LAKE CITY, S.C. -- New dining options are among several projects slated for completion this year in Lake City. Visit Lake City SC executive director Seth Kines said many of the 2018 and 2019 construction projects in the city have come to fruition.
Starting with Piggybacks BBQ & Catfish. Mitchell and Shannon Sims won the inaugural Lake City Launchpad competition last year. They own and operate Piggybacks BBQ & Catfish food stand and catering business.
By winning the Lake City Launchpad Competition, the couple received $55,000 in cash and incentives to launch their business in a permanent location on Sauls Street. The restaurant opened earlier this spring, and Kines said it has been “wildly successful.”
“Lines out the door every day,” he said. “So that’s a great, great thing and great asset and addition to Sauls Street.”
According to piggybacksbbq.com, the restaurant is open every day except Tuesday, serving lunch and dinner.
A new pop-up restaurant is now occupying the space at 118 E. Main St. in Lake City. 118 Bar and Grille opened in the downtown space on March 12 and is expected to operate for 60 days.
“After ArtFields, it will close to go through a complete overhaul and renovation, and we’re going to extend the bar, just totally redo that,” Kines said. “And the plan is for that new concept to open in the fall of 2019.”
Snax is another new restaurant expected to open this month. Kines said the restaurant, to be on the corner of Sauls and Acline streets, will sell foods such as ice cream, hot dogs, sandwiches, soda and chips. Construction is underway on the project.
Crossroads on Main, the in-house restaurant at The Inn at the Crossroads, reopened in April. The renovated space includes a new bar area, outdoor seating options and an expanded seating area indoors.
“I’m really excited about it,” Kines said. “It’s going to be a fine dining, chophouse experience.”
Sauls Street is becoming its own experience in Lake City, especially with the additions of Piggybacks BBQ & Catfish, a butcher shop, Snax, the relocation of the ArtFields office and other shops that are already there, Kines said. Fiesta Friday, a festival hosted the first Friday in March through October, has also moved to Sauls Street.
“So we close the street. We have music out on the street, vendors, Piggybacks and some of the other restaurants or shops on Sauls Street set up tables out front,” Kines said. “It’s really the Sauls Street experience that transforms for that night.”
The full schedule for Fiesta Friday can be found on visitlakecitysc.com.
There are still plans to have Sauls Street paved with bricks and to install Edison lights over the street.
An RV park is expected to open this year at Festival Park, the complex that housed the R.O.B.
Kines said he is starting to see, for the first time, other people starting to pitch in in Lake City besides the community development office and its entities. He said other revitalization is being driven by outside forces, and that is evident in the Wendy’s that is being built in Lake City and the purchase of the Lake City Inn, which is being converted to the Quality Inn and Suites.
“We’re starting to see where we have primed the pump and now other investors and other people are starting to come to Lake City and invest their own money, their own capital into projects in Lake City,” Kines said. “And they wouldn’t be doing that if they didn’t see the opportunity.”