Pizza, chicken and BBQ: Here’s what Midlands businesses have opened so far in a busy 2022

The Midlands have been busy in 2022.

Despite rising inflation, high gas prices and continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and other global concerns, new retail businesses have kept up a steady drumbeat of openings and announcements across Columbia, Lexington and other parts of the Midlands this year.

And, sadly, there have been a few longtime businesses in the capital city area that have closed their doors for good in 2022.

We have culled a list of retail spots from restaurants to bars to clothing stores to general stores and beyond — that have have either opened, made plans to open or closed in 2022 across the Midlands. To be absolutely certain, this is not an exhaustive, comprehensive list. Rather, it is a sampling of the tapestry of new retail spots that are springing up locally.


Love-A-Cup Bakery opened its doors at 2213 Augusta Road in West Columbia in the Georgetown shopping center. The shop has cupcakes and sweet treats, as well as soups, salads, scones, espresso, breakfast sandwiches and more.

Publico, which has been a popular fusion restaurant and bar in Five Points for years, opened a new location at the BullStreet District. It is right beside Segra Park baseball stadium.

The Main Street District got a unique new offering when Sneak a Peek Boutique, an ultrasound boutique for expectant families, opened at 1113 Taylor Street in the heart of downtown.

The popular breakfast and brunch chain Another Broken Egg Cafe opened a new store at 931 North Lake Drive in Lexington. It’s right in front of the Regal Northlake Village move theater.

The global fusion restaurant Urban Wok opened at 1033 Roberts Branch Parkway in northeast Columbia, off Killian Road. It’s the third restaurant in the U.S. for the nascent chain.

Chapin got a new breakfast and brunch spot. BaKon Southern Eatery has opened its doors at 301 Columbia Ave. Give the BaKon Cakes a try.

After being located in Forest Acres for decades, The Turning Pointe dancewear shop opened at 1030 Harden St. in Five Points. It offers offers a wide variety of dancewear and accessories for all ages, with supplies for various styles of dance, including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, ballroom, clogging, hip-hop, praise, gymnastics and lyrical.

The New York Butcher Shoppe opened a new location at 400 West Main St. near downtown Lexington. It’s the second Midlands location of the butcher shop chain, and it offers many meats and prepared foods.

There’s a new Big Lots store at 1937 Wilson Road over in Newberry. The company has described the Big Lots shopping experience as “part treasure hunt, part bargain hunt.”

Latin-inspired clothing and gift shop Botanica de Santee opened at 724 Santee Ave. in Five Points. It offers offers shoes, shirts, jackets, artwork, votive candles, music records and more.

Chubby’s Burgers, which has long been a popular food truck, opened a brick-and-mortar location at 420 McNulty St. in Blythewood. It’s known for its cheeseburgers and has more than two dozen beers on tap.

Krab Kingz Seafood restaurant opened at 1410 Colonial Life Blvd. in the Colonial Village Shopping Center. They have po’ boy sandwiches; charbroiled salmon burgers; Cajun gumbo; shrimp platters; seafood boils that include crab clusters, sausage, corn and potatoes; shrimp pasta; shrimp and grits; deep-fried catfish and more.

A dueling piano bar called The Venue is open at 1626 Main St. It is a part of the portfolio of the Middleton family who have opened numerous businesses in Columbia, particularly along the 1600 block of Main Street.

FuruSato Bento, which serves prepared Japanese meals and snacks, opened in Five Points. It’s located at 748 Harden St.

The new restaurant and lounge Silk opened in June at at 902 Gervais St. in the former Carolina Strip Club steakhouse location. The restaurant and lounge is aiming for an upscale atmosphere.

Ubiquitous chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A opened a new restaurant at 5465 Platt Springs Road in the Red Bank area.

Hook Fish and Chicken opened its doors at 3600 River Drive in Columbia. It has a number of fried favorites on the menu, including chicken wings, catfish, cod, whiting, tilapia, crab cakes and more. It also offers a host of side items, including hush puppies, okra, onion rings and fried jalapenos.

Pizza and chopped cheese sandwiches are just a couple of the items that are offered at The Bodega, which opened at 2800 Rosewood Drive inside the Philly Pretzel storefront.

A small grocery store called Midtown Market opened in the CanalSide development. The shop bills itself as “Southern bodega” and is located at 337 Taylor St.

Ice cream and tacos in the same shop? Yep, that’s what they’ve got at Ice Cream Taco at 4884 Sunset Blvd. in Lexington. The shop has dozens of flavors of ice cream and serves shakes, sundaes and banana splits.

