By Christina Lee Knauss
Daquan “Quan” Doyle, owner of the newly opened Silk Restaurant and Lounge in the Vista, wants to offer a different kind of dining experience to his customers.
“We want this to be not your ordinary dine-in experience, where you order your main course, maybe have a glass of wine and then leave,” Doyle told SC Biz News after Silk’s June 16 grand opening. “We hope that this will be a place where you will come for dinner, let your hair down and stay for a while.”
Silk’s grand opening and ribbon cutting drew leaders from Columbia’s business community and others who explored the venue’s sleek interior, lit in inviting hues of purple and blue.
“The Vista Guild is excited to have a new restaurant like Silk in our district,” said Abby Anderson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “Quan and his team are bringing a restaurant concept to Columbia, and we are excited to have it on Lincoln Street.”
Silk features fusion-style cuisine and offers a stylish bar and inside dining space on the first floor, as well as patio space downstairs and an elegant cocktail lounge on the second floor. Both have seating and tables suitable for everyone from couples to large groups.
The new venue is located at 902 Gervais St., at the intersection pf Gervais and Lincoln streets in the former location of the Carolina Strip Club steakhouse, which closed in 2019.
Doyle, who originally hails from New Jersey, moved to the Carolinas several years ago. He previously worked as a police officer for the city of Spartanburg but has always had an interest in the hospitality industry. He is currently also the owner of the XO Hookah Lounge in Charlotte, N.C.
He picked Columbia’s Vista for his new venture because he loves the area and thinks it could use the kind of upscale variety of dining and entertainment Silk will offer.
“I think the Vista has a lot of potential for growth because it’s a great area for entertainment,” Doyle said. “We want Silk to be a place that can cater to all walks of life, all kinds of customers whether they’re hanging out at the hotels, in Columbia for a few days or just for a day trip for a concert. We’re trying to be innovative and create an experience that you normally don’t see in Columbia, that you might previously have had to travel out of town to get.”
Silk’s bar will feature a variety of signature drinks, and the menu includes steak, lamb, lobster, salmon and vegan options. The restaurant’s goal of being original shows in such appetizer options as deep-fried deviled eggs and “24K Gold Wings,” which are dusted with edible 24K gold.
Doyle hopes to reach a diverse clientele that skews slightly older than the typical college party crowds that Columbia nightlife is known for. The goal is to please those who want a more upscale night-out experience that includes dressing to impress. As a result, Silk has a dress code that bars overly baggy or ripped clothing, athletic wear, tank tops, and baseball caps.
Silk will eventually offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as special events such as “Martini and Poetry Tuesdays,” masquerade parties and other events.
“Right now, we’re working on getting into our groove and finding out what works best for our clientele in Columbia,” Doyle said.