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March 7, 2019
Fig Authentic: Scott Middleton
My, oh my, has Main Street changed over the years! One person that has had his hand in the recent growth and revitalization is Scott Middleton. Five years ago, he was approached by Lee Mashburn and Mayor Benjamin to move his West Columbia based business Agape Senior, Agape Hospice, and LTC Health Solutions Corporate Offices to Main Street.
He was hesitant though—much hadn’t changed on Main Street since the 1960s and there were quite a few safety issues. However, Scott quickly fell in love with the thought of taking these old buildings and reviving them. He purchased 41,000 square feet within the 1600 block and began making plans of what he could add to Main Street in addition to his offices. He brought in one of his other businesses, The Good Life Cafe, and created Michael’s Cafe next door.
Scott parked his car each day on the 4th floor of the parking deck, which gave a direct daily sight of the old Army Navy Store on Main Street that was falling into disrepair. He approached the owners and purchased the building with a plan to renovate it, but wasn’t sure what should go in. Scott talked it over with Lee, and asked his thoughts. Lee said, “how about a bowling alley?”.
A bowling alley? Scott began Googling and visited five different boutique bowling alleys around the country, and he came back for a concept for Lanes. He wanted it to be more than just a bowling alley—he wanted it to be a dining experience that had a bowling alley along with it. During the renovation, they uncovered the old Grand sign that had adorned the building during it’s theatre days and so, The Grand was born.
Scott decided to keep the entertainment center vibe going on the 1600 block, so he moved his corporate offices elsewhere and brought in a TopGolf Swing Suite. Now, you can play at the 2nd largest Swing Suite in the country! Scott’s adding in even more entertainment value to the block: what was originally their pharmacy is now becoming a music venue that will seat 150 people (and they already have 25 musicians booked for you to enjoy!)
He’ll never take credit for the revitalization though. “We’re so fortunate for the main stays,” Scott said. “Kings Jewelry—they stuck it out and they’re great neighbors. Villa Tronco has been here for years! The Nickelodeon, Hotel Trundle, Cigar Shop, Sweet Cream, Tapps, Lula Drake… but most of this started because of Mast General coming and anchoring the block. And now Scott Garvin with Hendrix!”
Where else in one block can you watch a movie, shop, eat at multiple restaurants, workout, get a facial, visit a doctor, go bowling, grab a cocktail on a rooftop, get your shoes fixed, and your clothes dry cleaned? Scott has created a vision on Main Street and with 500 employees across 9 businesses, they together have made the 1600 block an incredible entertainment block for all of Columbia and its guests to enjoy!