Car Accident Attorney inColumbia, SC

Let's Talk!

Platform Lifts-phone-nuber 843-936-6680

Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC Fighting
for Your Rights in Columbia, SC

When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in Columbia, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:

  • "What happens now?"
  • "How will I pay for my hospital bills?"
  • "Will I get fired from my job?"
  • "Will I be able to function independently ever again?"

With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.

While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.

Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dill‘s vast experience in the auto insurance industry.

Personal Injury Attorney Columbia, SC
Service Areas

We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Drunk Driving
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-Vehicle Accidents
  • Automobile Defects
  • Roadway Defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Uninsured Motorists or
    Underinsured Drivers
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Car Rental Accidents
  • RV Accidents

If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in Columbia. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.

The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.

We Recover Compensation
When You Need It Most

The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in Columbia, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.

How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:

  • Rehab-Related Expenses like
    Physical Therapy
  • All Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Lost Wages and Loss of
    Future Income Earning Ability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Columbia, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Columbia, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

What Our Clients Say

The Role of Negligence in Your
Columbia Personal Injury Case

If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.

 Car Accident Attorney Columbia, SC
At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, our team works to prove negligence
for our clients by proving:
  • The defendant had an obligation to look out for your safety.
  • The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  • There was causation between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • You suffered real damages.

After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.

Steps to Maximize Compensation
After an Accident in Columbia, SC

All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Columbia, follow these steps before doing anything else:


Go to a Doctor

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

File an
Accident Report

The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in Columbia, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.

Personal Injury Attorney Columbia, SC

Preserve Evidence
if Possible

Personal injury cases in Columbia are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Columbia, SC

Contact a Lawyer

One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in Columbia, SC. At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.

Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in Columbia, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.

 Car Accident Attorney Columbia, SC

Common Car Accidents in
Columbia, SC

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of Columbia's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow

Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.

Drunk driving accidents in Columbia care result in horrible injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Mental Anguish

If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in Columbia can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

Rental and RV Accidents

When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.

Fortunately, the lawyers at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.

If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in Columbia, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.

We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:

  • Injuries from Boating Ac
  • Rental Cars Injuries
  • RV Accidents
  • Jet Ski Injuries
  • Golf Cart Injuries
  • Rental cars
  • Boat accidents
  • ATV Accidents

Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.

Personal Injury Attorney Columbia, SC

Texting While Driving and
Distracted Driving Accidents

We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in Columbia. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.

Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,

They miss crucial road signs and information such as:

  • Changes in the Flow
    of Traffic
  • Traffic Lights
  • Traffic Signs
  • Work Zones
  • Bicyclists
  • Lane Changes
  • Incapacitate Cars and

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we represent injury victims in Columbia who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in Columbia, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Columbia, SC

Unflinching Legal Advocacy. Compassionate Care

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in Columbia and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.

We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.


Latest News in Columbia, SC

Is Columbia, SC, a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons to Calling Columbia Your Home

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina, Columbia offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities. As the state capital, it’s a bustling city that’s home to several colleges and universities, making it a vibrant and diverse community. But, like any place, there are pros and cons to living in Columbia. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor looking into the ...

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina, Columbia offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities. As the state capital, it’s a bustling city that’s home to several colleges and universities, making it a vibrant and diverse community. But, like any place, there are pros and cons to living in Columbia. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor looking into the Columbia housing market, this city has a whole heap of perks that more than make up for any downsides.

In this Redfin article, we’ll weigh the advantages against the disadvantages to calling South Carolina’s capital your new home.

Pros of living in Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina stands out as an affordable city to reside in. First, the cost of living in Columbia is 6% lower than the national average, providing residents with a favorable financial situation. Additionally, the median sale price in Columbia is $247,000, significantly below the national median of $419,000. Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment in Columbia or buy a home, you’ll find that doing so in this city is relatively affordable compared to the rest of the country. Furthermore, Columbia’s cost of living is 4% lower than both Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC, highlighting the city’s overall affordability in comparison to its neighboring regions.

