If you've driven by Trenholm Plaza in Forest Acres in the past week, you may have noticed signage for BLD Diner on the Trenholm Road corner of the shopping center.
BLD Diner is the concept of owner Sean Moore and — once it opens — it will serve a chef-driven menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items seven days a week.
In a tour of the almost-finished kitchen, Moore pointed out the milkshake station and spots where the soda fountain, beer and wine taps, the frosé chiller, fresh juicer and Nespresso machines will be placed. Attention to detail is evident — from the air condition venting system over the cooktops to the stainless steel-clad walls — as the kitchen will be open so that diners can see the chef and kitchen staff prepare food.
In the dining area, expect a couple of community tables in the front window, an eight-seat breakfast bar, "regular" tables inside and outdoor seating. Countertops in the restaurant are made from recycled glass and quartz while the countertops in the spacious bathrooms are butcher block.
Although the menu is still being tweaked, Moore, who, brought the Five Guys burger franchise to South Carolina, said diners can expect something other than burgers and fries. Think patty hot and fresh waffles for breakfast, patty melts or shrimp rolls for lunch, or maybe a pork steak or fresh fish for dinner. There also will be daily Blue Plate specials, and the menu will highlight seasonal produce.
Moore has hired chef Bailey Campbell, a University of South Carolina graduate who has worked with chef Nico Romo in Charleston, to run the kitchen at BLD Diner. A selection of desserts will be made on-site, but Moore has contracted with Main Street Bakery to supply fresh baked cakes.
If all goes well with final inspections and staff training, BLD Diner could open by late June.
Moore is also behind the renovation of the Columbia Fire Department Headquarters at Senate and Park streets in the Vista.