Groucho’s, axe-throwing spot coming to Batesburg, new hibachi restaurant in Lexington

By Emily Okon and Natalie Szrajer
Posted 12/17/23

Groucho's Deli and Oak Street Hatchet are set to open side-by-side in downtown Batesburg, while Machi Hibachi and Sushi will open soon as the third Japanese restaurant to occupy its spot on Sunset Boulevard in less than a year.

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Groucho’s, axe-throwing spot coming to Batesburg, new hibachi restaurant in Lexington


New businesses are coming to the twin city of Batesburg-Leesville, as a quintessential Midlands sandwich franchise finalizes opening details heading into the new year and a recently popular form of recreation finds a home next door.

Groucho’s Deli is slated to open at 139 N. Oak St. in downtown Batesburg, with Oak Street Hatchet, which will offer an axe-throwing experience, is set to follow later in 2024.

Michael Manley, one of the owners of the new Groucho’s Deli, and his co-owners have worked in the Lexington location at 117 1/2 E. Main St. for more than a decade.

“There's a bunch of us that have worked in the Lexington deli for over a decade together and we had always talked about wanting to open up a store,” Manley told the Chronicle. “We’re doing what we’ve always wanted to do.”

“We've kind of just grown up in the deli,” he added.

Manley and his team are hesitant to set an official opening date because of the holidays.

“We still have a few final inspections so I’m hoping we can work around the holidays,” Manley said. “There are things that if we hit a few bumps we might push the date but that is a realistic target.”

Known for its iconic Dipper sandwiches and Formula 45 sauce, the first Groucho's Deli in Columbia’s University of South Carolina-adjacent Five Points neighborhood opened in 1941. The business has kept expanding since, with Groucho's website listing 29 existing locations, most of which are in South Carolina. There are also three locations in North Carolina and one in Georgia.

Greg Mosely, owner of the Groucho’s building, is hoping to add Oak Street Hatchet right alongside the new sandwich hub. Mosley didn’t respond to the Chronicle’s request for more info on the axe-centric entertainment business.

The recently popular trend of axe-throwing bars already has a toehold in the county, with Craft Axe Throwing operating a spot on Lexington’s Main Street in addition to its location in Columbia’s Vista entertainment district.

Ted Luckadoo, Batesburg-Leesville’s town administrator, hopes the new businesses will bring life back to the Batesburg side of town. 

“The new businesses are creating a different vibe for that area and once we can get our [infrastructure’ improvements done in addition, folks are going to see a different Historic Downtown Batesburg Business District than what we've seen over the past number of years,” Luckadoo told the Chronicle.

“The axe throwing is gonna provide a nice entertainment venue for people to go and have a night out and enjoy themselves; this opens new opportunities for our citizens to be able to go out and be entertained,” he added.

Downtown Batesburg has seen more vacant buildings than booming businesses in recent years, but Manley said there is more than meets the eyes.

“If multimillion-dollar structures like Starbucks and Taco Bell, if they thought they could invest then why can’t we?” he said. “I come out here and eat lunch a good bit and places are always busy you know, but if big businesses are doing stuff like this, I think we’re going to see the same thing.”

“We hope to be a place where we can interact and be a safe place for the community, a place that is very family-friendly, that's very community-oriented,” Manley added. — EO

Third Japanese restaurant in a year set for spot on Sunset Boulevard 

A new Lexington hibachi restaurant is taking the place of one that recently closed.

Machi Hibachi and Sushi will be the third Japanese concept to roll through the space at 5341 Sunset Blvd., in the Topspin Plaza shopping Center, in less than a year, following Taipo Ramen House (which opened in February) and Ichiban Japanese Express (the rebranded restaurant that replaced Taipo in May before closing Oct. 29).

Machi is expected to open in about two weeks, management told the Chronicle.

Like Taipo and Ichiban, Machi is under the same family ownership as the perennially popular Ganbei Japanese Restaurant & Bar and Hokkaido Ramen House, which opened as Lexington’s first restaurant specializing in the Japanese noodle soup in 2022.

Before the succession of Japanese restaurants, the space in Topspin Plaza was occupied by It’s a Wrap Cafe. The shopping center is home to two other restaurants, both part of chains — the Mexican establishment El Jimador and the Italian sandwich shop Bellacino’s.

Machi’s hibachi and sushi will mostly be for carryout, but there are a few tables inside. There won’t be any servers.

Management said the menu is completely different from the two previous restaurants, placing a firm emphasis on its two titular dishes. — NS

Lexington resturant, batesburg-leesville business, groucho's deli, oak street hatchet, machi hibachi and sushi, columbia openings


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