Five Points got a new luxury streetwear store when Swiff opened its doors at 736 Harden St. Swiff had long been a popular brand online and at pop-up shopping events.

All hail the King: A Falafel King restaurant opened at 2020-A Gervais St. in upper Five Points, next to a Shell gas station. The Gervais Street shop has a diverse menu that includes, among other offerings, falafel wraps, gyros, chicken shawarma wraps, curry bowls, Damascus hummus and a number of pizzas.

Uncle Willie’s Grocery Store has opened at 2205 Main St., just north of Elmwood Avenue. The small, full-service grocery store is in an area that has previously struggled to attract grocers and outlets for fresh food.

A spot with pizza and Italian ice made its debut in West Columbia. Cucinella’s is located in the shopping center at 2250 Sunset Blvd. It serves New York-style pizza and more.

Do you like burgers and beer? Of course you do. A spot where you can get both opened this year in Five Points. Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint is at 711 Harden St., in the storefront that was formerly home to Cover 3.

Columbia loves a clean car. Tommy’s Express Car Wash opened earlier this year at 4700 Devine St., just west of Garners Ferry Road. The car wash sits on land that was once home to a TitleMax business that was flooded out in October 2015 during a deadly 1,000-year rain event that walloped Columbia.

The Vista got a new restaurant when Boku Kitchen and Saloon opened its doors at 916 Gervais St. The Pan-Asian restaurant and bar is from the same group that runs Publico Kitchen and Tap in Five Points and BullStreet.

After operating a spot on Woodrow Street in Columbia for years, Gardener’s Outpost opened an additional location at 1211 Franklin St. in Cottontown, beside the War Mouth restaurant. It sells inside and outside plants, trees, organic and heirloom vegetables, as well as home decor items and various products for lawn and plant care.

The busy Harbison shopping district got a little busier earlier this year when Hobby Lobby opened a store at 254 Harbison Blvd. Hobby Lobby has more than 900 locations across 47 states.

Pelican’s SnoBalls moved to a new spot on Main Street in Columbia. The new location is at 2404 Main. Pelican’s is known for its flavorful, colorful shaved ice confections.

Peebles Barbecue and Wings restaurant and bar opened earlier this year at 902-B Gervais St. This is the second Columbia Peebles location; the other one is on Rosewood Drive.

A taste of Atlanta, and a taste of the sea, came to Lexington County. Tasty Wings & Seafood opened a restaurant at 1787 S. Lake Drive, near Red Bank. The restaurant has a deep menu that includes what it bills as “Atlanta-style” chicken wings. It has numerous flavors of wings, including lemon pepper, garlic pepper, hot Parmesan and teriyaki, among others.

Have you ever wanted to hang out in a Himalayan salt cave? Well, you can at the Shvaas Spa at 1716 Main St. in downtown Columbia. Among the many services the spa offers is halotherapy via a Himalayan salt cave.

The Strudel Shop opened in January at 1237 Washington St. in downtown Columbia. It offers a number of pastries and other goodies.

The Vista in Columbia got a little sweeter this year, as The Donut Guy opened at 1215 Lincoln St. The brick-and-mortar location is an extension of the doughnut business that had long been a popular food truck.

Irmo got a new El Jimador Mexican restaurant earlier this year. It’s at 1072 Lake Murray Blvd.

Hokkaido Ramen House is under construction in Lexington, SC.
Hokkaido Ramen House is under construction in Lexington, SC.

Announced/Coming Soon

The Hokkaido Ramen House is under construction at 205 Columbia Ave. in Lexington. It is part of a small chain that has been growing across the U.S. and has a number of ramen noodle dishes.

A new chicken chain is headed to the Harbison Area. VIVA Chicken, which specializes in Peruvian chicken and other dishes, announced it was coming to 275 Harbison Blvd. The chain said it would open in 2023.

Que! Bueno Mexican Bar and Grill is prepping a location at 7320 Broad River Road in Irmo. It will be in the Kennerly Crossing shopping center that is anchored by a Publix.

National auto repair chain Christian Brothers Automotive is building a new shop at 8079 Irmo Drive near Lake Murray. The chain has shops in 30 states nationwide.

The Bojangles chicken joint at 4301 Fort Jackson Blvd. will be torn down, and a bigger version of the restaurant will be built back on site. The new version will have two drive-thru lanes.

Speaking of Bojangles, a new location of the chain is under construction at 300 North Main St. in Saluda.

