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New barbecue restaurant set to open at BullStreet

Bone-In BBQ Restaurant to open at Bull Street development

Popular food truck rolls to roost at the Ensor building near Spirit Communications Park
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Popular food truck rolls to roost at the Ensor building near Spirit Communications Park

Bone-In restaurant is set to roll out before the first pitch in April.

Chef Scott Hall’s new bricks-and mortar restaurant at BullStreet, Bone-In Barbeque, will begin serving dinner in late March, he told The State. The restaurant, being built in the historic Ensor Building outside the front gates of Spirit Communications Park, should be open for business before the Fireflies, Columbia’s minor league baseball team, opens its season April 5.

“We’ll have dinner service Tuesday through Saturday, then lunch and brunch to follow,” he said

Hall, featured by such publications as GQ magazine for his catering business and his Bone-In Artisan BBQ on Wheels food truck, said that he and the restaurant staff will host friends and family for a few events to work out the kinks before the formal opening.

“People who can give us feedback,” he said. “They’ll be like parties but people will order off the menu.”

But you might not have to wait until April or be in the Bone-In-ner circle to enjoy his newly designed dishes. Hall plans to plans to announce “sneak peak” dinners in February. They will be offered at the Corley Mill House and Gardens in Lexington, where Hall now has his catering kitchen.

The new restaurant will carry a bit of a macabre twist, as the Ensor Building is the old S.C. State Hospital’s former morgue and research laboratory. The building has been completely gutted and no reminder of the morgue remains.

Hall has said there will be no morgue-inspired drinks or other nods to the building’s past “because it wouldn’t be respectful.”

The restaurant was announced in April.

After heavy interior demolition, workers have installed three large garage doors that open onto a broad patio on the stadium’s front plaza. And the interior is being built-out with a special touch by Hall and his father, Steve.

“My dad and I are building a really big bar,” Hall said. “It will be the centerpiece of the restaurant.”

BullStreet, at 181 acres, is considered the largest land deal in Columbia history. Master developer Hughes Development Corp. of Greenville plans a 20-year build-out of the campus, which began with the construction of the mostly public $37 million Spirit Communications Park and the adjacent First Base Building, a four-story office and retail building.

Bone-In is the first retail establishment on the campus (outside of the stadium) since a huge 30-acre shopping village was announced for the property. The shopping village has not materialized.

Hughes Development president Robert Hughes said Hall is making sure the restaurant is humming smoothly before the baseball crowds descend.

“He wants to get all the kinks out,” Hughes said.

In addition to workers in the adjacent First Base Building, Hall said he plans to draw customers primarily from nearby Palmetto Health Richland hospital and state agencies such as DHEC, as well as downtown and the Cottontown and Elmwood Park neighborhoods.

After launching the Bone-In Artisan BBQ on Wheels food truck in 2010, Hall appeared on the Cooking Channel television shows “Man Fire Food” and “Eat St.,” which also was aired on Food Network Canada and Food Network Europe, as well as the Travel Channel’s “BBQ Crawl” and Bravo’s “Newlyweds.” His work was recognized in GQ and Smithsonian magazines, as well as a wide array of Midlands and S.C. news outlets.

Those shows mostly focused on his food truck – something that will soon go away. Also built by Hall and his father, the truck is up for sale at $25,000.

“If you want to buy one, that’s a really good price,” Hall said.

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