With some new restaurants opening and others expanding, Columbia County offers several options for dining out.
Willie Sue's, a restaurant featuring Southern cooking that opened near Grovetown in June 2009, recently grew from 56 to 100 seats, said owner Rob Douglas.
Douglas and his father, Wiley Douglas, formerly owned 14 Po Folks restaurants, including the former Martinez location.
Willie Sue's, at the entrance to Ivy Falls subdivision near Patriots Park on Columbia Road, offers lunch and dinner.
"Good old comfort food," Douglas said, adding that some Po Folks recipes are included on the menu. "Some old recipes and a lot of good new ones."
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The county has several new offerings for those who like Asian cuisine.
New management and a new owner brought about changes at Yumo Asian Cuisine and Sushi, formerly Angel Island Asian Cuisine, next to Food Lion in the Home Depot shopping center at North Belair and Washington roads.
Manager Linda Chen said a new partner joined the ownership team, which opted to expand the menu to include lunch specials and lower prices.
"We have a new menu. We're adding new dishes," Chen said, noting that the new menu additions include Japanese teriyaki, hibachi and Thai dishes.
The restaurant offers lunch and dinner and is open until at least 10 p.m. daily.
Toki Japanese Steakhouse opened at the end of July in the Earth Fare shopping center on Furys Ferry Road at Baston Road.
Located in the space that formerly housed the El Alazon Mexican restaurant, Toki features a full Japanese hibachi menu and a large variety of sushi, said manager Elena Fong.
"We're actually proud of both," Fong said. "We have a lot of specialities, especially on the sushi bar. ... Each of the dishes is uniquely designed and a piece of art. Our sushi chef, he's experienced in making it look unique."
Fong said a grand opening will be scheduled soon.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
A new Asian restaurant, Tao Asian Cuisine, is scheduled to open in the Food Lion shopping Center on Furys Ferry Road at Evans to Locks on Thursday, according to a recent advertisement.
The menu includes a variety of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
The owner could not be reached for comment.
The owner of Pickles, another Furys Ferry Road restaurant, hopes to open in early September.
Dick Collins has been remodeling and planning the restaurant with his wife, Ann, since late 2009. He hopes the restaurant, which is in the Publix shopping center near Baston Road, can be opened just after Labor Day.
"This is our first restaurant, and it is so important to us to ensure everything is just as we want it," Collins said.
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