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Columbia's first Apple store has a new name, looks to open in May on USC campus

University Of South Carolina Students Begin To Move Back To Campus (copy) (copy) (copy)

Columbia's first Apple store will be on the USC campus and staffed by students. File/Sean Rayford/Special to The Post and Courier.

COLUMBIA — The on-campus store that will serve as Columbia's first official Apple retail location has a new name, Gamecock iHub, and plans to open soon.

The name was chosen from among four finalists after more than 1,000 online votes were received via social media, according to the University of South Carolina.

The store, at the the corner of Sumter and College streets, is likely to hold a soft opening in mid-May, but no date has been set. A full grand opening will have to wait until the coming of the fall semester.

It will be only the second official Apple store in the country set up as an on-campus operation with students and faculty staffing it. (Creighton University in Nebraska has the first.)

Saundra Koesters from USC's Department of Retailing in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management will serve as store manager, with many of the student staff coming from that college.

The store will sell iPads and laptops plus accessories and offer Apple certified repair and services, offering an educational discount on items. It cannot sell iPhones because of competitive rules with cellphone service providers.

Those eligible to shop there will be university students, staff faculty and alumni.

Despite years of speculation, there are no new signs that an Apple store for the public will come to Columbia. Apple operates stores in Augusta, Ga., Charlotte, Greenville and Charleston.

New dining in Harbison

Those wanting to dine out in the Harbison area have a new option: Red Sake Japanese restaurant.

The restaurant at 285 Columbiana Drive behind Columbiana Centre offers Japanese favorites such as teriyaki dishes as well as sushi. Dine-in customers can opt for its "Unlimited Sushi & Hibachi" offer or order a la carte.

It's open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

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Last call in Lexington

The Casual Pint location in Lexington will close at the end of April, the beer store with bar announced on its Facebook page.

The business at 217 Saluda Springs Road, just off Sunset Boulevard, will close after four years. The venue had hosted trivia nights and live music. 

In a Facebook post, the owners said they are looking ahead to a new tenant taking over the space.

Infrared fitness

For those who need some heat to really feel the burn of their workout, an infrared fitness gym is coming to Lexington.

HotWorx is coming to Lexington Town Center at 918 N. Lake Drive. An opening is expected in the coming months but no date has been set.

It will offer 10 different types of workouts under infrared light such as yoga, Pilates and high-intensity interval training.

The infrared light is believed to provide added benefits including greater calorie burn, stress relief and detoxification.

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Have any Midlands business news to share in the column? Reach Mike Fitts at mfitts@postandcourier.com

Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikefittsat140

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