their boat and head out with friends.” Other favorite places include Finz Seafood House (211 Chapin Road). It features seafood and steaks in an upscale setting with outdoor seating. It’s perfect for dates. And Vella’s (912 Chapin Road)

“It’s a neighborhood kind of place. Usually we sit at the bar and have dinner and there are friends from all over Chapin who come in that you might not run into all the time.”

Where else?

The couple spends a lot of time on their 27½-foot tri-toon boat, which they keep at their own dock at their home on Johnson Marina Road in White Rock. “Sometimes we pick up food and take it out for dinner, or we’ll go to Liberty and mingle and see people.”

What’s the thing you’d like to do here, but haven’t yet?

“I would like have more places to see music, a place to see bigger bands. Maybe a small concert venue where you could see name bands rather than cover bands.”

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