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Yesterdays in Five Points closing doors for good

The iconic Columbia restaurant featured a man in a full sized bath tub above the entrance

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After 43 years, Yesterday's restaurant, a Columbia staple, is closing its doors for good.

"43 years is a hell of a run," the business wrote in confirming the news.

The front of their restaurant displays an iconic part of the Five Points neighborhood, a man in a full sized bathtub. The building sits at the corner of Devine and Harden Streets.

The restaurant was popular for its southern comfort food they have served since 1978. 

On social media, the restaurant writes, "It is with heavy but grateful hearts that we’ve decided to hang it up for good."

"We want to extend love and thanks to all of you who came along for the ride. This community made work feel like home for us (long before that was a thing). And nothing brought us more joy than making y’all comfortable. Take care of yourselves and be good to one another."

Yesterday's was owned by brothers Scottie and Duncan MacRea and business partner Darrell Barnes. The three men started the restaurant in 1978, at first serving a lunch menu.

The easily recognizable location's back bar was a popular hangout through the early 2000s. Darius Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish, writer Pat Conroy, and University of South Carolina football great Jadeveon Clowney were regulars. ESPN Game Day mentioned them in a Talk of the Town segment.

The Five Points St. Patrick's Day celebration began in Yesterday's parking lot.

Around 2018, the MacReas and Barnes began thinking about retirement. In early 2020, they sold the building and the adjoining parking lot to an unnamed investor and leased back the space to continue to operate the restaurant.

On April 3, Yesterday's tweeted out that it would be closing temporarily.

On April 4, the restaurant posted food items available for pick up, writing that it might be "last day of service for what looks like a while." 

The post does not go into detail about the reasons for the closure. 

Robert Williams, owner of the Lizard's Thicket chain and president of the Columbia Restaurant Chapter of the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, said he was sad to hear of Yesterday's closing.

"I hate it," he said. "We've been friends and competitors for over 40 years. The restaurant was part of Columbia."

A little known fact, said Williams, "my father had scouted the building when he was looking for a Lizard's Thicket location." During a walk-through of the building, the owner at the time told Williams' father he was a week late, that he'd sold the property to "three young men."

Williams said he'd been in contact with Barnes, talking to the fellow restaurant owner Tuesday evening after the closure was announced. Williams said that Barnes and the MacCreas had planned to retire from the business later this year but the coronavirus sped up the process.

Williams hinted that the new owner of the Yesterday's building has plans to reopen and had already started the process of filing for historic preservation grants.

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