Business

Something new is brewing in the Vista

A new brewpub is slated to open in the Vista in January, and patrons will get the chance to tap into 60 new brews a year. Owner Chris Baldwin hopes to keep the exposed brick and exposed wood at Twisted Spur Brewing. (photo by Ali O’Hara) The new microbrewery, Twisted Spur Brewing, will also offer a full-service restaurant with a little…

Helping the helpers: Sisters of Charity Foundation offers funding to flood relief organizations

Many organizations, small and large, have offered help to those affected by last month’s floods in the Columbia area, and now one group wants to help the helpers. The Sisters of Charity Foundation is taking action to support organizations providing flood relief assistance by offering grants of up to $5,000. “The foundation is especially passionate about reaching underrepresented parts of…

Columbia Planning Commission OKs lane extension for new subdivision in Forest Acres

Commissioners also voted 6-1 to extend Belmont Drive in Forest Acres, opening the door for a developer to build a 34-lot single-family residential subdivision. Commissioner Joshua McDuffie was the sole opposing vote. The subdivision development must be approved by city of Forest Acres officials, but the road extension falls within Columbia’s city limits. Homeowner Deborah Droter asked the planning commission…

Congaree Vista residents speak out against proposed self-storage facility near Canalside Lofts

Homeowners in the Congaree Vista district spoke out against rezoning property to permit a developer to construct a multi-story self-storage facility near the Canalside Lofts complex. The 1.86-acre property on the corner of Hampton and Williams streets originally was zoned for office and institutional uses. Developers wanted to expand the zoning class for neighboring Canalside Lofts to include the property. The…

Newk’s Eatery in the Vista to combine grand opening with fundraiser

A new Columbia restaurant will donate a portion of its opening day sales to the Ray Tanner Foundation. Newk’s Eatery opens Monday at 707 Gervais St. as the franchise adds to its Rock Hill and Summerville locations. The menu includes tossed salads, artisan pizzas, hot toasted sandwiches, kettle batch soups and desserts. The restaurant will also serve a selection of in-house wine and beer….

Amazon hiring more than 8,000 seasonal workers for local fulfillment center

Amazon will hire 100,000 people to help with the holiday rush this year, and thousands of those jobs are coming to Lexington County. Aaron Toso of Amazon Corporate Communications said the company plans to bring on more than 8,000 new people for its fulfillment center in Cayce. Many will stay on with Amazon into the new year. “Following last year’s…

Columbia area mayors unite to lead flood recovery efforts

Six mayors stood together beside the Columbia Canal Friday. Other elected leaders joined them. They represented different communities in different counties, but all shared one purpose. All have constituents affected by the recent floods, and as Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said, “We’re here to make sure they get the help they need.” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin speaking Friday, backed by…

Bill restricting mobile animal care heads to full committee

A bill that has been a year in the making has advanced to the full South Carolina Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources after 250 meetings around the state and some changes and more discussion Thursday. Senate Bill 687 would create restrictions to mobile and nonprofit veterinary care for animals. Originally, the bill had a mileage restriction on mobile vet clinics…

Temporary surface lot at former Exxon gas station in Five Points to open around Thanksgiving

Visitors to Five Points soon will have more places to park as Columbia Parking Department officials plan to raze the Exxon Mobil gas station at the corner of Harden Street and Saluda Avenue and turn it into a surface lot. Parking Services Director John Spade said the city is leasing the property where the gas station currently stands from local…

West Columbia officials discuss food truck regulations ahead of food truck court launch

West Columbia Planning Commission members spent the better part of two hours Monday night discussing how the city’s new food truck regulations should be written. Discussing the do’s and don’ts with the group were April McEntire of Outdoor Wood Furniture and Christina Suvarna, who plan to launch a food truck court in March next to Outdoor Wood Furniture on Meeting…

Lexington County Chili Cook Off brings community together after floods damage local businesses

  From sweet to spicy and everything in between, the first ever Lexington County Chili Cook Off was hosted by the Old Mill Brew Pub Saturday at the Lexington County Baseball Stadium. John Clinger is the owner of the Old Mill Brew Pub and his business took a hard hit during the historical flood, but was able to open back…

International firm to bring 60 jobs to Richland County as part of company acquisition

