“New Za’s” Is On The Way.

ZasIf you live or work in Downtown Columbia, SC or are a regular patron of the Devine Street corridor, you may have already heard that Za’s Brick Oven Pizza is experiencing a change in ownership. While the new owners preferred to wait until the official close before announcing the change, the worst kept secret in Columbia is now on Facebook.

Here are some details –

Who are the new owners? I didn’t want to mess with anyone’s splash so I’ve held off. That said, in light of a few posts on Facebook I’ll tell you that the new owners may or may not have another establishment across the street, plus at least one other partner who may want to remain silent. At least one partner texted me to hold until Wed before naming names.

When are they closing? Wednesday at 2:00PM.

When will it re-open? “Will be closed for three months for renovations. There will be a new and improved Za’s this Spring.”

What are they changing, and why? Well, turns out federal laws have changed regarding restaurant regulations and some things have to be updated to move forward. Grease traps, for example. Who knew??? Anyway, the menu is largely staying the same, and I’m not sure of d├ęcor. Proper upfits, however, are a must.

I am a BIG fan of “Za’s.” I’ve spent countless hours in this restaurant and it has been the venue for some good times. Whether it was natural networking or meeting long time clients with contracts of sale and blue pens in hand, I’ve sold a lot of real estate at Za’s. Shoot, before smart phones, during the real estate boom, if a new listing came available in Shandon or Heathwood I would have clients meet me at the house to initial/sign and I would race to Za’s fax machine so my offer would be first. In my mind, with all the real estate offices on Devine Stree, I didn’t have time to wait on the red lights to get to my office on Gervais Street. Turns out if the speed didn’t matter to the seller or other Realtor, the effort often did. I’m fine with that.

It could be argued that our fun team was born at Za’s. Amanda and I would talk endlessly about getting together. She wanted me to come to Prudential Palmetto, and I wanted her to come to CB-Midtown. After about three or four years of back and forth Thursday nights at Za’s, here we are.

My wife, Jennifer, and I got to know each other at Za’s. While we didn’t meet there, we held our first real conversation right there at Za’s and probably had more ‘dates’ there than any other place in town.

I don’t know the timeline, but I’ll put my ‘Za’s time’ this way. If I spent my college years at Jungle Jims in 5 Points, I spent the next life span at Za’s. As in, like many of my friends, while I ate there like it was The Russell House at USC, I did not miss a Thursday night there. Married or not…I. Was. There. It was packed, and it was fun.

Remember when folks could smoke inside of restaurants?? Wow, I may have just dated myself. On Thursday nights Za’s looked like a big tug boat was blowing smoke in the side door.

Anyway, there you go! A new and improved Za’s is on the way! The parking dynamics will be entirely different because the new Egg’s Up Grill on the other side of the building doesn’t have night traffic.

I’ll type more info as I get the green lights!

Franklin Jones


  1. Anyone know when Zas is going to open.their doors ? They’ve been closed a long time !

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