Answered: If you’re really a local to Columbia, SC you know….

The corner of Huger + Gervais Streets | photo by COLAtoday team

We asked, and, boy did you answer

Between our social media platforms, the newsletter, and our email inbox, 100+ of you shared local nuggets of knowledge about our city — and we loved reading all of the responses.

We don’t want anyone feeling left out, so we’re going over some of the answers so everyone can know what makes Columbia, well, Columbia.   

Let’s start with the basics.

1️⃣ “I give up, what’s a “Soda citizen?” — @andysmithsc86

That’s us! But where did that term come from? Columbia SC’s nickname is Cola. Cola is used as another name for soda. Soda City = Soda Citizens

Let’s step it up a notch. 

The corner of Huger + Gervais Streets | photo by COLAtoday team

2️⃣ If you’re a local, “you know how to pronounce Huger and Gervais.” – @fordboydbailey

It’s pronounced YOU-GEE and JER-VAY. But, the real kicker is if you know where those names originate. A little local trivia for you

Huger Street is named after Isaac Hugera French Huguenot — who was a  brigadier general and veteran of the Cherokee + American Revolution Wars. Born in 1742 (some say 1743), he also served in the SC Senate, House of Representatives, and the First Provincial Congress. Read more about him — and the famous street here

Gervais Street is named after John Lewis GervaisA German-born, French Huguenot — who helped establish Columbia as the capital city and named the city in 1786.

Let’s see if you know this one.

Rockaway’s famous pimento cheese burger | photo by @forrestclonts

3️⃣ If you’re a local, You know where Rockaway’s is.”  — @d_cantelmi

Do you know where this unmarked restaurant is? “Rockaway’s” is short for Rockaway Athletic Club. Located at 2719 Rosewood Dr., Rockaway’s is known for its pimento cheese burgers, pimento cheese fries, and The South Carolina Liquor Library.

Did you know all of those? We challenge you to look below + put your local knowledge to the test. From train schedules, unspoken road rules, and local lingo— see how much you really know about Columbia.

