Plus, new restaurant announced in BullStreet District.
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🍅 Feeling saucy
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The sauces are a family recipe from co-owner Joe Cardinale. | Photo by COLAtoday
“I’m not one to leave reviews, but this charming Italian spot is what Columbia has been missing!” reads the top Yelp review from Caren M. for Bar Gran Sasso in Five Points.

When it closed for renovations earlier this year, it left a hole in the Columbia dining scene. Co-owners Joe Cardinale and Joby Wetzel now have their solution.

Don Luigi-9044.jpg

Alimentari Don Luigi is located in The Mills District in the former White Duck Taco location.


Photo by COLAtoday

Enter Alimentari Don Luigi: Italian Specialties and Bottle Shop, a new market from the Bar Gran Sasso owners located at 612 Whaley St. Unit C in the Mills District, formerly occupied by Granby Grill.

Named after Cardinale’s great-great-grandfather, Don Luigi offers some favorite dishes from Bar Gran Sasso and its sibling sandwich shop, Enzo’s. Enzo’s has also moved to The Mills District and is now located across the street.

What you’ll find in the new Italian market

“The sauces and meatballs are my grandmother’s recipes,” Cardinale said. The take-out cooler offers a variety of sauces, meatballs from Enzo’s subs, marinated olives, pimento cheese, and take-and-bake lasagnas.

Don Luigi

Co-owner Joe Cardinale pours a frozen cocktail to-go.


Photos by COLAtoday

Many wines have tags like “This is what I drank on my 40th birthday” and “I <3 Steak” to help you choose. Two slushie machines churn out “frosato” and “Frozen in Venice,” a frozen version of Bar Gran Sasso’s popular cocktail made with cold brewed espresso, sugar, and amaro, all bottled to-go. Pro tip — sip on one while you shop.

Other items include housemade sausage pinwheels for grilling, seasonal tomato pies with tomatoes from Chef Wetzel’s garden, freshly made blueberry and peach cobblers, and 14-month aged Benton’s Country Ham sliced on-demand.

The market also offers a variety of specialty items that may be hard to find elsewhere in town. It’s now open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Pro tip — get there early to snag a tomato pie.
What was the first business built in the Five Points District?

A. Piggly Wiggly
B. Claussen’s Bakery
C. Groucho’s
D. Gulf filling station
Prisma Health
Wednesday, July 10
  • City of Columbia 2024 Outdoor Adventure | Wednesday, July 10-Thursday, July 11 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Riverfront Park, 4122 River Dr., Columbia | $125 | Children can spend a week on the water in kayaks exploring the city’s waterways.
Thursday, July 11
  • The Prom | Thursday, July 11 | 8 p.m. | Trustus Theatre, 520 Lady St., Columbia | $35 | Four fading Broadway stars are in desperate need of a new stage look to snag the spotlight in this fun musical.
Friday, July 12
  • Gentle Morning Yoga on Boyd Plaza | Friday, July 12 | 7-8 a.m. | Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., Columbia | Free | The class takes place on Boyd Plaza and can be taken on a mat or sitting in a chair; both will be provided.
  • Nashville Nights Concert Series | Friday, July 12 | 6 p.m. | Steel Hands Brewing, 2350 Foreman St., Cayce | Free | Nashville Nights features talented singer/songwriters traveling from Nashville, TN for special live music performances.
  • Folklore and Legends Lantern Tour | Friday, July 12 | 9-10 p.m. | Historic Camden, 222 Broad St., Camden | $10 | Hear tales of Martha Lenoir, The Little White Dog, The Quaker Cannon, Young Andrew, and The Headless Horseman.
Saturday, July 13
  • Cars and Coffee | Saturday, July 13 | 7-11 a.m. | AMC Theater 14, 122 Afton Ct., Columbia | Free | Check out cool cars while you sip on a warm cup of Joe.
  • The Market at Icehouse | Saturday, July 13 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington | Price of purchase | The market is intended for farmers, growers, and local artisans to share their products in a community-friendly atmosphere.
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Add to cal: Free summer fun at the CMA
A museum visitor takes a photo of an abstract painting
Checking out summer exhibition "(Un)Settled: The Landscape in American Art” is one way to enjoy admission-free access to the CMA this summer.|Photo by Victor Johnson / Columbia Museum of Art
There’s plenty of summer left, COLA — and plenty of time to enjoy free access to the Columbia Museum of Art.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Reminder: Admission for all of the above? Free, thanks to a generous grant from Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.
News Notes
Coming Soon
  • Earlier this year, we shared that Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar is coming to downtown Cola, now we know the location. The seafood restaurant will open at 2151 Boyce St. in the BullStreet District, across the street from Segra Park. No date has been announced.
  • Jeff Dunham and his characters are coming to Colonial Life Arena on Thursday, Oct. 17. Known for his ventriloquist comedy, Dunham has been named Billboard’s Top Comedy Tour and cited by Forbes as a top-earning comedian. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 15.
  • On Friday, July 5, Hootie and the Blowfish celebrated the 30th anniversary of their debut album “Cracked Rear View.” With 23.2 million albums sold, it’s one of the top-selling records of all time. Celebrate with them on Thursday, Aug. 29 + Friday, Aug. 30 at Colonial Life Arena.
  • The South Carolina Manufacturing Conference and Expo will launch the “Palmetto Proud” program on Thursday, Nov. 7, celebrating products made in SC. Nominations for this recognition are open.
  • Goodale State Park in Camden recently added a $96,000 playground and a 30-foot floating walkway for easier kayak access. Park Manager John Wells highlighted the park’s unique features to the Free Times, including carnivorous plants, diverse bird species, and occasional alligators.
  • Who is the Gamecock’s biggest football opponent next season? Go beyond the scoreboard and behind the scenes of the Gamecocks with Locked On’s daily, team-focused podcasts.
    • Did you know? Most common knee injuries can be treated and recovered from. So don’t ignore the pain. Learn more about knee injuries + what you can do about them.*
    • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
    🍢 Gold medal of flavor

    Boyd Plaza, the site of the 2024 Restaurant Summer Games.


    Photo by @COLAtoday

    Let the games begin. Some of Columbia’s favorite restaurants are gathering in Boyd Plaza, 1515 Main St., for the Restaurant Summer Games, featuring dishes from around the world.

    From 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4 Cola’s culinary talent will participate in competitions inspired by the Olympics, showcasing a dish and a cocktail of choice. Profits from the event will go towards each restaurant’s charity of choice.

    Participating in the competition will be Hampton Street Vineyard (France), Hanabi Hibachi and Sushi (Japan), Bierkeller (Germany), Ratio (Peru), Bodhi Thai (Thailand), Warmouth (USA), and Villa Tronco (Italy).

    The festival atmosphere will feature an open bar with Bierkeller’s German brews, ping pong from Carolina Pong, corn hole, and soccer. Don’t worry about the tunes, a DJ will keep the energy high, and a photo booth will capture your favorite moments.
    The Buy
    Cozy Earth’s Bamboo Viscose Sheet Set, so you can enjoy soft, luxurious sheets that also keep you cool. How you know they’re good: The sheets were featured on Oprah’s 2018 Favorite Things list.
    The Wrap
    David Stringer wearing a dark button-down shirt Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    Speaking of Hootie and the Blowfish and the “Cracked Rear View” era, here’s an MTV special on Columbia’s music scene filmed in 1996. MTV was in town to film Hootie perform for the show Unplugged, live on the Horseshoe at USC. It’s fun to see what the spots in Five Points looked like then vs. now.
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