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Charles Pearson

Columbia/Greenville Entertainment Districts

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...let's hope so--for new towers to fill in all that empty space and trees. You gotta have trees. Don't know anything about Greenville's nightlife...but I have to agree with you about Columbia's. Other than the 5-points area, it was like being a small, sleepy town. The last time I was in Columia a friend and I (she now works at the medical university in Charleston and lives in Charleston) walked around downtown after midnight...and we had the whole town to ourselves. That was actaully a lot of fun...clowning around and parading up and down the Statehouse States in the wee hours...I think the old rebel flag at the dome was still blowing in the slight breeze.

Greenville, IMO, has a great future...I hope it's nightlife is as lively as downtown Charleston or San Francisco...at least until 2 a.m. anyway. Even SF, sleeps after 3 a.m....and those people awake, are generally the ones it would best avoiding.

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...let's hope so--for new towers to fill in all that empty space and trees. You gotta have trees. Don't know anything about Greenville's nightlife...but I have to agree with you about Columbia's. Other than the 5-points area, it was like being a small, sleepy town. The last time I was in Columia a friend and I (she now works at the medical university in Charleston and lives in Charleston) walked around downtown after midnight...and we had the whole town to ourselves. That was actaully a lot of fun...clowning around and parading up and down the Statehouse States in the wee hours...I think the old rebel flag at the dome was still blowing in the slight breeze.

Greenville, IMO, has a great future...I hope it's nightlife is as lively as downtown Charleston or San Francisco...at least until 2 a.m. anyway. Even SF, sleeps after 3 a.m....and those people awake, are generally the ones it would best avoiding.

Why didn't you go to the Vista? That's much better than 5-Points

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Why didn't you go to the Vista? That's much better than 5-Points

Exactly; while Main Street may not be especially busy at night, the Vista and Five Points more than makes up for it. Both areas are packed, especially Wednesday - Saturday nights.

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Exactly; while Main Street may not be especially busy at night, the Vista and Five Points more than makes up for it. Both areas are packed, especially Wednesday - Saturday nights.

I should have took pics of all the activity that I saw in Five Points and the Vista this past weekend. Main st. Columbia is not active b/c there really aren't any restaurants or clubs (except Rio) that stay open after a certain time.

Main St. is just not a happening street in Columbia for nightlife. Every city has a main st. but very few can say that it's where all the night time happenings occur. So kudos to Greenville for keeping its "main happenings "on main street.

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I should have took pics of all the activity that I saw in Five Points and the Vista this past weekend. Main st. Columbia is not active b/c there really aren't any restaurants or clubs (except Rio) that stay open after a certain time.

Main St. is just not a happening street in Columbia for nightlife. Every city has a main st. but very few can say that it's where all the night time happenings occur. So kudos to Greenville for keeping its "main happenings "on main street.

Main Street is definitely the place to be in Greenville, unless you're at Falls Park. The happening blocks of Main are extending farther up North Main with new street scaping and farther along South Main with the new ballpark and street scaping. It's also great to see the retail and resturant scene extending off Main down Augusta Street in the West End thanks to the Ballpark. McBee Station will also lure people off Main when its completed, in addition to the Grand Peacock Hotel and Spa... I forgot the Riverwalk at Riverplace... exciting times, people!!! And depending on where Btoy's new state tallest tower will go, who knows its impact on the connectivity of the downtown districts and how it will affect downtown as it stands today! :shades:

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I should have took pics of all the activity that I saw in Five Points and the Vista this past weekend. Main st. Columbia is not active b/c there really aren't any restaurants or clubs (except Rio) that stay open after a certain time.

