One of the East Coast’s most delicious native creatures is the crafty, prolific blue crab. Want to eat a whole bunch of them? For the past four years, Southeast Crab Feast has been held in four Southern cities over four consecutive weekends: Raleigh; Columbia, Charlotte and Atlanta. Columbia gets crabs on Saturday, June 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Saluda Park, 5605 Bush River Road. Tickets are $29; visit southeastcrabfeast.com to buy them. Proof that this festival is serious? From the festival rules: “Condiments such as personal seafood seasoning, mallet, butter, hot sauce, etc. will be allowed however must be shown to staff upon check-in.”
Not in the mood for a festival, but still itching for crabs? You could always take a trip to the South Carolina coast equipped with some chicken necks or fish heads, a net, and some string or a crab trap. The state Department of Natural Resources has extensive crab information on its website, including crabbing techniques; the gear you’ll need; blue crab biology, including mating and eating habits; and a glossary so you don’t look like an idiot when your fellow crabbers are exclaiming over doublers and 8-inch jimmies; visit dnr.sc.gov and search for “blue crabs.” You’ll need a saltwater fishing license to stick a crab trap in a tidal creek, but if you’re just tossing out a chicken neck on a string, you can skip the license; the DNR website also has all the details on licensure requirements.
If you’re not feeling that adventurous, Palmetto Seafood on Gervais often has live blue crabs for sale. Reach them at 254-2503.
Black Bean Café Opens in Vista
Columbia’s newest restaurant opens this week in the Vista: Black Bean Café is a South Carolina chain specializing in organic, healthy quick-dining options, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free foods. (The place bills itself as an “energy food restaurant.”) Dishes on offer include salads, a huge assortment of wraps, and, er, “power gyros.” Black Bean also serves breakfast, from bacon and eggs to vegan pancakes. Also on the menu: Cannonborough Soda! That’s the fancy Charleston soda that’s slowly been infiltrating the Columbia market; flavors on offer are Grapefruit and Honey-Basil.
The new eatery is at 701 Gervais St. — the same strip of businesses that includes Le Peep, the UPS Store and Capelli Salon. Reach Black Bean Café at 399-9797.
Speaking of Vista restaurants, Mojito’s Tropical Café is closed for a few weeks to repair water damage.
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info