New parks draw activity to State + Meeting, free WiFi too

The new parks in West Columbia are sparking activity in the business community.

“You can see it coming,” said Mark Plessinger, owner of Frame of Mind at 140 State Street. “You can feel it coming.”

Plessinger said the new mural off of State Street in the alleyway leading to the Interactive Art Park and Artisan Market, open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays, is a definite draw. And soon there will be more opportunities for visitors. The new Westside Restaurant is coming to 118 State and a restaurant named Palate is coming to 116 State Street.

“A lot more is happening,” Plessinger said. “It’s coming together.”Plessinger also said the Cigar Box, at 134 State, upstairs, is driving more regional clientele. “There is more traffic and new types of customers.” 

The new Enabling Park on Hudson Street, set to open in October, will enhance the business district even more.

To help promote the area, Plessinger and other businesses have developed a Facebook page called State + Meeting.. “It defines a specific area for us to market,” said Plessinger. 

In addition to those two new businesses, there will be retail space opening across the street, in the bottom floor of the Brookland complex. “It’s a great place to come shop, eat and play,” said Plessinger.

Plessinger said the development of the State and Meeting Street corridor will definitely be enhanced when the Enabling Park is opened on Hudson Street, across from Riverwalk. The park will include more than 70 parking spaces to go along with 125 public parking spots in a garage in the Brookland development.

Other featured events in the area include the Rhythm on the River Fall Concert Series. The first one is Friday (Sept. 27.) The concerts are at the Riverwalk Amphitheater and begin at 6 p.m. every Friday until Oct. 25.

The Fall Back Fest with Prettier Than Matt and 10 local artists painting is from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in 100 Block of State Street on Nov. 1. There is also a First Friday in October on State Street.  It is Oct.4, from 6-9 p.m

At First Friday in October Rob Shaw Gallery and Framing at 324 State Street, West Columbia will present an opening reception for artists Kim Oakley Case, Lindsay R. Wiggins, Dylan Fouste, Leah Richardson, Diane Gilbert and Jill Rains.

“This show has a range of mediums and styles represented, said Shaw, “From vintage photography to ceramics and violin sculptures to abstract expressionism. What holds them all together and makes the show work as a whole is the high quality of artistic craft. Each artist has their own space in the show and the viewer can walk around and get to know each one personally.”

Behind the Rob Shaw Gallery is The Warehouse at 312 State Street. The Warehouse is a local consignment shop that buys and sells furniture, lighting, home décor, vintage items, antiques, artwork, and more. It also has a large variety of salvaged architecture, re-purposed items, and items that need a creative touch and some care. It displays original artwork by local artists, too. There is also a new business thriving on Meeting Street. 

Primal Gourmet opened in July. It serves “Delicious meals that fit your lifestyle. “We really love being here,” said Easton Jackson, Primal Gourmet’s customer service manager. She said since opening the restaurant has expanded its daily menu and its market. 

At its Sept. 12 grand opening, Primal Gourmet had 300 people come in. “That was very exciting,” said Jackson. Primal Gourmet is also offering tailgate packages and office lunches. It will also open earlier in the morning beginning Monday (Sept. 30.)

Free WiFi at West Columbia parks
There is more than just more parking at the parks, too. West Columbia City Administrator Brian Carter said in his address at the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber Breakfast Tuesday that there is free WiFi in West Columbia’s parks.

The City of West Columbia’s free WiFi can be accessed at: The West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater at 121 Alexander Rd: the Interactive Art Park at 425 Meeting St., Butler Park, 1100 Raleigh St. and Douglas Reeves/Community Center at 781 Augusta St. The Enabling Park on Hudson Street and the Moffatt Street entrance to Riverwalk will have free WiFi coming soon. 

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