From the City of Cayce – When Elise Partin, the Mayor of Cayce saw her neighboring city of West Columbia’s post on social media about a new map of their restaurants, she was eager to check it out. “The artwork was fun,” but as she told the Mayor of West Columbia when she called him about it, she “had to chuckle that West Columbia was so proud of Cayce that they took credit for our restaurants on their map.” The Cayce Mayor said it’s not a great shock that the neighboring City claimed them as their own. The businesses like Duke’s Pad Thai and others on Knox Abbott Drive are fan favorites and the two cities’ boundaries are so intertwined that she said, “I get asked all the time how things are in West Columbia because a lot of people in the region think I’m Mayor there.”
It stems partly from a postal issue. Cayce is a City of roughly 14,000 residents that extends from about half way between the Gervais Street Bridge and the Blossom Street Bridge and continues downstream, past I-77 (the City has almost 20 miles of Riverwalk and trails) and then all the way back to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. CAE, the moniker for the airport, stands for Cayce. The US Postal Service however calls areas downstream, past I-77, “West Columbia”, even though West Columbia lies far upstream; a problem that occasionally creates safety issues and confusion for people requesting assistance such as in the aftermath of the train derailment a few years ago.
Certainly, folks in the sister cities enjoy both cities but there is a strong sense of identity in Cayce. Cayce residents, like photographer Charles Hite, don’t like that areas such as Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce are being mislabeled as another City. “That’s Cayce and we are proud of it!” Mayor Pro Tem Tara Almond, a frequent diner at Just Us Café on Knox Abbott Drive, thought it was funny that the map says Just Us Café draws, “the biggest crowds in West Columbia,” when actually the much loved restaurant is in Cayce. She also noted that for Cayce’s Kingsman Restaurant, the map cites, “If you can only eat at one restaurant – this is it!” We agree that if restaurant goers can only pick one restaurant to eat at, it should be one in Cayce!
The map did note that Steel Hands Brewing was not in West Columbia, but didn’t mention its home in Cayce, which is surprising since every delicious Steel Hands beer and product says “Hand Forged in Cayce.” In fact, in 2019, Steel Hands brewing produced over 32,000 cases worth of craft beer distributed to the Greater Columbia Market. “As the largest production brewery in the Midlands, Steel Hands Brewing is proud to be a thriving business in the City of Cayce and appreciates the City of Cayce’s strong support in its early success as a destination brewery, production facility and community catalyst,” says Ashley Lambert, Steel Hands Marketing Director.
“The map didn’t show the pride that we have in our restaurants,” said Councilman Phil Carter, “since we would always say Henry’s of Cayce is not only in Cayce but much better than “just fine.”
“I’ve lived here all my life” echoed Councilman Skip Jenkins “and I know that Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant, Tea Pot Chinese, D’s Wings, and the Kingsman are in Cayce. The map also missed Chris Kueny’s Sub Station II on Knox Abbott Drive, a cult-like favorite of Cayce residents and visitors, alike.” The “around the world” food options in Cayce also include a unique Jamaican eatery, The Reggae Grill and an authentic Mexican restaurant and vocal supporter of Cayce’s Public Safety Department, La Estrella, as well as favorite mainstays like Red Lobster and Dunkin Donuts. In addition, the map is missing great new additions to Cayce that have delicious coffee, great food and are picking up a huge following: Piecewise Coffee and Starbucks.
John Hert, Cayce resident and retired City of Cayce employee, was responsible for recruiting the Krispy Kreme to Cayce in the 70s. “I know where I recruited the Krispy Kreme to, and it wasn’t West Columbia.”
In all, about a dozen restaurants on the new “West Columbia Restaurant Map” promoted by West Columbia are proudly in the City of Cayce. But, that’s ok, as Councilman Eva Corley says, “We will keep on doing great work and being a great place for businesses to come.” So much so that others will understandably want to take the credit.