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Rosewood neighborhood cafe that was set to close will stay open after all, owner says

New life comes to historic mall in Columbia’s downtown

Renovations at the Arcade Mall in downtown Columbia are almost complete. The historic mall will have amenities to keep people inside from morning till night with a coffee shop, retail spaces offices and lunch and dinner spots.
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Renovations at the Arcade Mall in downtown Columbia are almost complete. The historic mall will have amenities to keep people inside from morning till night with a coffee shop, retail spaces offices and lunch and dinner spots.

An eclectic Columbia coffee shop that was set to close next month won’t be shutting its doors after all, according to owner Stephanie Griggs Bridgers.

Shortly after Bridgers announced that she would be closing The Local Buzz, a shop at the corner of South Shandon Street and Rosewood Drive, she said someone approached her with a possible fix.

“We have a very serious buyer (and a current loyal fan and customer) for our vibe, furnishings and mission, so we think that you all will still have your neighborhood cafe,” Bridgers wrote in a Facebook post on the cafe’s page.

So a coffee shop will likely remain at the L-shaped shopping plaza, but The Local Buzz will reopen down Rosewood Drive, near Casey’s Fireworks, according to Bridgers. She is planning a new location in Rosewood that would house a job-based training program to employ people “with exceptional learning, mental and physical differences,” she wrote in the Facebook post.

When Bridgers first opened The Local Buzz, she wanted to continue work she’d begun with the Breakfast Club, a group for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. At the new spot, she plans to keep a cafe that will serve as a classroom and a community meeting spot.

The cafe space will also be converted to an “amazing space for workshops, events, art shows, parties and gatherings” on the weekends. In an adjacent bar and kitchen space, Bridgers hopes to bring in a tenant who will run a “fun neighborhood pub,” she said. The space is also equipped with a kitchen that meets the state’s health standards, private offices and a common area, all of which Bridgers said she hopes will be put to good use.

Bridgers did not announce an opening date for her new venture, but on her Facebook post, dozens expressed enthusiasm for the next iteration of The Local Buzz.

The new Local Buzz will be located at 3830 Rosewood Drive.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.
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