We are headed into the last days of August – and students at Columbia area colleges are back.
And, they’ll be ready to get out and partake of all that’s new around the capital city.
So, we’ll do our part and offers some of the news around the food scene since June.
BLACK MARKET TAVERN is owned and operated by Aaron Klugh, who also owns Kraken Gastropub on Rosewood. Black Market will specialize in craft cocktails, smoked wings and light appetizers. A long bar dominates the space and it should be another fine place to catch televised sports on the big screens.
2303 Devine St. www.facebook.com/The-Black-Market-Tavern.
VARSITY BILLIARDS, originally opened in 1964, has reopened on that short, hilly block of Devine Street between Main and Assembly. Mohammad Saadeddin, who also owns Al-Amir Middle Eastern restaurant on Main, has renovated the building and installed a dozen billiard tables, along with a juke box and video games. No alcohol will be served at Varsity, but there will be burgers, hot dogs and ice cream for lunch and dinner.
1132 Devine St. www.facebook.com/pages/Varsity-Billiards
Also near the university, JJ TEA HOUSE has opened in the Adesso building downtown. In addition to authentic Asian soups, appetizers and entrees, JJ’s offers a variety of Asian beverages, including milk teas, green teas, fruit juices, slushies and tapioca-based drinks.
601 Main St. www.facebook.com/JJTeaHouseColumbia
Devine and Sims streets is the newest location of the Columbia-based URBAN COOKHOUSE restaurant chain. Everything on the menu is made from scratch, fresh to order, and the ingredients are sourced locally. Items are $10 or less and the bar, serving craft beer and some wine, will expand to full service in a few weeks.
3000 Devine St. www.urbancookhouse.com
DUCK DONUTS — say it with me, “maple bacon doughnuts.” Or be creative with your favorite combination of glazes and toppings made to order on a cake doughnut base. Oh, and they have coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Be prepared to wait, though; there’s a line almost any time of day.
702 Cross Hill Road. www.duckdonuts.com/location/columbia-sc
SAKURA JAPANESE RESTAURANT, specializing in sushi and sashimi, has opened in a new location in the Rosewood area. Sakura, one of the Columbia’s first sushi restaurants, lost its Forest Acres location in the devastating 2015 floods. Owner Norio Saito has kept the menu the same and hopes to pass along an appreciation of Japanese food and culture to his diners.
4430 Rosewood Drive
MORE TO COME
CASUAL PINT in Lexington, off Sunset behind Mellow Mushroom, will be the second of three locations of this Knoxville-based chain of “beer cafes” in the Columbia area. Like the Vista location, Casual Pint in Lexington will feature local, domestic and international brews and a wall of rotating taps for take-home growlers and on-site tastings.
217 Saluda Springs Road, Suite A. www.thecasualpint.com
THE PITA PIT and STONER’S PIZZA will both have spots in Arcade Mall – Pita Pit on the Main Street side and Stoner’s on the Washington Street side – before the end of the year. Stoner’s will serve pizza, wings, salads and desserts; Pita Pit will have sandwiches and stay open until 2 a.m.
Arcade Mall, 1332 Main St.
POKE BROS HAWAIIAN – specializing in fish salads that feature cubed-cut raw fish mixed in a bowl with rice, veggies and toppings – will open a dine-in location in Lexington. They opened the first location in Five Points back in April and plan to open two more locations in the Columbia area.
5225 Sunset Blvd., Lexington. www.eatpokebros.com
The owners of THE KINGSMAN RESTAURANT, KINGSMAN QUE AND BREW and RISTORANTE DIVINO have opened THE ROYAL BUTCHER in Lexington. The shop carries certified Angus beef, aged prime beef and offers tips and advice on meat preparation.
924B E Main St., Lexington. www.facebook.com/TheRoyalButcher
By mid-September, RIVER RAT BREWERY should have completed its rooftop deck, upgraded the kitchen and added a smoker. Already in place is the metal silo that will house the stairs to the roof. It’s all steps away from the action at Williams-Brice Stadium.
1231 Shop Road. www.riverratbrewery.com
Chayz Lounge is a jazz club tucked into Nonnah’s in the Vista. Now you have even more reason to linger over a decadent slice of cake and a glass of wine (or coffee) after dinner.
923 Gervais St. www.chayzlounge.com