A new breakfast, brunch and lunch spot will soon be opening in downtown Columbia.
Sai Williams and her boyfriend, Eli Wright, have recently begun an entrepreneurial venture to open their own business. At just 23 and 25 years old, this will be their first time owning a restaurant. However, Williams said both of their families have instilled in them a love for cooking, and they'd been hoping for the opportunity for some time.
The couple first came across an open space at 1305 Lady Street, formerly The Lunch Box. Williams said they were immediately interested. "I was telling him [Eli], I think we should do it, and he was like 'Ok let's reach out to the broker and check out the building.' So we did, and that was it, it was an automatic yes," she said.
The couple's new restaurant, The Toasty Hot Spot, will offer a variety of breakfast and lunch items including bagel sandwiches, muffins, wraps, lunch sandwiches, and salads. One of the restaurant's specialties will be a build-your-own grits bowl, where customers can choose from four different meat options and eight additional ingredients to add. Drink options will include iced coffee, matcha lattes, and fresh-squeezed flavored lemonade in peach, strawberry and blue-raspberry.
Williams said the support they have received for their new business has been very encouraging.
"Every day when I wake up and look on social media, the love and support and feedback from everyone, all the customers who come by and welcome us, it's so unreal," she said. "I'm so emotional because we never thought we'd be having a restaurant. I'm just speechless, nervous, happy, it's all so exciting."
The Toasty Hot Spot will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast switches to lunch at 11 a.m. Although the restaurant will be closed on the weekends, Williams said they plan to open Saturdays once the business is well-established.
The restaurant will offer only to-go items at the opening, due to COVID precautions. However, Williams said they intended to be mainly carryout-driven with the business being in a 400 sq.-ft. space.
Although an exact opening date has not yet been established, Williams said they are aiming for some time in May. Additional details for the opening will be updated on the restaurant's Facebook and Instagram.