COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sylvan & DuBose Jewelers is closing its doors after decades on Harden Street in Five Points.
Owner Bruce DuBose said after 4 generations in the family, he's the last and ready to retire. But, he feels he's leaving Five Points in a good place.
“I'm leaving a different Five Points, but I'm telling you that Five Points is on the upswing. This is going to be, within the next five years, the best place in the city to do business. Because we've got people behind Five Points and they want to succeed, and it will,” DuBose said behind the counter of his shop on Wednesday.
The store, with 50 percent off stickers on almost every case, will remain open until remaining inventory is sold.
It originally opened in 1922, moved to Harden Street in 1940, and moved to its final location, still on Harden, in 1947.
DuBose said he hoped a new mix of retail, bars, and restaurants occupies his soon to be vacant space along with the other vacancies in Five Points.
After some late-night bars and other businesses closed within the last year, ‘for lease’ and vacancy signs litter certain areas of Five Points.
Five Points Association Board President Steve Cook said they're optimistic about what's coming to the area even as they’re sad to see Sylvan & DuBose leave. He called the recent closings in the last year part of a regular cycle in a business district
Cook said he knows development is coming, like the spot he calls, “Upper Harden Street” across from the Food Lion. Cook continued business are hoping to take advantage of a dynamic time in Five Points.
Customers, business owners and employees weighed in on what they'd like to see.
“We want, I would like, good restaurants, retail of different-- variety of different retail, not just one style, but everybody. Because that's Five Points, Five Points belongs to everybody,” said Ima Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux owns Gibson’s, which moved back to Five Points within the last year and a half. She called the reputation of Five Points as a late night college spot with occasional crime incorrect.
Tina Opoulos was a customer going in and out of businesses on Five Points on Wednesday. She said the area could use a wider variety of retail and more upscale restaurants.
“A lot of people are into Keto now, so that's very popular, steak and seafood. To have one really good here,” Opoulos said.
In a restaurant nearby, waitress and USC Junior, Gabrielle Joyce, agreed the area could use more retail.
“I guess like stores and shops that serve to college students and their parents too, a lot of them are like coming into town. A lot of stuff more that's like promoting the school,” Joyce said.
But the question of how much to cater to University of South Carolina students remains a topic of conversation.
“Things have probably gotten out of balance over the years,” Cook said about the number of bars in Five Points targeting the college crowd.
But, he added they were hopeful a better mix of businesses moves into vacant properties in the coming months and years.
“Extremely optimistic about what’s coming,” Cook said. He added he could not add details about unannounced future developers interested in the area.