For most of us who spent our late teens and early 20s in Columbia, a Happy Hour History Tour of Five Points sounds like walk through our own past, but there is history beyond the fun of late nights/early mornings of the bar and restaurant scene in the entertainment district. As the folks at the Historic Columbia Foundation like to say, it's a concoction of one-part happy hour and two-parts history.
Five Points started as a trolley hub for the first "suburb" of the capital city. To cater to those folks passing through and the residents of Shandon, a string of retail shops and a grocery opened up, followed by restaurants and bars. Today's architecture reflects all the key time periods in the area's development.
The flavor of Five Points comes largely from generations of students at the University of South Carolina who have passed through and grown up there, as well as the countless others who haven't grown up, but stick around, keeping the youthful search for fun and adventure alive.
But the bricks and mortar have a story all their own to tell and the folks at the Historic Columbia Foundation fill in those details between martinis, beers and goblets of wine.
Reservations are encouraged as the tours fill up quickly, especially this weekend, which is the last one in the monthlong series. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 252-1770, Ext. 24. The tour costs $25 per person (with a $5 discount for Historic Columbia Foundation members) and includes two adult beverages and appetizers along the way.
I'll have my history on the rocks, please, with a twist.