New Five Points restaurant is all about bacon
For some people, the smell of bacon cooking is like the song of the mythical sirens, and that powerful attraction is what two local restaurateurs hope will catapult them to success.
Chef Gary Uwanawich and his business partner, Matt Canyes, are hard at work this month preparing for the opening of their new restaurant, Sizzle. The eatery in Columbia’s Five Points will be the city’s only bacon-themed restaurant and the owners expect it to open by month’s end.
The idea came from a casual conversation between the two owners, and as Uwanawich explained, “Boom! It was too good an opportunity to pass up,” especially once they found what they call an ideal location on Harden Street next to Pawley’s Front Porch.
Uwanawich said “a lot of thought” is going into the menu. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and late night drinks and appetizers. Sizzle will have a full bar, including bacon-themed drinks such as the baconrita (a margarita-like drink with bacon dust rimming the glass instead of salt), the bacontini (shaken, not stirred, with bacon-stuffed olives), and the bacon bloody mary.
Non-bacon drinks and a few non-bacon dishes will also be available, along with turkey bacon and soy bacon in place of pork. “No one is excluded at Sizzle,” Uwanawich said.
He added that the menu will evolve as time passes, with input from customers always considered. “We want our fans to participate,” he said. “We want Sizzle to be their place.” Some of the initial offerings will be a bacon jam sandwich, bacon caramelized onion smashed potatoes (which Uwanawich says goes well with his “sizzler” bone-in ribeye steak, one of the non-bacon items), French toast stuffed with a bacon cream cheese filling, the Sizzle version of the classic BLT, and desserts including chocolate dipped bacon and the bacon brownie cupcake.
Both owners said they want Sizzle to be a place where people go to have fun, and that fun will include a daily bacon happy hour, featuring discount drinks and bowls of bacon replacing the usual happy hour snack offerings.
Guests will be greeted and served by the Sizzlettes, the restaurant’s own specially uniformed staff. Uwanawich and Canyes both said they want to be part of the Five Points and Columbia, and expect to be here for the long haul.
“We’re not a fad,” Uwanawich said. “Bacon’s never going to die out. We love our area, and as long as there’s bacon in the world, there’ll be a Sizzle.”