PRIMAL, a healthy meal prep kitchen in West Columbia, has closed after nearly six years in business, the owner said in a Facebook post April 4.
The restaurant and meal prep service halted operations temporarily in late January, citing rising cost of supplies and staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. Less than a month later, owner Greg Martin announced on social media that he would be reopening and rebranding what was Primal Gourmet and Kitchen as PRIMAL.
In early March, a new coffee shop, Brickhouse Gourmet Coffee and Teas, opened up inside of the spot on Meeting Street.
Despite PRIMAL’s closure, the businesses inside of the Meeting Street location will continue to operate — that includes the new coffee shop, Brickhouse, and Dorsia Pasta Company, which offers handmade pasta.
And new businesses are set to open inside of the kitchen, according to Martin. Once those businesses are officially operating, Martin wants to rename the location and hold a grand opening.
“Developing Primal Gourmet and being its owner is the greatest achievement of my life. This company has given me so much regarding innumerable new friends and good lifelong memories in the more than six years I’ve been at this helm,” Martin said in the post.
The kitchen is not the first in the area to shut its doors following the COVID-19 pandemic. In West Columbia alone, at least two restaurants in the last year have closed down — in October of last year, West Columbia lost Palate, a restaurant on State Street and just last month owners of Bricks and Stones Pizza Company announced they were closing.
Restaurant closures are a thing that could continue to happen as local businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a January survey from the National Restaurant Association, nearly three-quarters of restaurant owners said their restaurants were less profitable than before the pandemic began.
“As you can imagine, it’s not just one issue. It’s many, many problems that became too complex and daunting to overcome,” Martin said in the post, “If anyone is to blame for the situation we found ourselves in, of course that person is me. While I consider myself an expert in foodservice operations, this was my first time ever owning a business.”