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More restaurants ready to debut in Lexington; Columbia art museum shop to close

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Showmars in Lexington

Showmars, a successful Charlotte chain offering Greek-meets-Southern food, will open soon in Lexington. Mike Fitts/Staff

COLUMBIA — Two restaurants are bringing new flavors to the same stretch of Lexington

Showmars, with a menu that combines southern flavors with Greek food, is coming soon to 5318 Sunset Blvd. The restaurant is targeting Dec. 1 as an opening date, said location manager Diana Carlson.

Showmars will feature pita sandwiches and pita burgers, along with other entrees such as flounder or chicken Santorini. The menu also includes desserts such as Greek baklava and the less traditional baklava cheesecake.

The restaurant chain has more than 30 locations focused on the greater Charlotte market, including restaurants in Fort Mill and Rock Hill. The Lexington location is the first of several planned for the Columbia market, Carlson said, though other will wait until at least next year to go forward.

Opening soon in the same stretch of Sunset Boulevard is the It's A Wrap Cafe. 

The restaurant will feature wraps, smoothies and salads, including some dishes with a Jamaican flair. It's a relocation to Lexington of a restaurant that formerly operated in Atlanta.

The restaurant's Facebook page says it will open soon, but no specific opening date has been set.

Another dessert option is coming to the same retail-heavy section of Sunset Boulevard. A location of Crumbl Cookies will come to the Target shopping center in early December. On Dec. 4, the store will give away free chocolate chip cookies to customers to celebrate its grand opening.

Museum Shop to close

The Columbia Museum of Art is closing its gift shop that for years has opened onto Main Street through its own separate entrance.

Last week, a sale was launched to clear out inventory. In the future, some select items will continue to be for sale at the museum's welcome desk, according to Milena Engh, associate director of communications and visitor experience for the museum.

The former shop space will be converted for a to-be-determined new use that is more in line with the museum's core mission, but plans for that are still being prepared, Engh said.

The museum is operating at limited attendance capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks are required and reserved tickets with hourly admission times are strongly suggested. 

Fitness next to Starbucks

Basecamp Fitness is coming to the new development on Millwood Avenue that is anchored by a soon-to-open Starbucks.

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The high-intensity workout franchise is projected to open next spring, according to co-owners Drew Mobley and Susanne Hicklin. 

Basecamp offers intense 35-minute workouts that alternate between one-minute strength exercises and cardio workouts on exercise bikes.

Construction on the Millwood Avenue redevelopment project near Melrose Heights is close to complete. 

Overstocks in Lexington

Lexington has joined Columbia with its own new changing-price clearance retailer, Overstocks Bin at 754 Main St., which opened Friday. 

Overstocks Bin has a relatively similar model to Crazy Cazboy's, which has been drawing heavy traffic since it opened off Forest Drive in Columbia. 

The merchandise in the store is overstocks from Amazon or big-box stores, and it is sold at changing discount prices. At Overstocks Bin, items are priced at $6 each on Friday and Saturday when restocking occurs. The store is closed Sunday and Monday, then prices drop to $4 on Tuesday, $3 on Wednesday and $1 on Thursday.

Juice at Cardinal Crossing

Clean Juice, a healthy food and juice bar, will open a new location at Cardinal Crossing, the Forest Drive redevelopment on the former site of Cardinal Newman School in Forest Acres.

Clean Juice, which was founded in Charlotte in 2014, features a range of juices plus acai bowls, avocado toast and other healthful foods. 

Clean Juice currently has one Midlands location in the Lexington Square shopping center at 5230 Sunset Blvd., one of six current South Carolina locations.

More opening and closings

Columbia has had a lot going on in November. Here are some of the highlights from Free Times:

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