Grand Slam for diners: 2 Columbia-area IHOP restaurants reopen under their new owner | Columbia Business

COLUMBIA — Two International House of Pancakes locations in the Midlands that closed unexpectedly eight months ago have reopened to offer the restaurants’ signature Grand Slams and their full menus.

The IHOP location at 1031 Assembly St. reopened Saturday for carry-out service and on Monday for dine-in customers. The restaurant, located across the street from the S.C. Statehouse, is looking to hire more staff as it moves back to service seven days per week.

The location in Lexington at 5571 Sunset Blvd. also has reopened after being closed for months, according to the IHOP website. The restaurant closed as franchise owner CFRA Holdings filed for bankruptcy in May.

Last week IHOP announced that 41 locations were acquired by Sun Holdings, a company that operates franchise restaurants across the country for numerous brands including McAlister’s Deli and Arby’s. 

IHOP also has restaurants that have remained open in the Midlands at 831 St. Andrews Road and 7719 Two Notch Road in Columbia.

Murphy Express tries again

Convenience store operator Murphy Express, having been spurned once, is trying again to get a Columbia board to approve a new location not far from downtown.

Murphy has applied for permission to build a convenience store and eight-pump gas station at 3000 Two Notch Road, where it meets Beltline Boulevard. That’s about two miles from where a previous Murphy Express application was denied at the corner of Marion St. and Elmwood Avenue.

The Two Notch Road location is currently home to the offices of Capital City Dentistry. That building would be removed under the plan.

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Earlier in the fall Murphy Express was rejected in its bid to remove several small buildings on the periphery of Columbia’s Main Street District and create a large gas station and convenience store.

Members of the city Board of Zoning Appeals believed that with several gas stations already in that stretch of Elmwood Avenue, the Murphy Express would create too much of one type of business in one area, which city code discourages.

The board is set to hear Murphy’s latest proposal on Nov. 5.

Buy Columbia online

The Columbia Visitors Center has opened a new online store to augment what it offers at its brick-and-mortar office at Lincoln and Gervais streets in the Vista.

The online store becomes more important as travel is cut sharply by the coronavirus, but it actually was in development before COVID-19, according to the center.

Special items on sale online include apparel and drinkware by The Half and Half, the Columbia graphic design studio that created the winning design in the City of Columbia’s contest to create a new city flag.

The online store can be found at The visitors center is operated by Experience Columbia SC.

Have any Midlands business news to share in the column? Reach Mike Fitts at [email protected]

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