Hendrix restaurant with rooftop bar soon to open in Columbia’s old Hennessy’s building
Chris Davis and John Sears, owners of the new Hendrix restaurant at 1649 Main Street in Columbia, are working to offer a fun atmosphere with an elevated menu at their new business. The two also own Jake’s and a few other Five Points spots.
Hendrix will be the first tenant in the renovated building that formerly housed the popular Hennessy’s restaurant. The business will include a restaurant and bar on the second floor, and a rooftop bar, each with a capacity of about 99 customers.
Former sous chef of Motor Supply, Javier Uriarte, will be working to create a menu based on fresh, locally sourced foods. Uriarte described the menu as “modern American.” He said he wants to change the menu frequently, and provide plenty of variety. “I’m going to try to change the way a normal southern plate would look and taste,” Uriarte said. “I don’t want to change it completely, but I do want to add things to it to make it my own.”
General Manager Wade Penland said the team wants to add to the continuing growth of Main Street in downtown Columbia. The rooftop will provide a different experience than the indoor restaurant, offering live acoustic music, according to Sears.
Columbia architect and developer Scott Garvin, along with other partners, purchased 1649 Main in the fall of 2016 and have been renovating the 4,000 sq.-ft. space for about two years. There is also an additional 6,000 sq.-ft. basement.
When Garvin began working on the building, he renovated the basement and created a garden level by opening up the adjacent Blanding Street sidewalk for an open courtyard. According to a representative, the idea was that a potential coffee shop could occupy the garden level and ideally a restaurant above could share the courtyard space.
The restaurant’s name is intended to evoke the area’s history. The Hendrix family were grocers in Columbia from 1868 to 1927, mostly at 1649 Main Street. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the building’s architectural history is being preserved, including exposed brick walls.
Hendrix is expected to open within the next few weeks.