Halls Chophouse – Columbia
Halls Chophouse – Columbia
Design for Halls Chophouse Columbia had three objectives: showcase views of the nearby South Carolina Capitol building; maximize limited square footage to include both service spaces and dining areas; and create an atmosphere that was at once identifiable as a Halls restaurant and yet profoundly place-bound. Achieving these goals within an existing 9,000 SF space at the corner of Gervais and Main Streets in downtown Columbia required total interior demolition and upfit. The interior architecture of the new Halls Chophouse Columbia is an exemplary marriage of form and function, cleverly concealing service pathways and spaces behind opulent finishes and varied, decadent dining rooms.
Organizing spaces for service and dining along an east-west spine permits unobstructed Capitol views and seating for more than 230 patrons in seven luxurious dining areas. Access routes to the kitchen and service areas deeper in the interior are specifically placed to intersect this spine at short intervals, enabling Halls staff to move between service and dining areas with Halls’ signature dexterity. Deft design work successfully couches Halls’ space within the existing corporate office tower, respecting the surrounding architecture. An entirely new covered outdoor seating area maximizes views of the State House. Amid the ongoing COVID pandemic, the covered patio enables Halls to continue providing safe service.
Interior details achieve Halls’ intended dual identity as both a member of the renowned restaurant family and as a uniquely Columbia establishment. A signature classic mahogany bar profile, bead board panel detailing, mosaic tile pattern, period pendants, chandeliers, and luxuriously upholstered walls and furnishings recall Halls’ acclaimed Charleston location. A custom-carved booth, in the entry, curves around a baby grand piano and live music ensembles. Halls’ featured custom wine display is the focal point beyond, housing 700 bottles of hand-selected red and white wines chilled at individual respective temperatures. Richly textured tiles compliment custom area rugs and carpets in lush jewel tones opposite deep charcoal and mahogany walls. Large round columns are wrapped in natural cork veneer. Modeled after Napa vineyard cellar dining rooms, the private wine room features one-way privacy glass overlooking the main bar, a natural cork floor, and all-custom furnishings and fixtures. These include a trestle table, branch and vine chandeliers, and barrel tables hand-crafted in the Upstate. In each dining room, black and white photographs of local landmarks and an original series of South Carolina landscapes evoke the restaurant’s Columbia location.
Since its opening in December 2018, Halls Chophouse Columbia has become a local point of pride. It has provided a much-anticipated fine dining experience in South Carolina’s capital city on par with the fine restaurants of more cosmopolitan cities. Its many and varied dining rooms provide space for state legislators to meet privately. The Columbia Chamber awarded Halls’ a Golden Nail Award in 2019, recognizing its exemplary contributions to the physical characteristics of the Midlands. Design for Halls Chophouse Columbia has thus played an important role in its success and the continued revitalization of Columbia’s downtown.
Photography by Brian Dressler.