RESTAURANT WEEK: Columbia establishments prepare special dishes for 11-day event

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Any plans for this weekend?

If you’re looking to go out for a nice dinner, there’s plenty of Columbia businesses participating in Restaurant Week South Carolina.

It’s an 11-day celebration of hundreds of restaurants in the Palmetto State, including several in downtown Columbia. 

“It used to be kinda drab here about 8 or 9 years ago,” said Garett Bright, manager at The Venue and The Grand. “We’ve brought some life to this city.”

By we, he means the people behind many of the restaurants housed in the 1600 block of Main Street, including The Venue, The Grand and The Good Life Café.

“Really nice nightlife and breakfast spots. We have the state’s best vegan restaurant right next door,” Bright said.

The 1600 block also has a new restaurant which opened a couple months ago, Hanabi Hibachi and Sushi.

“We just wanted to try something new,” Bright said. “We love a good hibachi restaurant and decided to corner the market. There’s not really anything like this in the downtown area.”

Bright says business has picked up for restaurants over the past year and would like that momentum to continue during Restaurant Week South Carolina. 

“We are hoping for more traffic, fingers crossed,” the manager said. “We’ve got a lot of specials going on here and at The Venue.”

“I mean that’s the only reason why we do it. Otherwise, there’d be no reason,” said Jackson Hinkle, owner of Gervais and Vine.

Gervais and Vine serves Mediterranean tapas and is located in the Vista. 

“We bought the place in October  of 2019 right before COVID,” Hinkle said. “We’re still here and happy to still be around. We got through that okay.”

Now, the restaurant owner is dealing with a new problem. 

“The cost of eggs right now is insane,” Hinkle said. “Seafood costs went up but they’re starting to even out a little bit.”

Gervais and Vine’s dishes usually involving seafood, but Hinkle has some special plates for Restaurant Week. 

“Everyday is different,” the restaurant owner said. “You might get in a product that gives you an idea or you might have an idea you think of. It’s a never ending process.”

No matter where you live in Columbia, there’s more than likely a participating restaurant nearby. For the full list, check out the Restaurant Week South Carolina website here.

Categories: Local News, Richland