Columbia is known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, which is a significant draw for many residents. The city has a strong sense of community, with residents taking pride in their hometown and working together to make it a great place to live. An excellent example of this is the Soda City Market, which takes place every Saturday morning in downtown Columbia. It’s a farmers market, craft fair, and community gathering all in one, where locals come together to shop for fresh produce, handmade crafts, and unique gifts, and to catch up with their neighbors. The market is a great way to experience Columbia’s Southern charm firsthand, and it’s a beloved local tradition.

Columbia’s climate is another advantage for those looking to live in a comfortable year-round environment. The city has a humid subtropical climate, which means hot summers and cool winters. However, the temperatures rarely reach extreme levels, with the hottest month, July, averaging a high of around 92 degrees Fahrenheit and the coldest month, January, averaging a low of around 36 degrees Fahrenheit. This mild climate allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year, from hiking and biking in the spring and fall to boating and swimming in the summer.

Columbia has a rich and fascinating history, with many landmarks and sites to explore. The South Carolina State House is a magnificent building that has been the seat of the state government since 1786. It’s open to the public for tours, and visitors can see historic documents, paintings, and sculptures. The Columbia Museum of Art is another great example of the city’s history, with a collection that spans centuries of European and American art, as well as modern and contemporary works. Finally, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a must-visit for anyone interested in the natural history of the area, featuring over 2,000 animals from around the world, including rare and endangered species.

Columbia is known for its delicious Southern cuisine, which is a highlight for foodies and casual diners alike. Barbecue is a particular specialty, with local spots like Southern Belly BBQ and Doc’s Barbecue serving up mouth-watering pulled pork and brisket. Seafood is another popular option, with restaurants like Blue Marlin and Pearlz Oyster Bar offering fresh and flavorful dishes. For something sweet, Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles is a local favorite, with its famous chicken and waffles combo and delicious sweet potato pie. Overall, there’s no shortage of fantastic dining options in Columbia, and residents can easily explore a variety of cuisines and styles.

Cons of living in Columbia

While the mild climate in Columbia is generally a plus, there is one major downside: the sticky, humid summers. For some folks, the humidity is no big deal, and they can handle a little bit of sweat and frizzy hair. But for others, the humidity can be downright unbearable, turning a leisurely stroll through the park into a sauna-like experience. Locals have all sorts of tips and tricks for surviving the summer months, from carrying a personal fan to avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. And let’s not forget about the dreaded “humidity hair” – that puffy, frizzy look that seems to defy all attempts at taming. So, if you’re planning to make Columbia your home, just be prepared for a little extra moisture in the air and maybe invest in a good leave-in conditioner.

Before you move to Columbia just know you’ll be in a constant battle with the state bird: the mosquito. While these pesky insects are not unique to Columbia, they do seem to have a particular affinity for the area’s warm and humid climate. As a result, locals have become experts at mosquito avoidance techniques, from slathering on bug spray to strategically positioning citronella candles around their yards. If there is any relief, mosquitos there tend to come swarming in seasons, so no worries because it won’t last forever. Be prepared to make friends with some itchy bumps and invest in plenty of insect repellent.

While there are certainly bars and clubs in the area, the scene may not be as extensive or diverse. Some visitors or new residents may find that the options for after-hours entertainment can feel limited, especially if they are used to a more vibrant nightlife. Part of the reason for this may be the size of the city.

That being said, Columbia still has plenty to offer for those looking to enjoy a night out on the town. The city has a number of popular bars and nightclubs, and there are also plenty of restaurants and cafes that stay open late, as well as outdoor parks and venues that host events and concerts throughout the year. While it may not offer the same level of nightlife options as some larger cities, Columbia can still be a fun and enjoyable place to spend an evening with friends or loved ones.

Columbia’s transportation options can be a challenge for those without access to a car, with a Walk Score of 35 out of 100, a Transit Score of 0 out of 100, and a Bike Score of 35 out of 100. While the city does have some public transportation options, such as buses and shuttles, the system may not be as comprehensive or efficient as in other cities, making it difficult for those who rely on public transportation to get around the city. Additionally, Finding parking in certain parts of Columbia can be challenging because the infrastructure may not be as developed or extensive as in other areas.

