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Arcade bar eyes early 2020 opening

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Arcade bar Transmission has a home and a food partner and is eyeing an opening date early next year.

Transmission will be located at 1712 Main St. next to jazz and tapas bar The Joint. Owner Cam Powell has been working to get the space ready for about two months while waiting for various permits and building out the bar’s kitchen.

A video game enthusiast gives a game a whirl during a pop-up appearance by arcade bar Transmission earlier this year in downtown Columbia. (Photo/Melinda Waldrop)That kitchen will have a permanent tenant. Local, mobile barbecue provider Smokey Loggins will set up a brick-and-mortar shop there, Powell said, providing the smoked wings that have become popular at Bar None in Five Points and other Columbia-area locations.

Powell said the partnership came about through years of friendship with Smokey Loggins owners Josh Bumgarner and Joe Thacker.

“It’s kind of been in the works for the last three or four months at this point, onboarding them and getting things ready,” Powell said. “They’re going to be slowing down with their events around town while we all hunker down and focus on the space itself.”

Powell said he’s almost ready to begin moving the classic arcade games he’s been collecting for months from their current storage unit home into the location. He’s targeting early 2020 for a grand opening.

“I’ve got hopes for as early as possible,” he said.

Powell, an area entrepreneur and 2014 journalism graduate of the University of South Carolina, has envisioned bringing an arcade bar to Columbia for years. He and investment partner Josh Rainwater began seriously pursuing the concept and shopping for a location last year.

“We’re excited,” Powell said. “We feel like the product that we’re going to be putting on the table for everybody at the end of the day is going to be great.”

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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