Downtown Shakespeares is on track to open at the end of the summer

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COLUMBIA - It has been a year since Shakespeare's Pizza announced it would temporarily re-locate from its iconic spot downtown on Ninth and Elm streets. 

Toby Epstein, the general manager of the downtown location, said he can't believe how the time has flown.

"I can remember a year ago us talking to each other and saying 'It'll only be a year, year-and-a-half tops' and thinking that seemed so far away," Epstein said. "But here we are, and we've got, you know, a few months left until we move back to the original spot."

The restaurant moved a block away to the corner of Eighth and Elm streets, where BBCII and Tin Can Tavern used to be.

Construction is scheduled to be finished by the end of the summer on the multi-story building.

"We're hoping maybe in August by the time school starts again. Hopefully, we'll be all set and running," Epstein said.

He said the transition to the Eighth Street location was hectic because it happened so quickly, so the employees might take their time when they switch back.

Columbia residents can expect to see some changes in the re-built location, such as a patio on Ninth Street, Epstein said. The new restaurant will also be about 2,000 square feet bigger.

"We have room for two locations in the front space, so we'll be able to make pizzas hopefully faster," Epstein said.