One potential drawback to living in Columbia is the risk of hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November. While Columbia is not located directly on the coast, it’s still vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes, such as heavy rainfall, strong winds, and power outages. In the past, the city has experienced damage from hurricanes and tropical storms, such as Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Tropical Storm Michael in 2018. While residents can take precautions to prepare for a hurricane, the risk of property damage and potential evacuation can be a concern for some.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Columbia Waffle House workers say they’ve faced retaliation but ‘aren’t backing down’

COLUMBIA — Employees at a Waffle House on Garners Ferry Road who went on strike over what they said are unsafe working conditions and low pay have told The Post and Courier they have faced retaliation from management.The Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW), which is representing the employees, has fil...

COLUMBIA — Employees at a Waffle House on Garners Ferry Road who went on strike over what they said are unsafe working conditions and low pay have told The Post and Courier they have faced retaliation from management.

The Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW), which is representing the employees, has filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, organizers and the NLRB website confirmed.

Following the filing, workers were sent a letter from Waffle House acknowledging the complaint.

The complaint, filed July 7, according to NLRB’s database, alleges that Waffle House managers took part in retaliatory practices against employees who helped serve a letter of demands on July 1.

On July 8, workers began a three-day strike at the 7428 Garners Ferry Road restaurant.

“I’ve been cut down to (working) three days a week now,” said Shae Parker, an employee who spoke out at the strike demonstration on July 8. “I went from a 45-to-51 (hours per week) schedule now to a 21-hour schedule.”

The group’s letter of demands delivered to management at the beginning of July included fair and consistent scheduling, sufficient security for each shift, higher pay and repairing to equipment.

The company communicated with workers via a letter dated July 11, provided to The Post and Courier by an organizer with the USSW. In the letter, Waffle House denied that its managers “have attempted to or are engaged in ongoing actions to intimidate (workers) or have committed unfair labor practices,” but said it takes the allegations seriously.

“It was a small victory,” Parker said. “They know that we’re strong. I don’t think (Waffle House) felt like we were going to be this strong and (that) it was going to go this far, but we’re not backing down.”

Workers say they were retaliated against

Waitress Summer Schoolmeester-Cochran, who served the letter of demands to managers, said she and another employee were pulled to the back of the restaurant and spoken to by the district and store manager on July 1, the day they served initial letter to the company.

“It wasn’t very nice,” she told The Post and Courier reporter on July 6. “We were basically told that we couldn’t do that and if we were to do it again, we should understand and know what the consequences are.”

She said the managers did not elaborate on the consequences they discussed.

When asked about the complaint and allegations of retaliation, Waffle House told The Post and Courier in a July 14 email statement, “We have received the complaint and will follow the process. As for addressing specifics, Waffle House generally does not comment on pending proceedings.”

The complaint alleges that Waffle House has violated sections of the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits employers from “interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed” by the law, which include the right to organize.

The NLRB is investigating the employees’ complaint, which it does for every charge it receives. Typically, the labor board comes to a decision within seven to 14 weeks, according to its website, but some cases can take longer.

The South Carolina workers have joined other service workers who have organized in the last few years — in June of last year, baristas at Columbia’s Millwood Avenue Starbucks became the third in the state to unionize their coffee chain store and, in January, Dollar General employees went on strike in Irmo.

Each year the NLRB receives anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 complaints, which are referred to as charges, from employees and unions regarding unfair labor practices. Cases in the Midlands make up roughly 20 percent of the 108 open NLRB cases from South Carolina from the last two years.

Unlock the Hidden Gems of Columbia, South Carolina: 10 Places to Visit in Columbia

Welcome to Columbia, South Carolina, a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and an abundance of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a local looking at houses for sale in Columbia on Redfin, or moving into an ...

Welcome to Columbia, South Carolina, a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and an abundance of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a local looking at houses for sale in Columbia on Redfin, or moving into an apartment near USC, there’s always something new and exciting to explore. From the bustling streets of downtown to the peaceful parks and gardens, living in Columbia offers a unique blend of urban and natural beauty.