  1. You know where Soda City Market started (original location). — @merrittm13
  2. You grew up hearing stories of the Three Eyed Man in the tunnels and sewers of downtown! — @colascgirl
  3. You know how to pronounce Huger and Gervais – @fordboydbailey
  4. What Red Hots and Sharky’s were —
  5. Do you remember the newsprint smell of The Capitol Newsstand on Main? Or how much fun it was to spin on the barstools at The Seaboard Diner? Do you know where the Seaboard Diner was? — @dremeboatannie
  6. When Cromer’s Peanuts used to be in Dutch Square Mall — @mssunshine803
  7. Hash — @richardomarx
  8. You know Blue Sky & where his art is located around Cola — @deb27west
  9. Where did the phrase “famously hot” come from? — @abundantgraze_sc
  10. You know who Dog West is — @myowngirlfriday
  12. Cromer’s peanuts used to be in Dutch Square Mall and they had monkeys in the glass front of the store. — @maggiegray927
  13. I give up, what’s a “Soda citizen”? — @andysmithsc86
  14. The Whig — @enchantpix
  15. You know Mack’s on Laurel St. has the best hamburgers hands down! — @rachwest89
  16. You know where the best boiled peanut stands are and when they’re open! — @ruthwiley_guildmortgage
  17. The n on the Five Points logo painted on the train trestle going to campus isn’t capitalized. — @alexmfogle
  18. Tunnel Vision and Classics — @heatherlynnstrebig
  19. Hearing “Hello my friend,” “hello my dear” before eating deliciousness — @margaret_ruth
  20. You are more active in your neighborhood [Facebook] group than you care to be — @megangcarlton
  21. You ate at Hooligan’s — @marysarahk
  22. You know where Rockaway’s is — @d_cantelmi
  23. You’re from Columbia if you’ve passed No Name Deli on Elmwood and thought, “I should go there sometime” but never do. — @micahperoulis
  24. How to find Mr. Friendlys! — @emmabearcat
  25. You know who the chicken man is. — @alyssalfarris
  26. Why George Washington’s cane is broken in front of the State House.— @laura.gisler
  27. …. That @grouchos_deli 45 sauce will cause life-long addictions. — @gamecockshan
  28. Dog West is an icon. — @tjoshbennett
  29. You know what the Publix building on Gervais used to be – @alanpiercy
  30. Rupert’s Blue Dog Cafe – @kunaldas
  31. Edna’s drive in💔 a taste of my childhood! – @victoriarose2011
  32. Zestos has the best fried chicken. Just look for the chocolate cone in the sky! — @cody_brodie_
  33. Kinch’s — @luvmama
  34. Tunnels. — @hubcap_carl
  35. Lake Murray sunsets — @haydenrothschild
  36. Convincing the trains to blow their horns while sunbathing on “Party Rock” at the Granby Riverwalk — @timlandholt
  37. Onnie’s hot dogs — @alicekle
  38. How to get to Williams Brice without crossing a railroad track — @eking1231
  39. You know that Rush’s is a staple — @aishaaude_
  40. Labrascas Pizza🍕 — @angierye
  41. Belk’s and Berry’s on Main. And Christmas windows at Belk’s — @jbballance
  42. You know what those stars on the outside of the State House represent. — @sandylaneyphotography
  43. JB Whites was the best department store! — @kershawkwilts
  44. Beezers has the best sandwiches in cola!! — @mrs.mmyi
  45. The locations for every Bojangles in town. — @micahperoulis
  46. You toldMr. Knozit what you wanted to be when you grew up! — @taytompkins
  47. Cromer’s popcorn and peanuts — @kerryandmissy
  48. You know about the catacombs — @med_zeppelin_
  49. Congaree isn’t a fancy drum circle… — @djacousticmotorcycle
  50. The State House Dome was a copper brown and is turning green due to weathering.🙌🏽 — @sayednairb
  51. The old Richland Mall — @jjhough1122
  52. Bandana man — @fluffygyaldat
  53. The Chicken Man and would recognize him on the street — @megankrystofik
  54. Tapp’s was a department store before it was a art center — @trashcanwillie
  55. Loose Lucy’s! — @samanthacbrown
  56. Nightcaps. End of discussion. — @inamichelle
  57. You know about the salamanders around downtown — @elisabeth.brenna
  58. You know there used to be a trolley line along wide median on Saluda Ave between Five Points and Haywood St. — @alanpiercy
  59. To turn on your brights driving down Millwood at night — @gandyrobbie
  60. The old Cafe Strudel spot. — @nikkikuhlen
  61. Mr. Popper’s caramel corn and Icees with ice cream on top. — @youaremysunshine10
  62. Gouda Mac — @dnancejr
  63. Columbia used to have one of the oldest underground “subways.” It was horse drawn under Main St — @jakonesko
  64. Camping out for NUMEROUS concerts for sometimes numerous nights at the original Coliseum 😁 — @thecorkedcook
  65. Chucky Cheese was Showbiz pizza first — @7_d_j_p_7
  66. Alligator Man story — @fluffygyaldat
  67. Joyful Alternative still lives in the hearts of 90s kids. — @staceybee313
  68. Pizza Man!!!! RIP — @abigail3607789
  69. You remember the old ET sign over the bike shop in Triangle City in the 80s. — @faireundefi
  70. You know Garners Ferry smells like dog food — @lauraanne803
  71. In 1964 there was a A&W Rootbeer drive up restaurant (Sonic Style) on Devine St. — @mimi2some
  72. You’ve actually seen the Ra statue — @gumbynator
  73. 🐓Ernest Lee (AKA Chicken Man) — @mikeys_cereal 
  74. Underground Columbia — @allison_m_bertram
  75. …that @transmissionarcade “The Arcade Bar” has the best late night bar food downtown…🤤😶🤭🙃😆 — @avadbraxton
  76. Social Pig — @kedmiston66
  77. That people have tried to drive in Blue Sky’s tunnel — Becky P.
  78. Heathwood Hall is not in Heathwood, and Shandon Baptist Church is not in Shandon. — Sandi Reid B. 
  79. Meet at the rocket! — Hillary H.
  80. Town Theatre is the oldest continuously running Community Theatre in the United States. — Chris K. 
  81. History of Survey Building in Eau Claire — Julie Hunt B.
  82. Best ways to get around the trains that come through at 5 o’clock and actually stop on the tracks. — Meagan H.
  83. That Carolina played Clemson on Big Thursday — Salley R.
  84. Five Points and The Vista — Chris K.
  85. Adluh Grits — Lynetta M.
  86. Gibbes machinery company . Kline steel. — Linda H.
  87. Pimento cheese fries at Rockaways. — Susan Funderburk G.
  88. Egyptian mural — Laney C.
  89. Herb’s Grill. — Renee B.
  90. West Columbia is the BEST Columbia — Suzanne R.
  91. Cola = Columbia — Renee R.
  92. That saying I was stuck behind a train is a legitimate excuse — Laura R.
  93. That the frozen food (especially pizza) and general housewares sections of Target will be practically sold out for the whole month of August (because students moved back in) — Laura R. 
  94. That you always need to park up on the sidewalk on Devine to avoid getting hit — Laura R. 
  95. That meters are no joke and you will get a ticket 95% of the time you don’t pay them — Laura R. 
  96. How Five Points used to be (RIP Pav’s, Dr. Rocco’s, Cockpit, Sharky’s, Knock Knock Club, Chubby’s, Pops Pizza, Sub Pub, Harper’s and so many more) — Laura R. 
  97. What it was really like to see your friends’ houses, the stores you frequent and the roads you take every day covered in flood water — Laura R.
  98. That anonymous brick building on Rosewood holds the best pimento cheeseburger and pimento cheese fries in town. — Roxanne A.
  99. WIS stands for Wonderful Iodine State. — Angela T.
  100. Do you know that Mr. Cain Neely ran a grits mill and small grocery story on the corner of Huger and Tobacco Streets (now Catawba St.) in the Granby Mill village? Mr Neeley ground corn Into grits and also corn meal. — James K.
  101. If you’re a local, you know not to try and pass someone while driving on the Gervais Street Bridge. — COLAtoday City Editor, Sam
  102. Don’t even try to do anything outside in August — it’s not worth it. — COLAtoday Intern, Katie.
  103. What Rox Chix means. — COLAtoday City Editor, David.


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