As a kid I would visit my grandparents every now and then. I remember my Grandaddy would treat me to lunch at the bottom of Tapp’s Department Store. Ever since, I’ve watched Columbia’s Main Street slooooooooooowly evolve.
I was a freshman at USC in 1991 (when I type 1991…I mean, you know, 19ninetyone), and for a long time wondered if Columbia’s Main Street could ever ‘get it going.’ Since my time at Tapp’s with Grandaddy, I’ve watched a jail with a razor-wired perimeter disappear, the good and not so good times of Columbia’s beloved 5-Points, observed a dumpy warehouse world become a ‘Vista,’ watched a USC baseball program win two National Championships, witnessed players like Connor Shaw, Alshon Jeffrey, and Mr. Clowney take a Coach named Spurrier to #4 in the country, and a former insane asylum become a “next best thing,” and all sorts of things happen during the ride. All the while, our Main Street remained dormant at worst, slooooooow to develop at best.
While there are many successes about Columbia’s main street, what’s the biggest catalyst, you ask? There are lots of good answers (and people) that have collectively contributed, for sure. What’s the real rub? The answer is probably, “The Hub.” The Hub has transformed Main Street into a place of booming commerce. 900ish students, is it? They need to eat, they want to drink. Think there’s a reason for a new Doctor’s Care/Urgent Care? It’s not new found patience… it’s new found patients.
Columbia’s Main Street is arriving, and I’m proud to witness and a be a citizen of this New Columbia. I’m proud to do business on Main Street and hope you are too.
I’ll get back to our New Columba later, but getting back to the original post regarding these awesome new businesses on Main Street….. Well Done & Thank you!
The 1500 block of Main Street is already pretty cool, being home to Drake’s Duck-In, the Columbia Museum of Art and Free Times, among other things. But it’s about to get a whole lot cooler with the opening of Main Street Public House and an Ally and Eloise bakeshop outpost.
We broke the news online over the weekend that Ally and Eloise will soon open a “bakery closet” in the McCrory’s building, between the Main Street Public House (which opens this week) and Something Special Florist.
When it comes to desserts, Ally and Eloise is one of the Capital City’s best loved bakeries. And in the next month or so, owner Aleka Selig is opening a retail space on Main Street in downtown Columbia. The bakeshop will have the same products as Ally and Eloise’s main location, Selig says — so, cupcakes, cookies, cakes and more.
“It’s like a little bakery closet,” says Selig of the new space. “Like, ‘Here we are, here’s some treats.’”
“We’re so excited to be down there — really excited,” she adds. (Selig is the “Ally” in the bakery’s name. And Eloise? She’s a French bulldog.)
The bakeshop will be open within a month.
The long-awaited Main Street Public House, meanwhile, opens its doors to the public this Friday, July 29, at 11 a.m.
The renovated McCrory’s building was basically a vast empty space, which the Main Street Public House’s owners have filled with a long wooden bar, handmade farm tables, exposed ductwork and lots of other neat touches.
Executive Chef Russell Eckley, formerly of Hampton Street Vineyard, is heading up the kitchen, and the peeks at the menu we’ve seen so far on Facebook run the gamut from steaks to salads to smoked chicken. And with a full bar and several TVs, this looks like a great place to watch a game.
Check out Main Street Public House on Facebook: facebook.com/mainstreetpublichouse.