But beyond the well-known attractions lies a world of hidden treasures that are waiting to be unlocked. We’ll take you on a journey to discover 10 of Columbia’s best-kept secrets, from off-the-beaten-path eateries to secluded parks and historic landmarks. So put on your exploring shoes and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Columbia, South Carolina.

1. The M. Gallery

This hidden gem on Main Street is a must-visit for lovers of art and culture. Tucked away in a historic building, The M. Gallery is an art gallery and event space that showcases a wide range of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. The space itself is impressive, with high ceilings and large windows that let in plenty of natural light, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere. The M. Gallery also hosts a variety of events, from art openings and live music performances to yoga classes and poetry readings. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and inspiring experience, the gallery is a hidden gem that’s well worth discovering.

2. Lula Drake Wine Parlour

This hidden wine bar and restaurant is located in the heart of downtown, but is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Housed in a historic building, Lula Drake offers a cozy and intimate setting for enjoying a glass of wine or a delicious meal. The menu features a selection of small plates, perfect for sharing, as well as a wide range of wines by the glass or bottle. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and happy to help you find the perfect wine to pair with your meal. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, Lula Drake is a hidden gem that’s perfect for a romantic date night or a night out with friends.

3. Finlay Park

Located just a few blocks from the Statehouse, Finlay Park is a hidden oasis in the heart of downtown Columbia. This beautiful green space offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, with walking paths, fountains, and a large lake. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables throughout the park, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a quiet afternoon of reading. Finlay Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including live music concerts, food festivals, and cultural celebrations. With its tranquil setting and lively events, Finlay Park is a hidden gem that’s not to be missed.

4. Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse

This hidden gem brewery and alehouse is located in a historic warehouse just a few blocks from Main Street. The brewery has been producing craft beer since 1995, and the alehouse offers a casual and laid-back setting for enjoying a pint or two. The menu features a variety of pub-style dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas, as well as daily specials. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the beer selection, and happy to offer recommendations. With its relaxed atmosphere and delicious beer and food, Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse is perfect for a low-key night out with friends.

5. 701 Center for Contemporary Art

This hidden gem art center is housed in a historic railroad station just a few blocks from the Statehouse. The center showcases a variety of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year, featuring local and national artists working in a range of media. The space itself is impressive, with high ceilings and large windows that flood the galleries with natural light. The center also hosts a variety of events, from artist talks and workshops to film screenings and live music performances. With its inspiring exhibitions and lively events, 701 Center for Contemporary Art is an outlet for art lovers and anyone looking for a unique and engaging cultural experience.

6. The Nickelodeon Theatre

This hidden gem movie theater is located in the heart of the historic district of Columbia. The theater specializes in independent and foreign films, as well as documentaries and classic cinema. The intimate theater has a cozy atmosphere and is decorated with vintage movie posters and art. The Nickelodeon Theatre hosts a variety of events, from film festivals and special screenings to Q&A sessions with directors and actors.

7. The Old Mill Antique Mall

The antique mall is located in West Columbia, just a few miles from downtown Columbia. Housed in a historic brick mill building, The Old Mill Antique Mall features over 75 dealers offering a wide range of antiques and collectibles. The mall is organized into themed sections, making it easy to browse and find exactly what you’re looking for. From vintage clothing and jewelry to antique furniture and artwork, this place is an extravaganza for antique lovers, collectors, window shoppers, and anyone looking to repurpose things,

8. The State House Grounds

Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the State House Grounds is a hidden gem park that offers a peaceful escape from the city. The park features walking paths, gardens, and fountains, as well as a variety of historical monuments and statues. The park is also home to the South Carolina State House, a historic building that dates back to the 19th century. Visitors can take a guided tour of the State House or simply enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the park.

One of the most iconic features of the park is the African American History Monument and the Japanese Gardens.

9. The Gervais Street Bridge

The Gervais Street Bridge is a hidden gem landmark in Columbia that spans across the Congaree River. The bridge is not only a stunning sight, but it also has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. Originally built as a toll bridge, the Gervais Street Bridge has undergone several renovations over the years, including the addition of pedestrian and bike lanes. Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride across the bridge to enjoy the breathtaking views of the river and the city skyline.

