Columbia, SC (WLTX)- An out-of-state seafood restaurant planning on opening another location at Dutch Square has sparked a conversation about the future of the mall that's currently lined with vacant store fronts.
Crab Shack, currently in Jacksonville, Florida, announced through a Facebook video that they are expanding to Columbia.
That video has been viewed over 30,000 times and has hundreds of shares, but some asked why the owners would chose such a desolate mall.
"We counteract a lot of those comments with number one the mall is not dead," Co-owner and Columbia resident Karen Watson said. "Number two, this is still a very viable area."
Watson said when the Harbison shopping center opened up, residents felt the move of retail stores.
She specifically chose Dutch Square, wanting to be a part of revitalizing the area.
"We have a lot of friends, and followers, and people that know us throughout the years and a lot of business owners that might take an interest in coming over there," Watson said.
Mall goers welcomed new businesses into the mall. Barbara Downs, who had never shopped at Dutch Square, came to see if the Crab Shack was open.
"Hope with this business coming in, they'll have much luck and much prosper, because most people don't come here anymore," Downs said. "We have to start with baby steps, and if this one crab shack is the baby step that gets it going again, then I'm willing to support them."