We've experienced a lot of changes this summer regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbia and Boone County's health order expired May 12. The City of Columbia lifted their mask ordinance in June. And along with increased accessibility to vaccines, many restaurants in Columbia have been able to return to an almost normal state.
Despite increasing concern about the Delta variant and recent changes in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask guidance, most restaurants are still open. Just like any year, though, there have been closures, as well as new restaurants planting roots.
Here's a roundup of the Columbia restaurants that have opened, closed or are in the works this upcoming fall.
Gina’s Vegan A Go Go
Self described in their Instagram bio as a “woman owned vegan food truck specializing in vegan comfort foods,” this restaurant on wheels is run by Gina Overshiner. Gina’s Vegan A Go Go, which opened in July, brings more vegan cuisine options to Columbia. You can catch the food truck this upcoming Labor Day at Coopers Landing from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Ozark Mountain Biscuit and Bar
The popular Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co. food truck now has a brick-and-mortar located at 1204 Hinkson Ave. The new location offers an expanded menu with items like HillBilly Hot Wings, a Mudpuppy Picnic salad and the Cajun Catfish sandwich. Showcasing a full bar with featured cocktails, a spacious outside patio and orders to go, Ozark Mountain Biscuit and Bar provides the “southern flair, brunch and dinner, comfort-food” advertised online.
In the works
Columbia will gain a new fast food joint in the form of Raising Canes. On Oct. 5, the location at 203 South Providence Road will be serving the concise menu of chicken fingers, fries, Texas toast and coleslaw to all of Columbia.
BBQ lovers rejoice, Bud’s BBQ has taken over two storefronts downtown at 304 South 9th St. Despite a slight delay due to back order of items, restaurant owner Jason Paetzold hopes to launch a soft opening of the business this upcoming Labor Day. Paetzold, a Texas native, lived in Kansas City before deciding to bring the art of craft BBQ to Columbia. “We can’t wait to serve the community,” says Paetzold, who also compliments his staff. “We have the best, happiest people.”
Toasty Goat Coffee Co.
A new spot to get that caffeine fix is almost ready to go. According to a recent Toasty Goat Coffee Co. Instagram post, “some finishing touches still need to be done, but soon we’ll be able to open up this shop.” You'll soon be able to see them at their new storefront at 515 Scott Blvd.
Chicken Salad Chick
Stacy Brown went from cooking her chicken salad for her husband and three kids, as well as members of her community, to owning 200 restaurants. A Facebook page created for the Columbia location revealed the store would soon be coming to 300 Brickton Road. With a menu that features over 10 kinds of chicken salad, there's something for everyone.
On Aug. 27, this sweet treat eatery let customers know they would be closing permanently on Aug. 29. The store was a local hotspot following its opening in 2014, but according to the Columbia Missourian, staff shortages as a result of COVID and their own parenting concerns led to owners Michael and Karli Urban’s decision to close. A Twitter post made by the shop Aug. 29 showed a single glazed donut with the caption reading “The Last One.”
The Last One.— Harold's Doughnuts (@haroldoughnuts) August 29, 2021
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making Harold’s possible.
7 years ago, we started with a family recipe and a dream of building Columbia’s doughnut shop.
Every single one of our team members and customers made that dream come true.
In March, a partnership between Harold’s Doughnuts and Beet Box was formed and The Strollway Market was born. Located in Harold’s downtown location, they served locally sourced soups, salads and sandwiches. According to a Columbia Missourian article amidst the closing of Harold’s, Beet Box co-owner Ben Hamrah confirmed that The Strollway Market is not in business anymore.
The University Club
In a post on the University Club and Catering page, the restaurant announced that “due to a continued need to reduce expenses across campus, the University of Missouri has reached the difficult decision to terminate the University Club lease that expires on Aug. 31, 2021.” The University Club created a gourmet experience for its guests for almost 30 years, but fiscal complications led to the closing.