10. Goat’s

Goat’s restaurant is located in the heart of Five Points, a popular neighborhood in Columbia. Goat’s is a unique eatery that serves up an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by global cuisine, from tacos and sushi to pizza and pasta. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is decorated with quirky artwork and vintage finds. One of the standout features of Goat’s is its impressive beer selection, featuring a rotating tap list of local and craft brews. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, swing by Goat’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

5 things to try at The Dragon Room, one of Columbia’s newest restaurants

It’s not all that surprising that Kristian Niemi’s latest restaurant venture, The Dragon Room, is the talk of the town in Columbia.The prominent restaurateur is the chef-owner behind Main Street’s Bourbon restaurant and West Columbia’s Black Rooster, so suffice to say, his newest project has been long anticipated by many since ...

It’s not all that surprising that Kristian Niemi’s latest restaurant venture, The Dragon Room, is the talk of the town in Columbia.

The prominent restaurateur is the chef-owner behind Main Street’s Bourbon restaurant and West Columbia’s Black Rooster, so suffice to say, his newest project has been long anticipated by many since he announced the Vista restaurant in May of last year.

The restaurant and bar is modeled after a Japanese Izakaya, a place for pan-Asian small plates and cocktails, and its kitchen is led by Alex Strickland, the former chef of Black Rooster. In an intimate, chic space where Ristorante Divino once sat at 803 Gervais St., the cocktail program is led by bartending veteran David Adedokun, who has worked behind the bars of The War Mouth, Smoked and Black Rooster.

Aside from unique offerings for Columbia’s Vista neighborhood, the restaurant features plenty of vegetarian options on its menu, as well as plenty of vegetarian substitutes for menu items that do have meat in them.

Price-wise, the restaurant is a happy-medium between a fine dining, pricey restaurant and a fast-casual chain, a welcome offering in the Vista. To order all of the dishes we’ve included, the total price before tax and tip is $54 and offers enough food to fill you up (and even split with another person).

Now in its soft-opening phase, the pan-Asian small plates spot has been open until late, as restaurant staff and bartenders adjust. Our food writer stopped by the restaurant. Here are five things we think you should try:

Steam Buns, $10

At $10, these come two a piece with four separate choices of fillings, and they’re exceptional. The soft, doughy buns envelope a filling of savory, crispy pork belly that’s complimented by tangy pickled red onions, fatty mayo and lightened by cilantro.

The result is a masterpiece of a small plate. The dish itself, while packed with flavor, is light and not overly filling, making room for the other four things on this list.

Okonomiyaki Cabbage Pancake, $11

Teased by executive chef Alex Strickland as one of the dishes to keep an eye out for at the new restaurant in a previous conversation with Free Times, this dish lives up to the hype.

It’s a massive plate of shredded cabbage, covered in batter, pan seared and topped with a fried egg, kewpie mayo and black bean BBQ sauce. The crispy, battered and seared cabbage is savory and tangy, and with the kewpie mayo and black bean sauce, it’s an incredibly rich dish.

Mapo Hummus, $9

Unlike most hummus options, which traditionally rely on mashed chick peas, tahini, garlic and lemon, this one strays from the Mediterranean norm, and is a slight riff of Mapo Tofu, a popular Chinese dish of tofu set in a spicy sauce.

The hummus itself, a thick, white, lightly seasoned paste, is topped with fried shallots, a spicy pork ragu sauce and scallion. Strickland and his team have swapped a typical pita pairing for naan.

In my opinion, the spicy ragu sauce and fried shallots perfectly complete the dish. The spicy ragu is less sauce and more crunchy, which, alongside the crunch of the fried shallots, works really nicely to break up the softness of the hummus itself.

Banh Mi, $12

It’s a sandwich that seems to be all the rage, nowadays. The Vietnamese word for bread, banh mi is a short baguette with a crispy crust and soft, airy texture inside.

It’s filled with smoked pork loin, pate, lettuce and pickled vegetables. The greens and veggies compliment the savory meat. The bread is light, while still having a crispy outside.

