Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tony’s Taste of the Town: Columbia

Tonys Taste of the Town: Columbia

Alabama is back on the road as the Crimson Tide heads to Columbia, S.C., in a highly touted matchup against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. While the Tide may not be able to relax, Columbia provides a perfect spot for Tide fans to let loose.

The Salty Nut Café in Five Points Columbia, a popular shopping district, is a perfect place to relax and catch a game.

“Whenever I go there, it is always with a couple friends,” South Carolina student Ross Wigington said. “You can kind of relax and get away.”

The Salty Nut Café is a sports bar and restaurant that emphasizes an easygoing and relaxed atmosphere for its guests. 

“It is real laid back,” manager Phil Hopewell said. “One of our specialties is having unlimited roasted peanuts. You just throw the shells on the floor. It is really fun, a great college atmosphere with a lot of college students.”

One of the distinctive features of the Salty Nut Café is the large deck in the back, which wraps around the restaurant. The deck adds to the relaxed feel of the restaurant as it gives guests the ability to enjoy the cool Columbia weather.

“The deck is pretty big,” Hopewell said. “It is kind of in an L shape and it surrounds about half of the restaurant. The deck can fit around 75 to 100 people.”

Wigington said the café is a good spot for hanging out.

“I like to go on the back deck out there on those nice nights,” he said. “They’ve got a couple of big screen TVs out there, and I just kind of watch a game or two.”

Fans traveling to Salty Nut Café should not expect an average sports bar — the restaurant also has an expansive menu, which is as diverse as it is tasty.

“The burger selection is excellent,” Hopewell said. “We have got almost any kind of burger you could hope for. We also have a bunch of different specialty wraps.”

Their signature wrap is the California wrap, which has turkey, avocado, sprouts and the café’s special sauce.

 Because ESPN’s College Gameday has chosen the Alabama vs. South Carolina game to host their show, fans can expect an added buzz as they head out to Columbia. Hopewell said he expects the added intensity to bring in more fans and increase the excitement of the game. 

“Gameday is going to do nothing but pump up the atmosphere,” he said. “I expect that tickets are going to be harder to get, which means more people will be here to watch it on one of the big screens.”

Salty Nut Café is the perfect blend of an exciting football atmosphere and relaxing college hangout.

“The atmosphere is awesome,” Hopewell said. “We have the biggest deck in Five Points if you like to sit outside and enjoy the weather. We have a great food selection with a lot of varieties of food. It is just a great all-around place, no matter what you are looking for.”

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