Publico Kitchen Social Tap: Review
November 15, 2015 | Five Points, Forest Acres, Restaurants, Reviews, Shandon, University Hills

New Restaurant/Bar in Columbia’s Five Points Has a Good Vibe

FIVE POINTS – COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some might think launching a new restaurant on a “Friday the 13th” might be a risky venture, but superstition didn’t stop the grand opening of Publico Kitchen Social Tap in Columbia, S.C.’s Five Points village this past Friday.

First, let’s talk about its style. Then, we’ll get to the food.

 Publico offers an artsy, rustic exterior with some hip signage featuring bulb-lit letters along with colorful, distressed lettering. The restaurant transformed the old glass storefront panels into garage-style doors that slide up and turn the space into an open-air environment. On a beautiful day, like this past Saturday when we visited, this open-air feel really amps up the positive energy.
The building itself is an old one, and for those familiar with Columbia’s food scene, they’ll remember it’s the same spot occupied for decades by the landmark Garibaldi’s which unfortunately closed in January 2015. Thankfully, however, the space has undergone a major facelift. Publico does a pretty decent job with blending together today’s trendy “farm chic” design elements. You’ll find lots of distressed woods, metals and industrial warehouse lighting.
Fusion TacosPublico’s menu features everything from pork belly spring rolls (needed a little more flavor) to guacamole and chips (they were out of guac) … to a long list of fusion tacos. The tacos, by the way, were good! A full-service bar offers liquor, wine and a decent list of local brews. Prices are reasonable, making it a place most folks can easily afford.
Our server was energetic, polite and on-time. A number of big screen TVs are displayed throughout, and on this Saturday, we watched as those damn Florida Gators whipped our beloved Carolina Gamecocks. (Next year will be better, right!?)
Overall, Publico Kitchen Social Tap gets it right. Yes, there will be a few kinks to work out, but that’s to be expected. Publico’s location at 2013 Greene Street (right across from the Five Points fountain) makes it convenient to the surrounding Columbia neighborhoods like Shandon, Olde Shandon and University Hill. If the weather’s nice out, consider walking or biking because as we all know, parking in Five Points isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.

Sun-Thu: 11:00 am – 12:30 am, ~ Kitchen closes at 10pm

Fri-Sat: 11:00 am – 2:00 am, ~ Kitchen closes at 10pm

Sun: 11:00am- 3:00pm ~ Brunch starts at 11:00am

Address 2013 Greene St, Columbia, SC 29205
The Moore Company rates it like this:

The Moore Company Rating

  • Coolness | - 4/5
  • Food | - 3/5
  • Location | - 5/5
  • Rideability/Walkability | - 3.5/5 - from most of the neighborhoods around downtown Columbia.