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Fuse preparing to open in Aiken in The Alley

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The former home of restaurants such as Up Your Alley and Trio Bar & Kitchen in Aiken is the location of another eatery that is getting ready to open.

According to signs on the 3,960-square-foot brick building in The Alley, Fuse is “coming soon.”

A Sept. 21 post on the Fuse Aiken page on Facebook stated that the restaurant was accepting applications for all positions, both front and back of house.

At, there is a menu that includes Umami pork shoulder, chocolate chili chicken, chicken paprikash and a veggie burger.

Karen Draper and her brother, Eric, established Fuse in 2015 in Augusta.

The eatery closed in October 2019 when the lease at its original site on Broad Street ended.

Two months later, Ian Dingess told the Aiken Standard that he and Chris Najmola, who were Fuse employees, had “basically acquired the rights” to the restaurant’s name and recipes.

In their search for a new home for Fuse, Dingess and Najmola looked at other places in Augusta, as well as locations in Evans, Georgia, and North Augusta.

“We went to Aiken on kind of a lark,” Dingess said, and ended up finding an available space they liked.

At the time the Aiken Standard interviewed Dingess, he wanted to complete renovations and start welcoming customers to Fuse’s new site in late February or early March of this year, but said “sometime in the spring” would be “a better guess.”

In mid-March, however, the novel coronavirus pandemic started disrupting South Carolina’s economy. Businesses closed temporarily or for good, and plans for new ventures were put on hold.

The address for Fuse is 222 The Alley.

New electrolysis business

Permanent hair removal will be available at Evello Electrolysis, a new business that is scheduled to open Oct. 1 at 920 Houndslake Drive in Aiken.

Owner Nicole Cook received her training and certification at the Southeastern School of Electrology in Lexington, Kentucky.

To begin with, the hours for Evello Electrolysis will be from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Sessions will be by appointment only.

For more information, visit or call 803-306-6865.

Rose Hill sale price

In the name of Alessca LLC, Elizabeth Smith and her fiance, Andrew Hobbs, purchased the Winter Colony estate in Aiken known as Rose Hill in August for $1.375 million, according to Aiken County land records.

The seller was Ketan Patel in the name of Niki Inc.

Rose Hill is at 221 Greenville St. N.W.

Niki Inc. acquired the estate in June 2018 while it was in foreclosure for $700,000 at an Aiken County Master-in-Equity deficiency sale at the Aiken County Judicial Center.

Constructed around 1898, Rose Hill used to be the home of Col. Sheffield Phelps and his wife, Claudia.

More recently, it has been an event center, where dining services and overnight accommodations also have been offered.

Constantine House deal

A historic home in the Kalmia Hill neighborhood of Aiken changed hands for $1 million in August, according to Aiken County land records.

Cody Anderson bought the classic Georgian residence and some other property nearby from Dr. Richard Amendola, a retired dentist, and his wife, Carol.

Anderson is the owner of George Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

Prior to finalizing the purchase of Constantine House, which was built in 1935, Anderson decided to leave the home to USC Aiken following his death to be used as a residence for the school’s chancellor.

“It’s all set up in my estate planning,” Anderson told the Aiken Standard.

The Constantine House is on Richland Avenue West.

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