Masters Tournament guests might notice several new dining spots in Columbia County since their last visit.
From Mediterranean cuisine to Indo-Pakistani dishes and classic American fare, out-of-town visitors have a new variety of restaurants to choose from after a long day on the golf course.
Opening just a week ago, Cali’s Grille has brought the taste of Southern California to Evans.
Javier and Irma Lieras, from San Diego, opened the casual restaurant in the Liberty Square shopping center across from the Evans Walmart on Washington Road.
The full-service bar and grill offers a varied menu, with ribs, burgers, wraps, quesadillas, sandwiches, seafood and desserts.
“We’ve only been open for a week, and we’re definitely known for the Diego Wrap and the Cali’s Wrap,” said Irma Lieras, adding that both dishes are made with chopped Angus steak.
Cali’s is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
A few blocks away, Garlic Clove Italian Eatery has moved to a new location in the Eagle Pointe shopping center.
Owner Jeff Freehof said it was important to open in time for the busy week. “We’re always filled up during Masters,” he said.
Freehof spent about a month preparing the 3,600-square-foot restaurant. He closed the former location next to the Evans Walmart about two weeks ago.
Freehof said the new building has a bar area and two rooms for private parties. The dining room seats about 50 more people than in the old restaurant.
“This is much more aesthetically pleasing than what we had,” he added.
The Italian eatery also offers other dishes, such as steak, salmon and sandwiches.
Also new since last year in the Eagle Pointe shopping center is Punjab Grill, which specializes in Indo-Pakistani food.
The two-level restaurant is run by Zafar Qureshi, who is from the Punjab province in Pakistan.
Favorites on the menu are Punjabi chop, a ribeye steak marinated in herbs and spices; and the chicken tikka masala, boneless marinated chicken that is grilled and sauteed. Each entree is fresh and served with flat bread, rice and lentils or curry potatoes.
Mango ice cream and mango lassi, a yogurt drink, are also available.
Punjab is open for dinner 6-9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
In the Publix shopping center on Washington Road at Towne Centre Drive, Laziza Mediterranean Grill welcomes diners to sample food from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.
Owner Nader Khatib, of Lebanese descent, serves chicken shawarma, hummus, salads, falafel, chicken kebab and baba ghanoush, among other dishes.
The restaurant is closed Sundays.
Best Bites Mediterranean Pizzeria Bar & Grill recently opened at 4017 Columbia Road in Martinez.
The 3,100-square-foot restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, serving gyros and other Mediterranean dishes.
The restaurant’s manager, Hasibe Dickerson, was born in Bulgaria and grew up in Turkey and Greece.
New American dining options include Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 4324 Washington Road in Evans. Yotopia, a frozen yogurt shop, is located next door.
Columbia County’s fourth Zaxby’s restaurant recently replaced KFC at 3969 Columbia Road in Martinez.
While several restaurants will be new to many in the area during this year’s Masters, other familiar spots have since closed.
Papa-N-Son’s Furys Ferry Road location closed, as has Ryan’s buffet on Bobby Jones Expressway.
Three Food Lion grocery stores also have recently closed. The stores were located at 526 N. Belair Road, 3851 Evans to Locks Road and 4087 Old Petersburg Road.
Guests who enjoy the outdoors may also want to check out Evans Towne Center Park, which opened in October.
The park includes a large amphitheater, picnic pavilions, a gazebo, a splash pad and a dog park.