Longtime Columbia chicken joint Drake’s Duck-In to temporarily leave Main Street

Photo from Drake's Facebook page.

An iconic downtown Columbia fried chicken restaurant soon will temporarily leave its Main Street location as renovations are done on its building. But owners say it will relocate and continue operating while those renovations are going on, before later returning to the Main Street spot.

Drake’s Duck-in restaurant at 1544 Main St. will get a full overhaul likely beginning in early 2023, according to co-owner Daniel Boan. That work will coincide with the construction on The Flutter Wing, an extension of nearby Hotel Trundle that is going in on the top floor at 1544 Main.

“It’s going to be a full-scale renovation to (Drake’s),” Boan said. “Everything’s going to be new. It’s going to have a completely new look.”

Boan said he doesn’t want to close Drake’s completely during the renovations, so the restaurant has been working to find a temporary location to set up shop while construction is going on. A deal has not yet been finalized, but negotiations for are ongoing for a spot in the general downtown area.

Boan said a definitive date for when Drake’s will exit the Main Street location so construction can begin has not yet been set, but he’s thinking it will come sometime near the first part of 2023. Drake’s would return to 1544 Main after the renovations are completed, likely later in 2023.

Drake’s has been in Columbia since 1907 and has been at various locations through the years. The restaurant has been at 1544 Main St. for 26 years. The building at 1544 Main St. was built in the 1870s, according to Historic Columbia.

Drake’s is collaborating with an interior designer who has worked on restaurants in Charleston, Boan said. He said the renovated Drake’s will have a vastly updated aesthetic but will still largely feature the menu staples people have come to love.

“When (fellow owner) Matthew (Bridges) and I bought it back in 2015, we very much wanted to continue the legacy of Drake’s and what it means to Columbia,” Boan said. “But we want to take it into a new era and modernize it but still keep a lot of what Columbia loves about Drake’s and what makes it unique intact.

“While there may be changes to the physical part of it, the spirit and the food is going to remain pretty much to that core that we’ve had for so long.”