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Car wash headed into downtown, while the Vista joins the crab restaurant trend

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Dan's Car Wash

Dan's Car Wash has proposed to add a location in downtown Columbia on Elmwood Avenue. Provided

COLUMBIA — A large drive-thru car wash is planned to replace a gas station at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Assembly Street in downtown Columbia.

A plan filed with the city's Design/Development Review Commission outlines plans for a Big Dan's Car Wash at the current location of the Market Express convenience store at 1027 Elmwood Ave. 

The plans call for a 4,000 square-foot drive-through automatic wash, plus spaces for cars to be scrubbed or vacuumed. 

The existing gas station entrance right at the busy intersection of Elmwood and Assembly would be closed under the plan for the site.

The commission is scheduled to consider the proposal at its Jan. 14 meeting. The commission's role is to consider how the proposed design conforms to what the city expects from new construction designs in the city center district. 

Crab invasion hits Vista

The invasion of crab restaurants continues to move sideways across our fair city.

The latest is the Crafty Crab location that has opened in the Vista at 700 Gervais St., taking over the former space that belonged to Tin Lizzy's Cantina.

It offers a Cajun take on the seafood favorite, including varying levels of spicy heat. It also offers a variety of seafood boils, including lobster, shrimp and crawfish.

The Crafty Crab also has a Northeast location on O'Neil Court. 

Like many cities, Columbia has seen a proliferation of crab restaurants in recent years, such as the Crab Shak in the St. Andrews area, Crab Man on U.S. 1 in Lexington County and the Juicy Crab on Bower Parkway in Harbison.

More Chicken in Five Points

The Five Points Chicken and Grill restaurant is expected to open later this month at the corner of Gervais and Harden streets, a new tenant in the building that houses a Shell station and convenience store.

The restaurant's menu includes fried chicken, pizza, sandwiches and salads. According to its Facebook page, the restaurant will offer a quick alternative to fast food with fresh ingredients.

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It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

West Columbia's vigorous growth

West Columbia continues to see strong growth in local retail and restaurants, especially along its State Street corridor. That momentum only is likely to increase when Savage Craft Ale Works opens in a revamped historic firehouse.

David Clarey of Free Times offers more on why restaurants such as D's Wings are making the move there.

Revamped space in Cottontown

A former auto shop at 2200 Sumter St. in the Cottontown neighborhood is to be converted into multi-tenant space, according to plans submitted to the Design/Development Review Commission.

The renovation plans would revamp the space as two retail or office units. 

The applicant for the renovation in Karen Yip, owner of the a local residential real estate firm.

Hot exercise in Lexington

Hotworx will bring the infrared workout trend to Lexington at 918 North Lake Drive.

Workouts under infrared light are touted to improve calorie burn and cardiovascular output and even to reduce recovery times. Hotworx hopes to be open by the end of February, according to its Facebook page. 

Red Effect Infrared Fitness is bringing a similar style of gym to the Village at Sandhill in the Northeast.

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