The Daily Gamecock

TakoSushi, Flying Biscuit Café among summer additions to Columbia's dining scene

After a three-year hiatus, TakoSushi re-opened in late July on Main Street. The fusion-focused restaurant offers multiple different types of food like nachos and sushi. TakoSushi, along with other restaurants in Columbia, went through multiple renovations in the summer. 

New restaurant openings and intensive renovations brought new life to three historic Columbia buildings this summer. 

TakoSushi opened in the Arcade Building in July. The fusion-focused restaurant, where one can find both nachos and sushi, returns to Columbia following a three-year hiatus due to a dispute with a landlord. 

Owners James Williams and Chris Sullivan purchased the company in May and continued developing plans that began early this year to open a Columbia location. 

“We are excited to engage with all of sort of the working professionals in that area, but also over the years, Main Street has really become more of a living district as well,” Williams said. “We're seeing tons of new apartment complexes pop up ... the walkability has gotten a lot better."

Williams, a Columbia native, said he wants to capitalize on the opportunity to engage with USC students after seeing newfound traffic in the area.

“It's really for the first time in my life that I've seen students are living on Main Street,” Williams said. 

To draw in the nearby student crowd, TakoSushi offers students free chips and queso when dining in if they show their student ID. The promotion will run through the end of September, according to Lea Trail, the marketing and beverage manager for Sullivan Management Group. 

Williams says TakoSushi has food for everyone — whether they are vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian. 

Almost a year after it was first announced, the Flying Biscuit Café opened in Five Point’s Treadwell development. COVID-induced supply chain disruptions delayed the arrival of large kitchen equipment by 16 weeks according to co-owner John Robert Barth in January. Now, the parking lot is the only thing left unfinished — which co-owner Kevin White said should take another six weeks to complete. 

<p>Inside the Flying Biscuit Café in Five Points</p>
Inside the Flying Biscuit Café in Five Points

The café serves breakfast featuring Southern staples like shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles, along with a full bar, all day. 

To White's discovery, the cafe's setup, which allows customers to get a alcoholic beverage alongside their meal, meshes well with the stereotypically bar laden Five Points atmosphere.

"I didn't realize that many people drink during the week," White said. 

For those looking for weekend brunch, be aware reservations are not accepted.  White has one tip to nab a table. 

“Get there early, once it gets to about 12 o’clock, that's when it really picks up,” White said. 

The 1200 Main St. building — home of both The Whig and Family Fresh Mex — is undergoing major renovations. The owner of Family Fresh Mex, Jesus Ramirez, expects to remain in the building but he could be forced to shuffle around the construction.  

“I know they say The Whig is closing, but I hope they don't say anything about us (closing),” Ramirez said. 

Earlier plans to move to 1202 Main St. have been scrapped by the building owners, according to Ramirez. 

“(The building owners) tell me (I have) three months before I have to move around,” Ramirez said. “The good thing about it is we can put a trailer in the front and then have a seating area (in the lobby).”

The construction — which would force Family Fresh Mex to return to its food truck roots — coincides with the anticipated timing of The Whig’s closure. Ramirez said he would need the city’s approval to station his food truck outside during the renovations. 

The Whig cited the renovations and a change in the ownership of the building as the reasons for its eminent closure in a tweet on Aug. 11. The Whig expects to be open through Halloween and no official closing date has been announced.