If you live in Columbia or Lexington, you might think Blythewood is a bit out of way, perhaps not worth a trip unless you have a specific errand to run. However, while the locals have always appreciated their neck of the woods there are some (recent) additions that make the drive worthwhile for all.
1. Postmarked 29016
130 McNulty Street, (803) 493-3684, www.facebook.com/postmarked29016/
The building once home to the Blythewood post office at 130 McNulty St. is now home to Postmarked 29016, a shop selling antique and vintage housewares, decor items and handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts.
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The shop is owned by Theresa McKenrick and her husband Rich, who discovered the vacant building on a Sunday afternoon drive around town.
"We realized it was vacant and thought it was a great spot for the shop," McKenrick told The State.
The building served as the Blythewood post office from 1968 through the mid 1980s and has since been home to several other businesses, most recently a children’s consignment shop. McKenrick named her business as an obvious homage to the building’s former use as a post office as well as what the post office once represented in a town.
McKenrick procures all the unique goods at Postmarked, which currently include candles made in Iowa, handprinted flour sack tea towels made in Atlanta, collegiate pillowcase dresses from North Carolina and, of course, local South Carolina art.
2. Blythewood Bee Co.
227 McLean Rd., 803-754-7577, blythewoodbeecompany.com
Around a decade ago, Blythewood resident Scott Derrick started Blythewood Bee Co. from his home. As Derrick began to see a growing interest in personal beekeeping nationwide, he expanded Blythewood Bee Co. to offer beekeeping equipment and supplies. Two years ago, Derrick opened the first brick-and-mortar shop for the business at 227 McLean Rd. in Blythewood.
"There are a tremendous amount of people getting involved in beekeeping," Derrick told The State in 2016. "And it's just expected to grow exponentially in the next five years. People are looking for sustainable products they can create on their own. We're going back to the way things were in the 1920s and 1930s when our grandparents kept their own hives and sold the honey they collected."
3. Doko Meadows Park and Amphitheatre
It's worth the drive to Blythewood's Doko Meadows Park just for a stroll on the six miles of walking trails and a view of the lake, but being able to take in a show in the park's Palmetto Citizens Amphitheater is an extra special perk.
Created through a joint effort between Bravo Blythewood, the Town of Blythewood and the Doko Meadows Park Foundation, the open-air, outdoor performing arts venue features a large stage with ground-level seating for 2,000 audience members, professional sound and lighting systems and a concession area. The park's playgrounds, skating facility and ropes courses are also a draw for many.
171 Langford Rd., www.facebook.com/DokoMeadowsPark/
4. Two can’t-miss restaurants
Prince House of Pizza and Mediterranean Restaurant
135 Blythewood Rd, (803) 542-7226, www.facebook.com/princehouseofpizza
At Prince House of Pizza and Mediterranean Restaurant, Egyptian immigrant Gamal Ataala serves up authentic Mediterranean dishes (including delicious Greek potatoes), pizzas and hot subs that locals can’t get enough of.
408 Main St., (803)730-6016www.dokosmoke.com/
Family-owned barbecue restaurant Doko Smoke opened in Blythewood in 2014 and in just three years, owners Tony Crout and his wife, Chris, had received the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Small Business of the Year award. Like a lot of small-town barbecue places, they are only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but stay busy the rest of the week with catering services. The ’cue is so good, the restaurant routinely sells out of everything they can make.
5. The Blythewood Chamber of Commerce
428 - 4 McNulty St., (803) 403-6769, blythewoodchamber.com/
While the Chamber of Commerce might not top your list for tourist destinations, it’s worth the stop by the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce now if for no other reason than to check out the chamber’s new gift shop inside the visitors’ center. It’s stocked with lots of unique items created by local artisans such as framed art, books from local authors, coffee mugs imprinted with local scenes as well as birdhouses and baskets.
Why all the Doko references in Blythewood businesses?
Blythewood wasn’t always known as Blythewood. It was once known as Doko for its former Doko Depot, a popular stop along the railway between Columbia and Charlotte. According to legend, Doko is a Native American word that means “watering place.”