PUMPKIN BEER IS HERE! 6-11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at World of Beer. Girls Pint Out celebrates the beginning of cooler weather with the annual pumpkin beer takeover. 902 Gervais St.
SOFRITO & SOUL MUSIC + FOOD FESTIVAL: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Sandhills Research and Education Center. Celebrate Latin food, music and culture. Expect to feast on empanadas, pernil (slow roasted pork), plantains, tacos and more from Manny’s food truck, Laboo’s Turkey Wangzzz and La Isla Bonita Restaurante. Free admission, $5/car parking fee. 900 Clemson Road, Northeast Richland. https://www.facebook.com/events/395546563975513/
BIERKELLER COLUMBIA OKTOBERFEST: 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Guignard Brick Works, just across the Blossom Street bridge in Cayce. Expect beer from Bierkeller, food from The Wurst Wagen and other local food trucks, and live German bands. Free admission; Biertokens, $2.50 each, good for quarter-liters of beer. www.bierkellercolumbia.com
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HWY 55 BURGERS, SHAKES & FRIES: The newest location of this eatery, at 828 U.S. 1 in Lugoff, opened this week. Hwy 55 Burgers is a retro-themed, open-grill design diner with freshly made, hand-pattied burgers and housemade frozen custard. There are two other Midlands locations – in Irmo at 1180 Dutch Fork Road, and in Lexington at 1792 S. Lake Drive. www.hwy55.com
2 GINGERS EXPRESS: This is the offspring of the popular 2 Gingers Indian buffet-style restaurant on Bush River Road. It opened last week but closed after two days because of technical issues; the eatery is expected to reopen later this week. 1200 Main St., Suite 102. https://www.facebook.com/2gingersExpress
SMOOTHIE KING: A third area Smoothie King will open this week in the Vista. Local franchisee Dewayne Bohannon said his most popular smoothies at his other locations have been the Lean One, which contains 23 grams of protein and comes in strawberry, chocolate or vanilla, and the Angel Food, made with strawberries and bananas. His other locations are in Forest Acres and Irmo. 1205 Lincoln St.
NoMa REVIVAL: Columbia chef and restaurateur Kristian Niemi plans to help boost the revival of North Main Street with a multiuse complex that will include a restaurant, beer garden, bocce courts and concert hall. Niemi said he and his business partners purchased a 7,100-square-foot building at 2510 N. Main St. for their NoMa Revival venture. Niemi has managed or owned several of Columbia’s best known restaurants, including The Blue Marlin in the Vista, Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe in Five Points and Bourbon whiskey bar and Cajun-Creole kitchen on Main Street.
Susan Ardis, firstname.lastname@example.org, @foodsusan; Janet Jones Kendall, email@example.com