An international insurance acquisition and management firm has acquired a Richland County-based insurance company and plans to add 60 new jobs over the next nine months. Enstar Group Limited, a company headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, acquired Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. through its U.S. subsidiary, Enstar U.S., and will invest $500,000 into its operations. Enstar U.S. has renamed the firm…

The Local Buzz pairs food with family in Rosewood neighborhood

  A longtime Rosewood resident has launched a new eatery that pairs homegrown dishes with a family-friendly atmosphere. Stephanie Bridgers started The Local Buzz out of her passion for hospitality. She spent her teen and college years working in local restaurants, doing everything from waiting tables to acting as a manager. “I want to be that person that makes someone…

Swamp Cabbage Brewery, Brewsky Brothers to bottle 1st beer as part of charity fundraiser

Halloween is a time for brewing spooky things and for enjoying tasty treats. Some Columbia beer enthusiasts are taking those ideas and adding their favorite beverage to the equation and all for a good cause. The Brewsky Brothers, Nick Gettings and Jonathan Gamboa, run a YouTube channel devoted to happenings in the local craft beer community. They are teaming up with Swamp…

Hunter-Gatherer Brewery to expand into Historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar redevelopment

The historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar at the Jim Hamilton-LB Owens Airport is being revamped, and part of that includes a move into the craft beer industry. Hunter-Gatherer Brewery will expand from its current location on Main Street to a second location at the airport next summer. Hunter-Gatherer at 900 Main St. was started in 1995 and has been a popular beer stop…

Conundrum Music Hall set to close this month

One of the Columbia area’s music venues is hosting its last show at the end of October. There’s just one month of shows left at Conundrum Music Hall on Meeting Street. (photo by Rachel Ham) Conundrum Music Hall owner Tom Law made the announcement last week and described the past several years as “a fun, if quixotic, undertaking.” Conundrum opened in 2011. “I…

S.C. Attorney General calls price gouging during flood a ‘criminal violation’

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has put out a warning to anyone attempting to artificially lift prices on goods. Wilson announced the state’s price gouging statute has been initiated amid Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for a state of emergency. “As we continue to recover from the catastrophic damage caused to our state, we will see many neighbors helping each other…

Blaze Pizza to to set up shop in Columbiana Mall this winter

Blaze Pizza is bringing it’s “Fast-Fire’d” food concept near Columbiana Mall in the Harbison area. The California-based pizzeria was founded by Elise Wetzel, wife of the founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels. Blaze Pizza offers guests artisanal pizzas crafted with fresh ingredients. (photo provided) “We’re taking pizza back to its roots: making dough in-house, carefully sourcing ingredients, and cooking by fire,” said Jim Mizes,…

Urban Cookhouse touts ‘farm-to-fire-to-table’ concept with new Columbia location

A new restaurant focused on providing diners a “farm-to-fire-to-table” experience is coming to Devine Street. Urban Cookhouse is set to open next year in Columbia, making it one of the newest locations for the young restaurant chain. Meals are prepared with ingredients sourced from local farmers. (photo provided) “It’s a really family-friendly place,” said Urban Cookhouse president and owner Will…

SC Works hosting Columbia job fair this week

Local job seekers are invited to check out available opportunities with Midlands employers at an upcoming job fair. SC Works and the Columbia Mayor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities are holding an employment event on Oct. 6 at the National Guard Armory on Bluff Road. Area companies will have booths set up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m….

Bring on the baklava! Grecian Gardens marks 30 years in West Columbia

Alex Koutrakos summed up his viewpoint on the American dream two years ago at a naturalization ceremony held in Columbia: “The beginning does not count, but the end does.” Koutrakos and his brothers George, Nick and Gus faced adversity and doubters as they opened one of the Midlands’ most popular restaurants 30 years ago this week. The Koutrakoses emigrated to the States in the 1960s…

Columbia officials push for sustainability with biodiesel

Taxpayers can save money and the environment by properly disposing old cooking oil and repurposing it for Columbia’s public vehicles. The 2015 Green is Good for Business Conference brought national and local businesses to the Columbia Convention Center on Tuesday to share ideas and strategies for being a sustainable business. The focus of this year’s conference was transportation. Officials with…

Cayce-West Columbia Chamber honors 100-year-old former mayor

  Just two days after his 100th birthday, W. Earle Williams was serenaded once again with “Happy Birthday” and received a standing ovation from the community he has served for decades. The former West Columbia mayor is the recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber. Williams was on hand to pick up his award along…