Columbia diners and coffee lovers will see familiar hot spots in all-new locations this fall and winter.
Downtown small business owners of popular restaurants including The Dotted Lime, Buck + Board and Wolf & Scout are revamping their locations and approach to business.
Although Buck + Board, located next to the Linen Duck at 109 E. 6th Street, has closed, the restaurant will reopen in a new location, making way for the year-old Wolf & Scout cafe to move in.
Wolf & Scout is expanding from its current location in the Columbia Arts Building to the East 6th Street location. The walls are up, the cafe is set up, and the table and chairs are being placed to soon serve Wolf & Scout’s loyal customers, as well as a few new ones.
When running a small business, facing challenges and rapid change is inevitable – especially with rising food prices and widespread shortages of workers in the service sector – but not impossible to overcome when you have support from other small business entrepreneurs.
The three brands that have become the city’s go-to restaurants and cafes help each other by providing new opportunities by sharing and changing space.
It all started when Debbie Cooper, owner of Buck & Board, was faced with the decision to close the East 6th Street restaurant after four years. Over those years, Buck & Board had established itself as a popular brunch spot, as well as one of many businesses that helped develop the East 6th Street neighborhood into a popular place for social gatherings just nearby. from the town center square.
After numerous attempts to relocate Buck & Board to places like the Columbia Arts District, as well as further down East 6th Street, Cooper said she was out of options and unsure if Buck and Board may one day find a new home.
“We were kind of in limbo looking for a place, kind of like The Dotted Lime was, just looking,” Cooper said. “I thought I wasn’t going to open it, because it had been too mentally taxing.”
Vineyard to come
Buck and Board wasn’t the only East 6th Street business to close or relocate recently. Vintage Winery announced in July that it would be moving elsewhere.
Meanwhile, another winery arrives in Colombia. Grinder’s Switch Winery announced that a lease was signed at 510 N. Garden St. in early August at the Marketplace of the South stores where Tallgrass Meat Company, Lime & Loaf, Needle and Grain and Little Juice Company are located.
“Stay tuned for more as we begin this exciting new addition,” the post reads.
Cranky Yankee Farm
While all of this was going on, Paul and Crissy Jensen, owners of The Dotted Lime, were also faced with a tough decision.
After launching its new restaurant The Cranky Yankee on East 5th Street earlier this year, the business began to encounter many challenges, which ultimately culminated in the recent closure of the short-lived business.
“We had a big vision for some kind of ‘alcohol-free’ living room with the concept of meat and three types, but as we went on there were more and more obstacles that seemed to arise. “said owner Paul Jensen. “We were continually faced with many challenges that simply required a lot more mental energy than we wanted to put in.”
The Jensens also announced they would be stepping down from their partnership with Smith & York at Lime & Loaf Kitchenette, which also opened earlier this year at 510 N. Garden St.
Jensen said the tasks of running multiple businesses “created too many distractions” and that he and his wife Crissy needed to focus their strengths elsewhere, primarily in Crissy’s baking expertise.
“We thought our best opportunity was to branch out beyond The Dotted Lime and restaurants,” Paul said. “We have 100% realized that what Crissy has created will be what we need to focus our energy on going to market.”
They have now focused on their bakery, located at 1806 S. Main St., as well as using the former Cranky Yankee’s scullery for their growing restaurant business.
The South Main Bakery, which the Jensens have operated for about two years, also opened a customer area in the lobby, where customers can place orders, as well as purchase breads, pastries, pies, cakes and snacks. other freshly prepared special items.
“Every day we make several standard baked goods, like cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones, cookies, several types of bread,” Crissy said. “Our ‘trifecta’ is that we’ve had most of this stuff since the original Dotted Lime brick and mortar. We just brought it all back here.”
What has mainly kept this family of chefs and entrepreneurs going is the support shared by customers, friends and fellow business owners. The Jensens hope that this next adventure will create a new way to connect with customers, but also to continue their journey by sharing their gourmet recipes with the public.
“We really appreciated having a space to still say ‘Hello’ and to connect with people, to be a bit of a part of their lives,” Crissy said. “The businesses around here, I think we’ve all learned a lot together over the past two years, really learned how to prioritize our time, our effort and our energy, and where it’s spent. For us, that means really looking into the future, and we think this space and our neighborhood has a lot of really cool potential.”
An unexpected offer changes everything
On a trip to Paris to escape the stress, Cooper said she was “seriously considering” closing the doors of the popular Buck + Board restaurant for good.
That is, until she got home and got a call from the Jensens to see if she was interested in moving into their old Cranky Yankee spot, located on the corner of 5th and Main Streets. .
“Paul said to me, ‘Hey, we’re going down another road. Would you like to sublet the building,” Cooper said. “I had felt like he gave me a gift, which he did, but he also felt the same because he wanted to spend more time on their gluten-free baking mixes and things like that. We both feel good about that.”
Paul said he thinks the move will be good for both companies, in how they can work together to accomplish what’s best for each other.
“To overcome these roadblocks and obstacles, we thought this would be a great opportunity to reach out to Debbie,” Paul said. “We thought it would be a good fit for both of our businesses.”
The new Buck + Board site is currently undergoing renovations, along with the process of renewing its wine license at the new location.
Cooper said she hopes it will all be over by October.
She is looking forward to reopening to customers, both local regulars and new faces, she said.
“We’re going to have a lot of the same stuff, and a lot of new stuff too. I just can’t wait to hurry up and get it done,” Cooper said.
‘Scouting’ for new heights downtown
With the availability of the former Buck + Board location, local cafe co-owner Chase Bobier of Wolf & Scout, who recently celebrated its first year in business at the Columbia Arts Building, saw an opportunity to expand.
Bobier said that while the CAB, 307 W. 11th St., has been a great place to start your own business, moving to a more central location adjacent to downtown will be a great opportunity to expand and offer more products to customers, such as food items.
The new location will attract more pedestrians as well as more first-timers, Bobier said, which is a crucial part of having a successful cafe.
“Coffee shops need this kind of impulse shopping,” he said.
“This is an important industry for us because your regulars can only take you so far. Now I love our regulars, many of whom have turned into friendships, and we have an absolute army of wonderful people here to help us. . But when 70% of your clientele are weekly/daily regulars, that’s just a small touch for cafes.”
Having already been open for a year and a half at CAB, added Bobier, was a great experience to have a startup. The space also proved to be a good starting point for other small businesses like Wolf & Scout, such as Needle & Grain and Glover’s Secondhand, both of which eventually opened their own physical stores.
“[The CAB] provided us with a great starting point,” Bobier said. “It really is a great place for business. It teaches you things like how to maximize efficiency and improve the process. And when you’ve finally earned enough, you know how to translate it into a better position.”
Although there is no official date for the official opening of Wolf and Scout at the former Buck + Board facility, Bobier said he expects to be up and running by the end of the year. ‘year.
“All that’s left to do is hook up and plug in the range hood for the stove, and the rest is just paperwork,” Bobier said. “So the race is almost over.”