Jade Panda Cocktail, $12

Behind the bar at The Dragon Room, is none other than David Adedokun. He’s been in bars around Columbia, but most notably, The War Mouth, where he led the cocktail program for two years. He briefly worked at Smoked before joining Niemi at Black Rooster prior to helping open The Dragon Room.

On his cocktail menu are a plethora of colorful drinks, including the Jade Panda. It’s an unnaturally green (think the color of the Hulk) frozen cocktail created using Square One Bergamot Vodka, elderflower, Meyer lemon and Pandan.

The drink itself tastes eerily similar to Fruit Loops in the best way. It’s sweet and easy to sip on, without being overly sugary or having the harsh bite of alcohol following each sip. The delicate balance of the slightly bitter elderflower, citrusy lemon and floral Pandan creates a drink that’s smooth and enjoyable.

Have you tried The Dragon Room yet? We’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to email our food writer at

Thousands of state jobs could move from downtown Columbia. What it could mean for the city

More than 1,000 of state employees at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, and potentially an additional 1,200 more workers from other agencies, could be on the move out of their longti...

More than 1,000 of state employees at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, and potentially an additional 1,200 more workers from other agencies, could be on the move out of their longtime Bull Street facilities, opening up significant parcels of land for potential redevelopment along the northern gateway to downtown Columbia.

Lawmakers want the state Department of Administration to find options to relocate DHEC, which is slated to be split into separate public health and environmental agencies, and potentially other agencies that currently have offices along Bull Street.

The request for proposals is included in a proviso, a one-year law attached to the annual spending plan proposal still being finalized by House and Senate budget writers.

Although lawmakers say the impetus to seek proposals for moving offices is because DHEC‘s facility is in desperate need of upgrades, the proviso says the state also could look at “relocating one or all of the state agencies or their successor agencies currently located on Bull Street in the City of Columbia.”

The Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the Commission of the Blind and the Department of Administration also have offices along or near Bull Street with more than 1,200 state employees.

Of DHEC’s 3,600 total employees, 1,039 employees work along Bull Street. DHEC has about 725 more employees who work in the Columbia area, but those who work at the state lab and State Park Health Center are not part of the potential move, the agency said.

Moving state agencies off of Bull Street could put the properties back onto the tax rolls for the city of Columbia, especially as the surrounding area is redeveloped. The city has historically borne the weight of a significant amount of untaxed property, from government agencies and nonprofits to colleges and the military.

Columbia’s burgeoning Bull Street District on the former state mental hospital campus is the site of one of the most significant development projects in city history, including ongoing construction around Segra Park and planned construction of the University of South Carolina’s Health and Sciences campus.

Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, who was unaware of the proviso before it was introduced by state budget writers, said he would be supportive of state agencies moving off of the property and hopes the state would donate the land to the city so it could be marketed to a private developer to build downtown housing.

“We need an opportunity where we could use donated land to drive down the price so that could put in a mixed-income neighborhood,” Rickenmann said. “We can have a mix of workforce attainable housing and market rate in the core center, and that’s pretty much the core center of town.”

Lawmakers want a new location for state offices that is off of an interstate, has multiple buildings on the same parcel or adjacent parcels with a common main entrance.

Any space will need a large amount of parking and a large group meeting space, and “other amenities to support agency mission, amenities and conditions conducive to employee health and recruitment, employee and visitor safety and security.”

But lawmakers also want the Department of Administration to consider whether it’s practical to have locations large enough to house state employees in the Columbia area, but aren’t based on Bull Street, according to the proviso.

Requesting proposals allows the state determine if it’s best to abandon the DHEC facilities and set aside the properties for redevelopment, or refurbish the facilities to make them better for state employees, said Bruce Bannister, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

DHEC, which led the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversees environmental regulations, is slated to be split.

“We’re hoping we could right the ship on that agency,” Bannister said.

Whether other agencies on Bull Street could also be moved depends on “if we found spots for them to go that are nicer than where they are and would work,” Bannister said.

Lawmakers want the Department of Administration to present lease options by Nov. 1.

This story was originally published June 6, 2023, 11:33 AM.


This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.