COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just a couple of blocks north of Elmwood Avenue, something new and different for Columbia is happening on Sumter Street.
Frank Cason, the mastermind behind the creation of the War Mouth restaurant and bar which is not far away on Franklin Street, is now transforming the Dunn building into an upscale coffee house and bar.
Indah Coffee Company will be the headquarters for a brand well known to Soda City Market and Earthfare shoppers. It's a place where customers can see the coffee being made and even taste it on site.
"The hope is that this is something unique to not only Columbia, not only this area but also all of Columbia," said Cason. "There are other people who roast their own beans. There are other people who have high-end coffee, of course. This is, as far as we know, the largest roaster of its kind in Columbia."
In one wing of the building, there is Circa Barber Shop – a two-seat hair styling salon which originally opened in Main Street's historic Arcade Mall.
The new businesses could be up and running in March adding to a sudden burst of activity off North Main Street with entrepreneurs expanding into a community offering dozens of available, affordable commercial locations.
"We feel like that there is no area in Columbia that has any bigger perception gap, from perception to reality than the area of upper Main is what they're calling it now," said Cason. "But Cottontown, Elmwood Park, Earlewood, etc., and son much of that of that is because of the blight of the commercial areas and/or the businesses that have been located here."
Also coming to the North Main region is a new restaurant from chef Kristian Niemi as well as plans from legendary peanut and popcorn company Cromer's to relocate in the area.