By: Elyssa Vondra
The Urban Cookhouse in Irmo has closed, but a franchise in the neighborhood is a future possibility.
Before going out of business, the building housing the former site was sold to a new company.
Rent structure changed under the new management and rates increased.
Staying open was no longer an option.
“Closing was the only viable way to go,” said George Baldwin, a member of the Urban Cookhouse corporate team. He runs the location in Atlanta.
“It was just a financial thing,” he added.
Urban Cookhouse now has 11 locations across the southeast portion of the United States. One is on Devine Street in Columbia.
Baldwin said the company hopes to bring the business back to Irmo eventually. The area itself is ideal, he said.
“Closing was something we hated to do,” he added.
He says there’s a “50/50” chance that corporate may start up another location in town. For now, it is “taking a step back, regrouping.”
He said they’d entertain a franchise offer. Several locations now are run by franchisees. At least until then, several employees from Irmo have been transferred to Columbia’s storefront.