Very true. I would hope that all of the residential that's coming to Main would change that, even if just a little bit. At this point, Main Street is basically the city's commercial corridor, and that's about it. Narrowing and streetscaping Assembly would do wonders for Main, as that's the key to connecting Main Street to the Vista. It would be VERY cool to see Gervais lined with a lot of shops, bars, and restaurants all the way from the Vista to Five Points. :shades:

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Main Street is definitely the place to be in Greenville, unless you're at Falls Park. The happening blocks of Main are extending farther up North Main with new street scaping and farther along South Main with the new ballpark and street scaping. It's also great to see the retail and resturant scene extending off Main down Augusta Street in the West End thanks to the Ballpark. McBee Station will also lure people off Main when its completed, in addition to the Grand Peacock Hotel and Spa... I forgot the Riverwalk at Riverplace... exciting times, people!!! And depending on where Btoy's new state tallest tower will go, who knows its impact on the connectivity of the downtown districts and how it will affect downtown as it stands today! :shades:

Gathering on Main Street just sounds so small-townish to me. By the time Columbia's Main Street, the name of which I wish they would return to its original Richardson Street, reaches its potential, it will still not be the most happening of all downtown streets in Columbia. There are just too many other spots that will hold their own and get busier.

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On second thought, I was DT on yesterday (ON MAIN STREET) and was suprised at all the acitvity I saw. It was merely just people going to lunch but it was nice to see so many people prancing up and down the street. So Main st. does have its bustle; it's just that she goes to bed early.

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Why didn't you go to the Vista? That's much better than 5-Points

...I will next year when I am back for a visit, now that I know about it...I didnot know much about the Columbia's nightlife the last time I was there & the folks I stayed with...could really only tell me about Columbia's many malls and "church-going" life...which is OK..but not my interest. You could say I was forced to go to church one Sunday while in Columbia...which was...an experience in itself, esp. after church when people pack the cafeterias to eat. Still, Main Street Columbia is quite an attractive street that should have more going on...Five Points was the best place I found to hang up and drink good coffee back in 1998...I am sure Columbia, as most progressive cities do, has grown up & gotten better since 1998...

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It disappoints me that some people take every opportunity to belittle other cities in this forum. Some comments are just unneccesary, and only function to bring superiority idealisms to the ones who say them. We need to stop finding ways to turn another cities success into a "my city already has that, or does it better, or makes yours look..." battle. Everything does not have to be a competition, and we need to congradulate all of our cities for their accomplishments. They all have unique and great qualities, and since we all live in SC, we should be proud of them all.

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Well said distortedlogic. And what goes on at the ground level is more important anyway.

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It disappoints me that some people take every opportunity to belittle other cities in this forum. Some comments are just unneccesary, and only function to bring superiority idealisms to the ones who say them. We need to stop finding ways to turn another cities success into a "my city already has that, or does it better, or makes yours look..." battle. Everything does not have to be a competition, and we need to congradulate all of our cities for their accomplishments. They all have unique and great qualities, and since we all live in SC, we should be proud of them all.

Exactly. Apparently certain people take offense if you do not favor their city and get offended and try to bring the other city down. Don't know why but I guess it'll always be like that.

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I should have took pics of all the activity that I saw in Five Points and the Vista this past weekend. Main st. Columbia is not active b/c there really aren't any restaurants or clubs (except Rio) that stay open after a certain time.

Main St. is just not a happening street in Columbia for nightlife. Every city has a main st. but very few can say that it's where all the night time happenings occur. So kudos to Greenville for keeping its "main happenings "on main street.

I think that is a common misunderstanding, and it has never occured to me until now. Many Greenvillians assume this:

downtown = (CBD = main st = entertainment district)

Why? Because this is true for Greenville. Its a fantastic combination and it works well for them.

But in Columbia:

downtown = (CBD = main st) + (entertainment district 1 and 2)

Does that makes sense?

Basicly, while Main St is the CBD in Columbia, it is not the entertainment district like it is is many other cities. The Vista is more in line with Main St in Greenville. Five Points is the main college bar scene. You have to understand this distinction.

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It does make sense. It's something that's been said in several threads, but it has been plainly laid out here.

