New retail establishments are coming to the Congaree Vista, while beautification and improvement projects are progressing.
Gervais Street is the site of two new shops in the heart of the Vista. City Grit, a food and specialty market offering artisan goods, gifts, beer, wine and house-made dips, is now open at 707 Gervais, while Boku Kitchen and Saloon, a Pan-Asian restaurant, will be opening soon at 916 Gervais, former site of Sure Fire Tacos. The dog-friendly restaurant will feature igloo dining for year-round outdoor seating, according to a news release. Its menu will feature traditonal wok-style cooking, while its bar will include craft beer, wine and cocktails as well as a selection of sake.
The Donut Guy, featuring hot mini yeast/cake donuts with toppings such as maple glaze and bacon, will be opening soon at 1215 Lincoln St. And next spring, the Cambria Hotel at the corner of Park and Lady streets is slated to be ready to receive guests.
Additionally, landscaping and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks have been completed along Park Street, with improved lighting and outdoor seating still to come. Park Street restaurants remain open.
The Greene Street Phase II improvement project, part of a $21.2 million Richland County Transportation Penny Tax program connecting downtown Columbia to the Congaree riverfront through additional pedestrian and bike access, is scheduled to be completed in January.
The Greene Street project includes the addition of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Huger to Gadsden streets as well as the construction of a new two-lane bridge with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes over the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroad tracks. A shade structure along the bridge is slated to be installed by June of 2022, when Greene Street will be open to drivers and pedestrians.
Devine and Gadsden streets at the railroad crossings will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians when the Greene Street bridge opens.
The Vista has seen the departure of several businesses since 2019, including Casual Pint, Flying Saucer, Newk's, Nonnah's, World of Beer and Carolina Strip Club steak restaurant. The Starbucks at 831 Gervais St. closed last month.