A colorful past. A tasty future.
Experience Yesterdays’ hospitality and it will come as no surprise that the restaurant was born of friendship.
In 1976, 20-somethings Duncan MacRae, Scottie MacRae and Darrell Barnes set out to create a restaurant concept that was unmistakably their own. Rather than settling for the usual Italian, French or Chinese faire so popular at that time, the trio decided to open a made-from-scratch American restaurant, featuring regional classics from around the country.
Significant in the restaurant’s design is an onsite prep kitchen, in contrast to the microwave-crazed chains with whom they would be competing. “From the beginning, we’ve done everything from scratch, starting with what is fresh and in season,” said Darrell. “It’s always been that way.”
Each day begins with a selection of farmer’s market vegetables, to which the freshest chicken, beef and seafood are added. The menu has grown significantly since the early days and now offers a wide variety of international dishes and southern favorites. However, many patrons routinely order from the daily specials menu which features a changing selection based on seasonal availability.
Also of interest is Yesterdays location. The three of them made a trip to Columbia, South Carolina in 1976 and drove by the unusual flatiron building that housed Lombardi’s restaurant. They thought the building would make a great location for their new venture, located close to both the University of South Carolina and many state government offices. After seeing an ad in the paper the next day for a restaurant for sale, Duncan called the number and the person answered “Lombardi’s.”
The area surrounding the restaurant, called Five Points, was struggling, but the partners believed in the location and their concept. They bought the building, moved to Columbia and Yesterdays was born. Today, the restaurant remains in the unusual “flatiron” shaped building and serves as the hub of Five Points, now a landmark of shopping, dining and entertainment.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years,” said Duncan. “We’ve grown up right along with this restaurant—as have many of our regulars and employees.”
Then he laughed, “If we’d known we’d last this long, we’d a partied less!”