I think it's easier to see the progress along a corridor (Greenville's Main Street) than it is within a district (the Vista). So this is why it's often thought (mistakenly might I add) that Columbia's downtown is totally dead or something to that effect. If you were to take all of the shops, bars, restaurants, etc. in the Vista and Five Points and line them all up along a street, you'd easily have one of THE most hoppin' streets in the South, something akin to U Street or Connecticut Ave. through the Adams Morgan neighborhood in DC. While it would be cool to see that, it would render the rest of downtown extremely boring. When Main Street in Columbia gets its boost, I think that will go a long way to change the downtown perception for those not really familiar with the city.

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If you were to take all of the shops, bars, restaurants, etc. in the Vista and Five Points and line them all up along a street, you'd easily have one of THE most hoppin' streets in the South, something akin to U Street or Connecticut Ave. through the Adams Morgan neighborhood in DC.

I get your point that Columbia's nightlife is spread out, which makes it seem less eventful, but Adams-Morgan is a pretty long (and active) stretch along 18th St NW. It is filled with clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. Perhaps there is a better example out there...

FWIW, Greenville isn't just Main Street either.

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I'm sure there's a more fitting example out there, but I can't think of any. :)

Edit: I meant Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle. Still not the closest example, but a correction nonetheless. ;)

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Likewise, if Five Points or The Vista alone was all on one street it would be an awfully long stretch of entertainment district on one street.

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That would be a couple of miles...Columbia's night life is spread out because there is so much of it. If it was on Main St. it really would be long. I couldn't imagine that. Atleast it isn't in one particular location either. Rather have 2 or 3 entertainment districts than 1

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When I ride or walk around Columbia's Vista and Main Street areas, I see more and more people who obviously are just discovering or rediscovering the CDB. I can tell by how they look up and down whatever street they are crossing, taking in the scenery and progress as though it is their first time here or at least their first excursion into downtown in a long time. They are checking things out closely and their numbers seem to be growing quickly and exponentially. The State and Free Times have done their fair share to facilitate this growing patronage. Foot traffic on Main Street has increased significantly in recent months/weeks, and many of the pedestrians seem to be staying at the Marriott and National Advocacy Center. Others seem to be living in Main Street apartments or visiting residents there. And the 75 apartments in the Barringer Building and the 100+ Sheraton Boutique Hotel rooms (both at Main and Washington) haven't even opened yet. It is a lot of fun watching the growing interest and the increasing buzz.

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i'm suprised that Columbia's 3rd nightlife district hasn't been mentioned: West Columbia. although not as nice, active or staying open as late as Five Points or The Vista, it still has plenty of activity, and New Brookland Tavern serves as a nice anchor for it. and it's in walking distance (relatively, i do it all the time from downtown/USC.)

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FWIW, Greenville isn't just Main Street either.

Agreed. It's a common misconception by outsiders, I'd say.

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Agreed. It's a common misconception by outsiders, I'd say.

Everytime I've been out in Greenville was on Main St. Didn't know there was another entertainment district.

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Everytime I've been out in Greenville was on Main St. Didn't know there was another entertainment district.

There are three parts of Main Street first of all. City Center Main and West End Main and North End Main. They all have different feels and are seperate (e.g. West End Association is for West End businesses only). They are not seperate in the sense that the Vista and 5 points are seperate in Columbia, because the city of Greenville has worked hard for many years to connect the areas through development, etc. They merely share the same street name, which was recently extended through the changing of Pendleton Street to South Main. Augusta Street has emerged recently as another big player downtown for shopping and dining (if you haven't been in the past year, then you most likely would not know this). The Stone Avenue is probably more comparable to Columbia's situation. It's out there and entirely seperate. The Handle Bar is located here.

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West End and Downtown are definitely separate entertainment districts in Greenville. A river separates the two, after all, and the Greenville website considers them two separate neighborhoods:

"The West End of Greenville, located just across the Reedy River from downtown, has a long and interesting history..."

Link: http://www.greatergreenville.com/neighborh...c_districts.asp

The entertainment portion of the North End (Handlebar, etc.) is a good 10 minute walk from the northern end of the downtown district (Hyatt Regency location at Main and Beattie). The North End is still small and developing into its own bona fide area, but it is certainly not a mere continuation of downtown.

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