Frequent travelers through Columbia's Vista have likely noticed the construction on Park Street, just off Gervais. The beautification project is now nearly finished with just a few final traffic cones still lined against the sidewalk.

The project implemented ADA-compliant sidewalks and new landscaping. There will be additional outdoor seating for visitors and improved lighting still to come. Restaurants along the street are open for guests.

The improvements have helped to make the Vista an even more attractive and welcoming area to patrons, and there are a few new businesses that will be opening soon.

Boku Kitchen and Saloon, a Pan-Asian restaurant, is coming to 916 Gervais St., in the former Sure Fire Tacos location. According to officials, Boku is committed to serving fresh, made from scratch, flavorful Asian fare. They use traditional wok-style cooking to bring out fresh flavors of the dishes. Boku also will have a sophisticated bar scene, anchored by some of the best sakes found anywhere, along with an extensive selection of liquors, creative cocktails, wine and local craft beers. According to Boku representatives, the restaurant's bold design will have hand-painted murals by world-renowned artist Ruben Ubiera along with custom furniture and lighting made to provide a warm, sophisticated, comfortable feel.

Another new business coming to the Vista will be The Donut Guy, located at 1215 Lincoln St. It will offer hot mini yeast/cake donuts with a variety of toppings, including maple glaze and bacon.

Cambria Hotel, part of the Choice Hotel chain, will be opening in the spring of 2022 at the corner of Park and Lady Streets.

City Grit is a new food and specialty market that offers artisan goods, house-made dips, sweets, beer, wine and gifts. It also offers take-away and family meals. The store recently opened at 707 Gervais St.

Phase II of the Green Street improvement project is scheduled for completion in January. It is part of an overall plan to open downtown Columbia to the Congaree Riverfront. It is a $21.2 million project that continues improvements along Greene Street from Gadsden to Assembly Streets. The plan includes the addition of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Huger to Gadsden Streets, and the construction of a new two-lane bridge with sidewalks and bike lanes over the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroads to reconnect Greene Street.

The installation of a shade structure along the bridge over the sidewalks is expected to be installed by June of 2022.

Devine and Gadsden Streets at the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroad crossings will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians once the Greene Street bridge is open.

(1) comment

ThePontificator

Tacos and dog-friendly = I'm there.

I've lived in other parts of the county where many restaurants have an exterior walk-up for take-away service. Would like to see that here.

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