Across from the Food Lion in Five Points sits a quaint restaurant, complete with outdoor seating adorned with blue umbrellas. A case of mouthwatering pastries greets one upon entering, and a cheery staff is eager to help one select a meal from a walled menu of teal and orange script.
Rise, a “gourmet goods and bakeshop,” opened shortly before the flood, serving breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner until 8 p.m. on weekdays. Charley Scruggs, who helped open the new establishment, said, “We have a mixture of daily pastries that we make in house. We make them all fresh every morning. And we have a mixture of a lunch menu with sandwiches and salads and also a breakfast menu with breakfast bowls and breakfast sandwiches.”
The owner of the restaurant, Sarah Simmons, is a local at heart. She grew up in Columbia and attended Spring Valley high school. Her passion for cooking encouraged her to enter and win the Food & Wine Home Cook Superstar contest in 2010, and prompted Simmons to open the restaurant City Grit in 2011. Her most recent restaurant, Birds and Bubbles, opened in New York about a year ago. Wanting to “come back to town and get back to her roots,” Sarah came back to Columbia and opened Rise, and a unique culinary experience was born.
Striving to inhabit a dining niche, Scruggs said, “One thing the city has needed for a while is a bakery that serves more than just bread and more than just cookies. We have a lot of very awesome bakeries in the city, but I think what we’re trying to do here is kind of offer a dining experience that people can’t find at those bakeries.”
Their most popular menu item, “The Gamecock,” is also one of Scruggs’ favorites. “It’s a fried chicken sandwich; its delicious. It comes with a little bit of Sriracha mayo and house-made pickles. It’s really simple but pretty awesome.”
The restaurant also has a variety of meals to choose from. Some examples include their breakfast bowl, composed of cheddar grits, house made breakfast sausage and poached egg is a delightful twist on a typical southern breakfast. For the vegetarians, the “Garden of Good Eatin’” sandwich is a delectable pile of roasted vegetables, sun-dried tomato spread and greens on a baguette roll. Freshly squeezed lemonade, along with orange basil and raspberry lime house-made sodas can accompany your meal. A variety of coffee is available, from Counter Culture drip coffee to cold brew, with burnt cinnamon and Tahitian vanilla house-made creams.