Village Idiot Pizza and Pub: The restaurant celebrates the opening of its third location at Olympia at the Mills with a party 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. The first 200 guests will become part of the new “Club Idiot” and will receive metal bottle opener keychains to use as discount tokens for 20 percent off everything at the Village Idiot Olympia Mills location for life, along with special promotions throughout the year.
Other activities will include a bounce house, face-painting, crafts and games, an adult cornhole tournament, a giant Plinko game and a DJ spinning tunes. Special pricing for the day will be $1 pizza slices and $2 Bud Light pints. Raffles will be drawn during the day for cash and other prizes.
Village Idiot is known for handmade New York-style pizza and other Italian dishes. The Five Points location opened in 1990, and co-owners Brian and Kelly Glynn opened a family-oriented location on Forest Drive in 2009. villageidiotpizza.com.
Sure, we’ll be guinea pigs: Columbia is one of three markets chosen by Wendy’s to test the chain’s new vegetarian Black Bean Burger.
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In addition to black beans, the patty is made with wild rice, farro, onions, brown rice, carrots, quinoa, corn, green bell peppers and red bell peppers. Sauce and seasonings include ingredients such as red wine vinegar, chili peppers, cumin, sea salt, oregano and cilantro. The patty is cooked in a separate oven so it does not come in contact with the grill where burgers and chicken are prepared.
While the toasted multigrain bun and black bean patty will be considered vegan, the pepper jack cheese and parmesan ranch sauce served with the burger are not. However, since Wendy’s makes its sandwiches to order, the cheese and ranch sauce can be omitted.
Check Columbia-area Wendy’s restaurants for availability.
Tex-Mex, anyone? Texas-based Sure Fire Tacos & Tortilla Grill will open its first South Carolina location in the Vista this spring in the former Salsarita’s location at 916 Gervais St., the restaurant’s operating manager said Wednesday.
Sure Fire’s only other location opened in Killeen, Texas, two years ago, according to co-owner and operating manager Dylan Stump.
“We wanted to expand out of Texas, and we looked all over the U.S., and we just really liked Columbia and especially the Vista area,” said Stump who will be relocating to Columbia to manage the new location, set to open in April. “It’s just a beautiful town.”
Expansions are planned later this year and next for locations in Greenville and Charlotte, Stump said.
More options for pizza: The space formerly occupied by Moe’s Grapevine at 4478 Rosewood Drive will soon be a pizza eatery operated by Columbia restauranteurs Jane Fishburne and her son, Gabe Williams, who just signed a five-year lease for the property, according to former owner Moe Baddourah. Fishburne and Williams previously operated Mojitos Cuban restaurant on Gervais Street and Salsa Cabana on Beltline Boulevard. Both establishments closed recently – Salsa Cabana following damage from the October flooding, and Mojitos from separate water damage issues in 2014.
And, over in Harbison, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza will open shop at 275 Park Terrace Drive off Harbison Boulevard, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, according to restaurant managers. The Park Terrace location is the California chain’s first in South Carolina. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel of Wetzel’s Pretzels, Blaze has been backed by investors including NBA star LeBron James, journalist Maria Shriver and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. The eatery will feature the chain’s artisanal pizzas made in an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own. The pizzas are then fast-fired in an oven and ready to serve in 180 seconds.
Susan Ardis, firstname.lastname@example.org, @foodsusan; Janet Jones Kendall, email@example.com