North Main Street seeing a business boom
A year ago, local chef and restaurateur Kristian Niemi announced plans to open a new restaurant on North Main Street. Although not much has happened at the site at 2150 N. Main St., the plans are still in motion, Niemi told The State on Friday.
"Drawings are complete and the job is being put out for bid by my contractor," Niemi said. "So, basically, I’m waiting just like everyone else."
Niemi told The State last fall his plan for the restaurant -- which he named NoMa Revival -- was to join other local businesses in the area to help boost the revival of North Main Street. His plans for Revival are to use the 7,100-square-foot space as a multi-use complex that would include a restaurant, beer garden, bocce courts, concert hall and an open-pit barbecue.
Niemi also announced plans last fall to open a "high-end" steak and seafood house at Brookand, the $40 million mixed-use development under construction at State and Meeting streets near the Gervais Street bridge in West Columbia.
That project, too, is still “in the works,” Niemi told The State, and is most likely looking at an early 2019 opening.
Niemi also said he would be announcing another concept soon but could not provided details of that project at this time.
Niemi’s entrance into the Columbia dining market began at The Blue Marlin on Gervais Street, where he was the restaurant’s first general manager. From there, Niemi opened Mr. Friendly’s in 1995 and later opened Gervais & Vine in the Vista and Solstice Kitchen in northeast Columbia. In 2013, he opened Bourbon whiskey bar and Cajun-Creole kitchen at 1214 Main St. Earlier this year, he sold another original restaurant — Rosso Trattoria Italia, which he opened in Forest Acres in 2009.