|Rick Patel, left, checks his cellphone while workers set up the new Starbucks coffee shop that will open Sept. 5 at the Sheraton Downtown Columbia Hotel. (Photo/Chris Cox)|
By Chris Cox
Published Aug. 26, 2015
Rick Patel always seemed to hear it whenever he would walk through his Sheraton hotel.
“We had a Starbucks kiosk when the hotel opened,” the hotelier recalled. “When the customers came, they wanted specific drinks that the kiosk couldn’t handle. Every day I saw that. That led to, ‘Let’s get the real deal.’”
|A new Starbucks will open in the Sheraton hotel at Main and Washington streets. (Photo/Staff)|
Patel will officially open his new Starbucks coffee shop below the Sheraton Downtown Columbia Hotel at Main and Washington streets next week. A soft opening is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5, with the ribbon-cutting event planned for the following Monday morning.
Gov. Nikki Haley, Mayor Steve Benjamin and a host of others are all expected to attend, he said.
The location will follow a new company model that includes selling beer and wine in the evenings and an expanded menu for breakfast. It will also be the first licensed Starbucks in the Southeast to carry a Clover Brewing System, where coffee never touches paper on its way to the cup.
The Starbucks will have 28 outdoor seats and 90 more indoors. All indoor seats are slated to have close access to power outlets. A computer zone in the 3,000 square foot space will have up to four plugs for each seat.
“We just wanted to take it to the top of the line,” he said.
The below ground facility has had an interesting history. It started as a shave-and-shower in 1913 and at one point became the Sherlock Holmes Pub. Patel later opened it as the Main Street Tavern restaurant when the Sheraton Hotel debuted.
The shop is just part of a major makeover taking place at the Main Street hotel. All rooms are currently being renovated, and the rooftop bar is in the design phase of its own remodel. The vault’s martini lounge will also have its own renovation, and the lobby will be the final piece in the facelift. No timetable is set on these projects.
“When I opened the Sheraton it was a turning point for Main Street,” Patel said. “This is the turning point for Main Street’s second phase.”
“We want to take care of Main Street,” he said.
Reach Chris Cox at 803-726-7545 or on Twitter @chrisbcox.