Grilled muffins at Sandwich Depot
The best muffin of your life is waiting near Main and Taylor streets.
Sitting behind the counter glass at the Sandwich Depot, the breakfast treats might not look like much.
But wait until owner Collin McDonald offers to slather on some butter and toss it on the grill, a twist that raises eyebrows and then pleasantly surprises. McDonald’s grilled muffins – listed nowhere on the menu – flake in your mouth, as molten fruity goo oozes out.
“Some people take some convincing before letting me do it,” says McDonald, 35, who opened the restaurant at 1211 Taylor St. in February 2016. “They’ve never heard of it, and they’re scared for a second.”
To date, no one has complained, he said.
Age – and looks – is everything
King’s Jewelers, one of the city’s premier jewelry stores, is Main Street’s oldest family-owned business. The store is in its 71st year of operation. That means the fourth generation of the Picow family is serving a fourth generation of Columbians.
Doubt they could ask for a better location: King’s is tucked between Mast General Store and the Nickelodeon theater on the 1600 block.
It’s the store with the authentically vintage exterior: A golden (of course) grid of pyramidal points that provide a waffle-weave backdrop for the store’s name.
Nothing says buy local, shop local like something that’s unique to the city!
Main Street was called what?
You’ve probably heard before that America’s most common street name is “Second Street.” Most former “First Streets” have been renamed “Main Street” or other similar names.
Would it surprise you to know that Columbia’s Main Street wasn’t originally called First Street?
When the original two-mile square of the city of Columbia was laid out, Main Street was named “Richardson Street,” after Richard Richardson, a Virginia native and a member of the state’s militia.
Richardson Street kept its name through around the 1890s. But it was renamed Main Street because it had become the city’s primary commercial street.
The next time you take a stroll on the State House complex, be on the lookout for the historical marker toward the front of the grounds near the Gervais Street crossing. It’ll tell you all about it.
Roll up into the parking lot behind Mast General Store, King’s Jewelers and the Nickelodeon theater.
Face toward the Main Street buildings. Then turn left, and look up.
Surprise! There’s a skull. A cool, smiling, graffiti skull, that is.
In a district where public art is abundant but graffiti is rare, this hidden face is a fun, unexpected find.
“It’s one of those things that, when people are looking for things like that, you’ll see it pop up on Instagram feeds,” said Seth Gadsden, who works at the neighboring Nick.
What sticks out where?
The basements of some of Main Street’s taller buildings protrude into the public right of way.
The 15-story Palmetto Building, built in 1913 and now home to the Sheraton hotel, extends 8 to 10 feet below street level into Main, the city’s engineering department says.
The 12-story Barringer Building, built in 1903 as the state’s first “skyscraper” at 12 stories, has a basement that reaches 6 to 8 feet underneath the public street.
The basements of the Tapp’s building along the 1600 block and the former Union National Bank building at Main and Gervais (now home to The Whig, WOLO-TV and offices) also protrude beyond the typical property lines, city officials say.