Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- After you have checked out the lions, tigers and bears at the Riverbanks Zoo, it might be time for a break--and if you are hoping to grab a bite to eat, do not expect the usual.
"I was so surprised! It looks so beautiful, almost like a fine dining restaurant but casual because you can see the Alligator," said Cari Pulliam of the changes.
She and her son did not realize the zoo changed food options recently, but she says they are glad to see and taste the difference.
"It's nice to know everything is kind of a special," she said.
New additions at the zoo's Kenya Café include artisan sandwiches, fresh made to order salads, po' boys, veggie burgers, and weekly specials.
"Our goal is to get rid of the thought of zoo food, we want the food to be as much of the experience as the rest of the zoo," said Laura Caster, General Manager of Service System Associates at the zoo. The group is overseeing the zoo's food and retail services.
Caster says can still find some of your other favorite foods as well like hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza.
"There are some staple items that if you're a kid and you're a family and you're here to have fun you gotta have. You gotta have soft serve ice-cream, and fresh popped popcorn, and fresh cotton candy those are things that we all offer we're proud of that," said Caster.
Food changes will not be the only things that are different. Caster says food and retail kiosks through the park will undergo renovations beginning later this year.
Changes that Pulliam says will make a great thing, even better.
"I love the zoo and I think it's one of Columbia's shining stars and so anything to make it even better is only just a blessing for this whole community," said Pullium.