For 15 years, Susan "Susu" Morningstar spent her days as promotions director of ROCK 93.5 and FOX 102.3FM.
Her hobby, however, had been cooking and enjoying being creative with recipes and taste combinations.
"Several people have always suggested I open up my own place," Morningstar said. "However, I had no clue how to do such a thing. It turns out that I have a few great people in my life who knew how."
That place is new eatery 1616 Gervais — formerly home to The Back Porch restaurant across the street from Clarion being turned into a Hilton Garden Inn/Home2 Suites.
"I always thought of it as a hidden gem here," Morningstar said. "And it just happened to be vacant (when I was ready to do something)."
Now, four weeks away from opening, Morningstar is ready to roll out a menu featuring items such as a smoked gouda mac 'n' cheese burger, homemade baked pimento cheese on crostini, savory cheesy shrimp and grits and blackened chicken salad. The restaurant will keep the “back porch” atmosphere with a porch and back lounge area in addition to its indoor dining.
"I have an awesome chef in Jeff Blackmon, an amazing menu, a stellar staff, the greatest support flock and the most adorable venue in Columbia," Morningstar said.
1616 Gervais will serve lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday with the bar and lounge open “until” (closed Sunday). For more information: www.1616gervais.com
▪ Lowe’s Foods said in a release it will make a “special announcement” at a June 29 groundbreaking for a coming store in Lexington.