Go Columbia

With all the fuss about bathrooms, how do some in Columbia actually compare?

Restroom sign at the South Carolina State House.
Restroom sign at the South Carolina State House.

We’ve been hearing a lot in the news about where people can and can’t use the bathroom.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2, or the “bathroom bill,” says transgender people can only use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. It’s spurred heated debate, a directive from the Obama administration, and multiple lawsuits.

South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, sponsored a bill that mimicked HB2, but that bill is dead for the year.

Still, it got us at Go Columbia thinking more about bathrooms. How do bathrooms around Columbia compare? Are the men’s and women’s restrooms really any different? Which ones are ritzy, and which should be used only in gastronomical emergencies? See our findings from six spots around town:

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Men’s and women’s bathrooms at the State House. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

The State House

Let’s start where Sen. Lee Bright’s bill began. It’s no surprise the restrooms at the State House are nice. Really nice. There are granite countertops galore and roomy stalls. Oh, and they are clearly marked “Men” and “Women.”

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Bathrooms at The Whig. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

The Whig

The Whig doesn’t have designated men’s and women’s bathrooms. There are just two unmarked doors at the end of a dark hallway that happen to have toilets behind them. And some cool doodles.

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Men’s and women’s bathrooms at Oak Table. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

Oak Table

For a posh spot, the Oak Table’s bathrooms don’t disappoint. The stalls are extremely tall and made of dark wood. The decor is sparse but sophisticated.

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Men’s and women’s bathrooms at Art Bar. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

Art Bar

Naturally, Art Bar bathrooms are works of art. They’re colorful, covered in writing and drawings, and not all that clean. But that only adds to their charm.

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Men’s and women’s bathrooms at Finlay Park. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

Finlay Park

In a word, frightening. But hey, at least there’s toilet paper.

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Men’s and women’s bathrooms at Jake’s on Devine. Dwaun Sellers and Erin Shaw.

Jake’s On Devine

The bathroom’s at Jake’s are simple. Tin doors and brick walls. And oddly, they smell really good.

Poll: America split over bathrooms

Do you have a favorite spot?

Where do you sit (or stand) when needing to let it all go? Drop a line to gocolumbia@thestate.com and we’ll check it out.

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