By Terry Ward

Are you looking for a fun weekend? There are a plethora of opportunities to enjoy in West Columbia’s River District, beginning with your Saturday morning

This Saturday, until Aug. 6, the Meeting Street Artisan Market will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Beginning Aug. 6, the Meeting Street Artisan Market will have NEW HOURS, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The City is also adding a Thursday night market, from 4 – 8 p.m. every second Thursday beginning Aug. 11.

The Meeting Street Artisan Market is under the pavilion at 425 Meeting Street in the Interactive Art Park. It features original arts and crafts from local makers, fresh produce and locally prepared food. Vendors include artists; crafters; performers; growers; bakers, and makers.

Get breakfast or brunch at The Hideout, Cafe Strudel, D’s Wings, Savage Craft Ale Works, or the new Breakfast at Ruiz at 116 State St.

West Columbia is also known as a destination for antique and novelty enthusiasts. Take a stroll down State and Meeting streets. You’ll see The Warehouse, State Street Trading Co., Tall Oaks Boutique, Old Mill Antiques, Three Oaks Florist and Interiors, JAKS Essentials, West Point Coins, Three Rivers Antiques and 763 Antiques. Step into any, or all of them, to see the most interesting and unique items.

“We have customers who come in from all over the state and even other parts of the country,” said Ruth Anderson of Three Rivers Antiques at 615 Meeting St. “We have a strong online presence and that draws people to our shop.”

Ruth said Three Rivers is a Dealers Mall and 30 vendors market their items under the Three Rivers roof. She said all of the West Columbia antique markets promote each other and the local businesses close by.
“We have a lot of traffic coming in from WECO Biergarten and from Savage Craft Ale Works,” Ruth said.

Touring the shops is sure to work up an appetite by noon. Savage Craft Ale Works at 430 Center St. is open from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday.

“Saturday afternoon is when we do the most family time. Lunch seems to bring together play dates and adult hangout time while still having the ability to let the kids run and play safely and pet owners can sit around and enjoy the afternoon with a beer and burger,” said Victoria Porter, Savage Craft manager.

“Later, the beer garden fills up, lawn chairs come out and you can feel the energy in the air. The laughter and conversations are everywhere, with the music creating a vibrant backdrop. I love Saturday, it’s laid-back Southern hospitality at its strongest. The vitality is contagious.”

Savage Craft Ale Works live music schedule is from 7 until 10 p.m., Thursday thru Saturday and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., Sunday.

Another Saturday lunch favorite is D’s Wings at 415 Meeting St. It’s open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturdays.

There are also other venues for music in West Columbia’s River District.

Chayz Lounge, 607 Meeting St., presents professional contemporary jazz and rhythm and blues. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Thursday and at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Chayz Lounge also offers a Sunday Jazz Brunch. Doors open at noon and live jazz begins at 1 p.m. Please RSVP.

Another alternative for music in your West Columbia weekend is Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor at 710 Meeting St. Bill’s is promoted as “the home of R.C. Colas, Moon Pies, and Good Ole Bluegrass music.”
At Bill’s there is some sort of music from open stage and dancing to DJs and live bands at Bill’s from Thursday through Saturday.

New Brookland Tavern and State Street Pub are other places to get a drink and relax..