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A stroll down Broadway

What's new in downtown Columbia?

Broadway is home to some of Columbia’s busiest businesses. As it is the epicenter of downtown, it isn’t a surprise that it welcomes some new tenants and witnesses some rearranging as the college enrollment numbers continue to rise and the food trends continue to shift.

One of the newest places falls into that category: Strange Donuts, located at 1020 E. Broadway, is one of Columbia’s three new doughnut shops (the others being Harold’s Doughnuts and Dunkin Donuts, which recently made its return to Columbia). Strange Donuts opened in March and shares its space with Seoul Taco. The St. Louis-based donut shop occupies the space most recently held by Freebird’s Burrito. Donuts on the menu include the Gooey Butter Donut, Cookies and Crème, Pink Lemonade, Maple Bacon and a mix of classics and many, many, more strange creations.

Sticking with the food trend, Broadway houses one of Columbia’s favorite snack centers in Hot Box Cookies. Hot Box opened its Columbia doors in 2008 after then-MU sophomore Corey Rimmel decided to take his business practices to downtown Columbia’s busiest street. The shop relocated from its original 808 location to 1013 E. Broadway late in 2012.

Rimmel said the move was meant to attract more late-night customers by moving closer to businesses with later hours. It was a successful business decision, and Rimmel says most of the Columbia customers visit in these later hours. Today’s menu includes the classic chocolate chip, M&M, peanut butter chocolate chip, red velvet, snickerdoodle and, again, much, much more.

If all this food talk is making you thirsty, allow me to discuss another, more well-established temptation located on Broadway. Tropical Liqueur’s, or Trop’s, has been serving frozen drinks downtown since 1985. It moved to its 515 E. Broadway location in 1991 after outgrowing its original Seventh Street home. The downtown location contains a large patio area, something the owners say made the business more appealing to customers. Its popularity led to an additional location on Providence in 2001. Drinks on the menu include the Tiger Paw, the Brain Freeze, the ’57 Chevy, the Sweet Tart and, surprise, a lot more.

These are just a few of the most popular stops along Broadway today. What's your favorite Broadway establishment?