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Prolific Columbia developers plan combined oyster bar, barbecue joint, microbrewery

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The prolific developers who have reshaped the 1600 block of Main Street have plans to open an oyster bar/barbecue restaurant/microbrewery in 2021. 

Scott Middleton and his family — who own the health care business LTC Health Solutions in addition to downtown dining and entertainment businesses such as The Grand bar and bowling alley, The Main Course eatery and event venue, and the vegan spot Good Life Cafe — announced the forthcoming Smoked through social media and an accompanying website on Dec. 3.

Charlotte Knoop, LTC Health Solutions vice president of branding and marketing, confirmed the family was spearheading the project and shared a spare amount of details on it through email.

“The Middleton family has brought innovative and exciting approaches to developing historic buildings on Main Street, and Smoked is the latest example,” Knoop wrote. “Smoked will introduce Columbia to a refreshing take on quality barbecue while featuring a raw oyster bar, below a beautiful skylight."

The three-pronged hospitality business will also offer “the finest libations" and bring an "upscale casual dining experience," the website reads. The website also highlights that customers will “dine in and watch the brewmasters work to create our very own line of brews.”

The restaurant will fill three spaces on the block, stretched across the 1639-1645 Main Street buildings. Those spaces once held International Wigs and two other businesses. 

Local companies Garvin Design Group and Mashburn Construction are handling the buildout and design, Knoop confirmed. 

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Free Times' questions on a specific opening date or range and descriptions of the restaurant’s price range, food and its potential employees went unanswered. 

The Middleton family had also once mulled opening a restaurant at the BullStreet development, but pulled the plug on the project. They cited a desire to focus on their Main Street businesses and the pandemic-induced economic downturn as reasons.

The family has another major project underway on North Main Street: a massive brewery and event space that is planned to stretch 65,000 square feet and 3.5 acres.

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