Columbia, SC (WLTX) - If you're looking for some technology from a galaxy far, far, away, you could take a drive in Cayce where a family is hoping to add another dimension to the neighborhood.
If you take a drive down Frink Street, it looks like any other back road until you pass by Sharpe’s Creations. John Sharpe has built something pretty special.
"Back behind us is the Imperial Walker. Some of the younger kids call it AT-AT or A-T-A-T," explained John.
If you've seen Star Wars, you would know exactly what this 16-foot tall sculpture is. John built the masterpiece for the first Comic Con in Columbia and says it has caught a lot of people's eye.
"Next thing we knew, we had people from all over the U.S. visiting this area," said John.
He says folks from all the way in France has traveled to South Carolina to see it.
It's a landmark for their business but there's a new force brewing in their art studio.
John's wife, Venetia, is the co-owner of their family business Sharpe Creations.
"This is going to be where all the magic of distilling takes place. We're hoping to get a synergy going between the art we currently produce and the artistic nature of producing fine spirits," explained Venetia.
The Sharpe's bought two other buildings on the same street to open a new gallery and hopefully open up a restaurant. They say all this is for a purpose.
"Artists in the greater Columbia area are getting priced out from where they're at. We would like to be able to offer a new home," said Venetia.
They plan on calling the new spot “Southern Essence Distillery.”
With one of the buildings they recently purchased, they plan on adding art that they’ve made, plus exceptional art from the community, to put in the gallery. The other building will turn into a restaurant that will be operated by their son.
The family believes adding art to the community will help the city of Cayce grow.
"We need to take care of our immediate environment and sort of bring it up and make it a little bit better," said John.
They're hoping their rum, vodka, gin and brandy will also bring a stronger presence to the Cayce Arts District.
"We're hoping the synergy between the Imperial Walker, the art studio, the micro distillery will hopefully get things going even faster," said John.
The Sharpe's say folks usually come by to take a picture of the Star Wars sculpture and the best time is when it's lit up at night. You can check out the distillery when they open in March.
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