EXCLUSIVE: Dave & Buster’s coming to Columbiana Centre

Two new restaurants, including one featuring an arcade gaming center, are scheduled to open at Columbiana Centre.

Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade gaming center is scheduled to open in late 2016, and Red Robin “gourmet burgers and brews” is expected to open at the Harbison Boulevard mall on Nov. 2, according to the mall’s manager, Andrew Peach.

“People aren’t going to malls anymore just to shop,” Peach told The State on Wednesday. “It’s more of an entertainment venue.”

For example, a shopper can have a couple beers at the restaurants, watch a game, then decide to buy a pair of jeans, he said. “It’s not the same thing that it used to be.”

The Dave & Buster’s should be popular for families, young couples and college students, Peach said. The restaurant will take up about 30,000 square feet where Sears used to have a store, Peach said.

The only other Dave & Buster’s in South Carolina is in Greenville, according to the company’s website.

Another Red Robin in Columbia is located at the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Richland County.

Marianne Bickle, department chair of retailing at the University of South Carolina, said the type of retailer coming to the Columbia area is changing.

Harbison is booming, she said, adding it is a love-hate relationship because of the traffic that comes with growth.

The new businesses are good for retailers, taxpayers, the economy and employment, she said.

South Carolina is bouncing back from the Great Recession in a big way, she said. Companies are coming to South Carolina, employment is rising, and consumers are spending more, she said.

Dave & Buster’s coming to the area also shows that people have more discretionary income, she said. That means more people in their family are employed or the primary bread-winner is employed, she said.

Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657.