6 restaurant openings to look forward to in the Midlands

A banner announces The Juicy Crab will move into the site of the former Ryan’s in Harbison. The Juicy Crab, a Cajub seafood boil chain, is one of more than half a dozen new restaurants coming to the Midlands.
A banner announces The Juicy Crab will move into the site of the former Ryan’s in Harbison. The Juicy Crab, a Cajub seafood boil chain, is one of more than half a dozen new restaurants coming to the Midlands.

Midlands residents love talking about two things: traffic and restaurants. Specifically, they want to know which restaurants are good or bad, they want to debate what kind of restaurant would be best in town and they want to try new places.

Well, there are at least half a dozen new restaurants coming to the Midlands, many of them sitting at the border of Lexington and Richland counties. Here is what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks and months and what we know so far:

Jersey Mike’s Subs, 1235 Chapin Road

A Jersey Mike’s Subs, which makes thick hot and cold sub sandwiches and wraps, is opening soon at Chapin Crossing, adjacent to Publix. A Jersey Mike’s spokesperson said the location will open in late February, early March.

The Juicy Crab, 1304 Bower Parkway, Columbia

A new location of this crab chain is set to move into the former Ryan’s near Columbiana Station, across from Tsunami of Harbison. If you like New Orleans-inspired seafood boils, baskets of fried shrimp and fish and Cajun seasoning, you might like The Juicy Crab. The first store opened in Duluth, Georgia, in 2015, and the business has since expanded to eight other locations, with six more opening soon.

The State could not reach The Juicy Crab corporate offices for more information, including when the restaurant will open.

The Krab Hut, 280 Q Harbison Blvd., Columbia

More crab? Yes, but with a K. Another Cajun seafood boil spot is coming to town. This franchise’s Duluth, Georgia, store has a live fish tank from which customers can select their seafood and an oyster bar. The Krab Hut corporate offices did not respond to repeated requests for information about the Columbia location, including whether it will have a fish tank. The restaurant will open in the former Chili’s location at Harbison Court.

Marco’s Pizza, 1235 Chapin Road

Marco’s Pizza will open in Chapin Crossing, the same shopping plaza as Jersey Mike’s, sometime this spring, Chapin spokesperson Nicholle Burroughs told The State. You can also buy subs at Marco’s, but the nationwide chain specializes in handmade pizzas. Dough and sauce are made in-store everyday, according to the company’s website.

Nick’s, 3260 Augusta Road, West Columbia

West Columbia landmark Fat Boy will be turning into a Nick’s restaurant soon, though we don’t know exactly when. Nick’s serves up fried seafood platters (can never have enough calamari, right?), wings, sandwiches, burgers, salads and gyros. There are a few other locations in the Midlands. Repeated requests for comment went unanswered.

Zaxby’s, 645 Columbia Ave.

And because you can’t subsist on solely seafood platters, a Zaxby’s is moving in next door to Waffle House on Columbia Avenue in Chapin. Here, you’ll be able to get fried chicken in its many forms, buttery toast, saucy wings and more. Construction on the Zaxby’s building is expected to begin soon, with an opening date “hopefully” in the spring, owner Dan Ward said.

A round table talk about professional relationships in advance of the Midlands Food Alliance Chef/Farmer Mash-up

Correction, 3:47 p.m.: A previous version of this article quoted a Chapin spokesperson saying construction on the Zaxby’s restaurant had begun. Dan Ward, the owner of the business, said construction has not started yet.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.