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Popular restaurant on Columbia’s Main Street closes

A pictorial history of Main Street Columbia

Photographs from the John Hensel Collection at USC's Caroliniana Library show how the city has changed since 1950.
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Photographs from the John Hensel Collection at USC's Caroliniana Library show how the city has changed since 1950.

Zoe’s Kitchen, which had been a staple on Main Street for six years, is closed.

A Main Street pioneer of sorts, the restaurant served Mediterranean-style food with a healthy twist such as salads, kebabs and wraps.

However, the restaurant’s hours were limited to lunch and dinner because it didn’t have its own restrooms, said Matt Kennell, president and CEO of Center City Partnership, which encourages and guides investment in the Main Street district. Customers had to use the restrooms in the lobby of the Meridian Building in which it was located, which had limited access at night, he said.

“That might have contributed to the closing,” Kennell said. “It’s hard to make a long-term go of it just doing lunch.”

The building also houses the Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough law firm.

Main Street resident Fernanda Randall takes The State on a tour of her downtown apartment.

Zoe’s is a Plano, Texas-based national chain. The company could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

The chain has four other stores in the Midlands: in Forest Acres, Lexington, northeast Richland County and Irmo.

The store closed earlier this month “while they tried to work out the restroom issue,” Kennel said.

There is room to build restrooms in the space, Kennell said, “but sometimes restaurants run their course.”

It’s the second Main Street restaurant to close in recent weeks. Persona Pizza at 1202 Main St. also closed.

The restaurant at 1320 Main St. was known for its convenience and outdoor seating, which should make the space attractive to another tenant, Kennell said.

“I hear on the street there is lots of interest,” he said.

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