The dining, banking and retail sectors of the Martinez-Evans area continue to grow with the addition of several new businesses.
Cindy Crawford, owner of Cindy's Catering, expanded her business on May 23 with the launch of Cindy's Caf next door to her kitchen in Ashley Square shopping center on Washington Road.
The cafe is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be a available for special events in the evenings and weekends by reservation, Crawford said.
"As a general rule, people could only get our food at a function and we had had people ask us over and over if we had an eat-in facility, but we never had the space for it," she said, adding space recently became available next door.
The cafe features her popular freshly made catering dishes such as her "fruity" chicken salad, loaded baked potato soup, meat loaf, wraps and sandwiches, Crawford said.
The owner of Shangri-La Asian Cuisine opens his second restaurant in Columbia County today under the name Sho Chin's Asian Kitchen.
Kuan Kuo, the business's owner and operator, calls his new restaurant on Washington Road near the Evans Wal-Mart, "fast-casual" dining, with Thai, Chinese and Japanese entrees starting at $8.
"Everybody is coming to Evans and customers said we needed a restaurant in this area," Kuo said. He hopes to open additional restaurants under the Sho Chin's name in Columbia County in the future.
On May 18, Aiken-based Security Federal Bank announced its first branch in Georgia to be located on a 1.5-acre tract near the intersection of Evans to Locks and North Belair roads.
Security Federal currently operates 11 branches in South Carolina along Interstate 20 between Augusta and Columbia, according to a company news release.
The three-story Evans branch is slated to be the Columbia County headquarters of an undetermined number of future branches, bank president Chris Verenes said Wednesday.
Company officials plan the top two floors to house professional offices for attorneys, accountants or architects, he said.
"We're excited about coming to Columbia County, which is a natural extension of our footprint," Verenes said.
Several new businesses also have opened or are soon to open in the Mullins Crossing Shopping Center.
OfficeMax celebrated its grand opening May 21 and on Wednesday presented Sue Gilbert, principal of South Columbia Elementary School, a $5,000 gift card for teachers to use for classroom supplies.
Businesses opening soon in Mullins Crossing are Hibbett Sports, clothing outlets Rue 21 and Ross and Alltel Wireless.
Another business opening soon and located a few doors down from Sho Chin in the Liberty Square shopping center is American Dream Machines, a motorcycle dealership specializing in customized choppers.
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