Living Here Guide

Main Street is jumpin’ these days

From the popular New Year’s Eve party to First Thursday get-togethers, Columbians increasingly are making the city’s Main Street more vibrant.

DINING: Good Life Cafe has brought vegan dining while the Oak Table offers linen napkins and fine utensils. Bourbon, a whiskey bar and cajun restaurant routinely is full.

ENTERTAINMENT: Cantina 76, a restaurant and bar is so popular it has expanded its outdoor area. The Nickelodeon offers the theater experience. The Whig, an underground bar in the shadow of the State House, holds to its tradition that dates back decades.

First Thursday events now stretch six blocks to include City Hall. Musicians, belly dancers and sidewalk meals and beer-and-wine bars serve crowds of young professionals and college students that reach to 2,000 to 3,000.

In winter, Main Street Ice opens for holiday skating. The annual New Year’s Eve bash is getting more popular every year.

Soda City, a Saturday food and crafts event that began in 2012, draws about 1,000 visitors to the 1400 or 1500 blocks. Crowds grow to 2,300 for special events that often include beer and wine sipping along those blocks.

LIVING: Tenants keep the vacancy rate in apartments in the high 90s. The Hub brought more than 800 students to the long vacant former Palmetto Center.