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The Bodega restaurant set to open in Columbia’s Rosewood

The Bodega restaurant set to open in Columbia’s Rosewood


The Bodega restaurant is opening in the at 2800 Rosewood Dr., near Publix. The restaurant will operate in the same building as the Philly Pretzel Factory.

There’s a new eatery with pizza, sandwiches and more making its debut in Columbia’s Rosewood neighborhood.

Owners Hector and Aida Sanchez are opening The Bodega at 2800 Rosewood Drive. That’s in the Rosewood Center shopping complex that is anchored by a Publix grocery store.

The Bodega is operating inside the Philly Pretzel Factory storefront, in what Aida Sanchez calls a “ghost kitchen” set-up.

“It is a ghost kitchen, which is kind of a new thing in the restaurant industry,” Aida said. “That’s where a restaurant will rent out a space to another restaurant so that people can come do pickup orders, and DoorDash and things like that.”

The Bodega has already had several soft opening days, and Aida Sanchez said a formal grand opening could happen in the next week or so. She said customers can check the restaurant’s Facebook page for more soft opening and grand opening information.

Hector Sanchez, who is the head chef at The Bodega, is a Marine who served multiple tours in Iraq, Aida said. After returning home, Hector completed a culinary arts program that they discovered through the Wounded Warrior Project.

“He just fell in love with the culinary arts,” Aida said of her husband. “The way the kitchen moves is very military-like, because you have to be precise. It was something he really, really got attached to.”

The Bodega restaurant takes its name from the famed corner stores in New York City that are known for having a little bit of everything, including meals.

“A bodega is like a grocery store in New York City that often has food, as well,” said Aida, who is originally from Brooklyn. “You can go to a bodega in Harlem and get soul food. You can go to a Spanish section of New York and get Puerto Rican food. It depends on where it’s at.”

While The Bodega on Rosewood won’t function as a grocery in the way those in New York do, it will look to tap into that culinary vibe.

The Rosewood spot will have Neapolitan pizza with fresh-made dough. It also will have chopped cheese sandwiches, which include ground beef, peppers, onions and melted cheese on a fresh roll. Aida Sanchez said the shop also will soon offer meal bowls that have international flair.

“This is authentic stuff,” Sanchez said. “We are excited. Columbia needs a fresh take on things when it comes to the food scene.”

Chris Trainor has been working for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 17 years, including previous stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the winner of numerous South Carolina Press Association awards, including honors in column writing, government beat reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage and more.