With 10,000 visitors expected to grace the doors of the S.C. State Museum this weekend for events connected with the Monday, Aug. 21, total solar eclipse, there, perhaps, may be one thing the eclipse is able to shine some light on: the Crescent Cafe restaurant, located on the museum’s second floor.
Though the cafe will not be serving its full menu this weekend (the small kitchen will not be able to operate the grill in anticipation of so many diners), the eatery will still serve up some of its popular, longtime menu favorites.
“Our special eclipse menu will be grab-and-go with no wait,” said general manager Judy Williams. “We’re expecting over 3,000 guests Monday (alone), so we want to make sure we are prepared.”
All of the cafe’s food is made fresh daily, with some of its top sellers being the grilled turkey and ham panini, a pimento cheese BLT, and the top-secret-recipe chicken salad.
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“All I’ll say is that mustard and syrup are included in the ingredients,” Williams said.
The sweet treats, made in-house, also are customer favorites.
“Our ice cream sandwiches are a hit with kids and kids at heart,” she said. The sandwiches feature Tahitian vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two house-made chocolate chip cookies and rolled in a choice of toppings – M&M pieces, Heath Bar bits or sprinkles.
How did the Crescent Cafe get its start?
The State Museum opened in 1988, but it was years later – in 2014 – when Jimmy Stevenson’s Southern Way Catering and executive chef Michael Stuckey opened Crescent Cafe there. The menu was created to include family-friendly, sit-down foods, including a kids menu.
What does the place look like?
The Crescent Cafe is on the second level, just outside the entrance to the museum’s 4-D theater. Its positioning allows diners a panoramic view of the second-floor atrium and the character of the museum building itself, which was the former Columbia Mills Building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Who eats here?
Everyone is welcome at Crescent Cafe – even those who just want to pop in for lunch without touring the museum. There is no admission fee for those who simply want to eat at the restaurant (or shop in the museum gift shop).
And the cafe also caters lunches for school groups and museum rentals.
“Lots of folks will stop in to do some shopping in the Cotton Mill Exchange (museum gift shop) on their break from work and walk up to grab a quick bite to eat for lunch,” Williams said. “We’ve served customers literally from all over the world.”
Crescent Cafe at the S.C. State Museum
WHERE: 301 Gervais St., second level
WHEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; noon-3 p.m. Sunday
COST: Sandwiches, $6.49; salads, $6.99
Eclipse Weekend Hours
▪ 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, through Sunday, Aug. 20
▪ 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21