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Starbucks opening, drugstore closing on busy commuter corridor to downtown Columbia

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CVS on Forest

The CVS location at 2571 Forest Drive in Columbia is closing by the end of May. Mike Fitts/Staff. 

COLUMBIA — Columbia commuters will have another spot to grab some coffee on their way downtown with a new Starbucks coming near Providence Health hospital. 

The Starbucks is under construction at 2509 Forest Drive with a summer opening likely, according to Joe Pope of National Asset Realty. The location will have a drive-through window.

Most recently, the site was home to a King's Pizza restaurant. 

Starbucks already is adding a location nearby with construction complete at its new location on Millwood Avenue in the Melrose Heights neighborhood. That location has been advertising to hire staff ahead of an opening during March.

While a Starbucks is coming, another longtime retailer in the same busy stretch leading to downtown Columbia is closing.

The CVS drugstore location at 2571 Forest Drive will close by the end of May despite solid traffic, according to William Mills of real estate firm Trinity Partners.

CVS apparently is looking to trim its network of locations, so it is letting go of the location as its lease expires despite the strong commuter traffic that moves along the corridor daily, Mills said.

CVS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the move.

Almost 20,000 vehicles per day are estimated to use the stretch of Forest Drive near the hospital.

A new tenant for the site is being sought, Mills said.

More to eat in the Vista

Two restaurants, one a renewal of a former destination, are on their way into the Vista.

M Grille, part of the Miyo's chain of Asian cuisine restaurants, is reopening in its former space on Lady Street, according to Abby Naas Anderson, director of the Congaree Vista Guild.

M Grille had been an outpost of the Miyo's chain of restaurants overseen by Michelle Wang. 

Also opening in the Vista is Peebles BBQ & Wings, a spinoff of the restaurant's Rosewood location.

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Peebles is coming to 902 Gervais St., the same strip of restaurants and bars that includes Longhorn Steakhouse.

Both restaurants were looking to open in the past week, Anderson said. 

Hotel added on Sunset

TownPlaces Suites hotel opened its doors this week at 2915 Sunset Blvd., in the fast-growing commercial area near Lexington Medical Center. 

The Marriott-affiliated property offers 111 suites with kitchens in studio and one-bedroom configurations. The hotel includes a pool and is pet-friendly, for your out-of-town guests who bring the dog with them when they come.

The location is managed by Solara Hospitality.

Cleaning up on Two Notch

A new business, Top Notch Car Wash, is under construction on Two Notch Road in the Northeast at the intersection with Trenholm Road Extension.

The car wash is being built adjacent to the recently opened QuikTrip convenience store and gas station.

Will work for Cracker Jack

It's a sign of the coming of spring and the return of minor-league baseball to Columbia.

The Columbia Fireflies are holding their annual job fair for part-time work at Segra Park in the BullStreet District. The job fair will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 20 at the ballpark.

Positions for which the Fireflies will be hiring include ground crew, parking staff and ushers. 

The Fireflies will open their 2021 home season on May 11, later than usual for the minor leagues. The team continues to evaluate what the attendance rules will be for this year's games.

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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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