West Columbia is getting a new I Heart Mac and Cheese restaurant at the shopping center at Emanuel Church Road and Platt Springs Road. It will be the second Midlands location of the chain that specializes in, you guessed it, macaroni and cheese.

Big Dan’s Car Wash, one of a number of car washes planned for the Midlands, is under construction at 1027 Elmwood Ave., in the heart of downtown Columbia.

Orangetheory Fitness is bringing one of its fitness studios to Columbia’s Five Points. It will open at 940 Harden St. later this summer.

Retailers Sephora and Home Goods are planning spots in the trendy Trenholm Plaza shopping center in Forest Acres, according to town documents. Sephora specializes in personal care and beauty products. It has more than 2,700 stores in 35 countries worldwide, while Home Goods sells furnishings, home decor, rugs, bath and kitchen accessories, and more.

Five Points is getting a Flying Biscuit Cafe location. Specializing in all-day breakfast, the Flying Biscuit is set to open July 18 at 936 Harden St.

Columbia chef and restaurateur Kristian Niemi announced he’ll open an Asian tapas place called The Dragon Room. It will be at 803 Gervais St. and will serve a number of dishes from across Asia.

The Chick-fil-A at 294 Harbison Blvd. has been torn down and a new version of the restaurant will be built back on the site. Officials are aiming for a fall reopening.

A new spot called Jay’s Bar and Grill got city approval for a restaurant at 902 Gervais St., in the row of businesses behind LongHorn Steakhouse. Paperwork filed with the city said Jay’s will be a sports bar with numerous TVs and will occasionally have a band or DJs.

A bakery and bistro named Mery’s Kitchen is being prepped at 622 CanalSide St. in the CanalSide development just off Taylor Street. The shop’s owner has said she hopes to highlight foods from around the world.

In a move guaranteed to delight Midlands beer fans, Bierkeller Columbia announced it would bring a brewery and restaurant to the CanalSide development. The company has long been known for pop-ups and special events featuring German-style beer. It is aiming to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Breakfast and brunch chain Another Broken Egg Cafe will have a location in the Brookland development in West Columbia. It will be a part of the 4West phase of the development, according to commercial real estate firm Trinity Partners.

A new Dollar General store is under construction in Lexington County. It will be at the corner of Pisgah Church and Rawl roads.

Sully’s Steamers, which is known for its bagel sandwiches, announced on social media that it planned to expand to Columbia. It already has locations in Greenville, Clemson and Brevard, NC. A location has not yet been publicly announced.

A new car wash is planned for upper Five Points. A Time to Shine Car Wash bought nearly 2 acres of land at 2006 Gervais St., according real estate firm Trinity Partners.

Coffee giant Starbucks confirmed it is planning a new location at 7550 Garners Ferry Road. That’s about 2 miles east of Interstate 77, near a Walmart and a number of other restaurants and retail locations.

The long-running Sonic Drive-In at 312 Columbia Ave. in Lexington is planning to move down the street to 461 Columbia Ave., which is a larger piece of property. Construction is underway at the new spot.

Plans were approved for a new Taco Bell in Blythewood at 209 Blythewood Road, less than a mile east of Interstate 77. Flynn Restaurant Group is the entity behind the Taco Bell. It has franchise restaurants across the U.S.

It’s burger time: Lexington is getting a new Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. The restaurant is currently under construction along East Main Street near Swartz Road close to downtown Lexington.

A Party City store is planned for 6090 Garners Ferry Road. That’s in the Shoppes at Woodhill shopping center. The space was formerly a Pier 1 Imports.

The Regal Columbia 7 movie theater at Richland Mall has closed its doors.
The Regal Columbia 7 movie theater at Richland Mall has closed its doors.


The Regal Columbia 7 movie theater on top of the Richland Mall at 3400 Forest Drive closed in February. It had been open for 32 years.

A longtime pizza chain location closed in Lexington. Uno Pizzeria and Grill at 5304 Sunset Blvd. closed on April 24. It had been open for 19 years.

West Columbia healthy meal prep business Primal Gourmet closed in April after six years in business. It was at 725 Meeting St. Other businesses in that same facility, such as Brickhouse Gourmet Coffee and Teas, remained open.

Jason’s Deli closed its sandwich shop at 823 Gervais St. in the Vista. It had been there for more than 10 years.

Columbia coffee shop Drip on Main closed its doors at 1441 Main St. after nearly a decade in business. The Drip location in Five Points remains open.