Lidl logo

After a year at its Lexington location (5215 Sunset Blvd,), German supermarket chain Lidl opens a Columbia store at 1401 Summit Pkwy. on Sept. 12. 

Lidl is kind of like Aldi. Products are generally stocked in the packing boxes they came in to save manpower. There are tons of private-label products, and shoppers are required to bring their own bags (or purchase paper ones at the register) and bag the items themselves to save on paying a store worker to do so.

The grand opening festivities begin at 7:40 a.m. with a ribbon cutting. The store officially opens at 8 a.m. with special offers, giveaways and prizes for shoppers. The first 100 people in line will receive gift cards of varying amounts. Free samples will be available in-store, and there will be free Lidl bag giveaways while supplies last.

This Lidl will be the third in the greater Midlands, joining the previously mentioned Lexington outpost and one in Orangeburg. 

Dine On Blanding Street

Eating in the street has risen in popularity in the Midlands, but most of those street eats are done on main thoroughfares: Main Street, the Gervais Street bridge, the Lake Murray dam. This time, it’ll be round tables on a side street, namely Blanding Street in front of Villa Tronco.

This inaugural Blanding Street Dinner will take place on Sunday, Sept. 15, with chefs Nate Skipper, John Militello, David Grillo and Tom Sedio combining forces to churn out a six-course Italian feast from aperitivo to caffe. A brief sampling of some of the courses include eggplant rollatini, lemon rosemary focaccia, shrimp and scallops pappardelle, and Carmella’s Italian cookies. 

“I came up with the idea because we haven’t had the Italian Festival since 2014,” says John Militello of Let’s Cook Culinary Studio. “Our goal is to have 100 people join us and if it goes well, we’ll do it again.”  

In addition to food, the evening will include dinner entertainment that Militello says will be a surprise for attendees to enjoy. 

Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased by visiting or calling Villa Tronco (1213 Blanding St., 803-256-7677). 

More Food From Trucks

Food truck festivals, though not as common as they were several years ago, are still fun affairs, especially when the temperatures are reasonable and there are other activities to enjoy. The Family Food Truck Festival and Marketplace at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center provides just such an opportunity on Sunday, Sept. 15. Attendees can enjoy more than 20 local and regional food trucks. Other non-food-related activities include shopping the marketplace of vendors and tons of kids’ entertainment (bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, character appearances, stage shows). 

The event, which runs from from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free to attend. No pets are allowed, and no alcohol will be served. Find more information (including a full food truck lineup) at the Facebook event page. 

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