When restaurant veterans Robin Ayers and Deb Rust saw the perfect downtown location at 820 E. Broadway, they knew they wanted to start their own restaurant.
“The spot was open and it was a little bit of the right space at the right time,” Rust says.
The two opened Tellers Gallery and Bar in May 1998. Since then, Tellers has become a downtown fixture with its large windows looking out onto Ninth Street and East Broadway. As a popular place for happy hour, lunch and dinner, Rust says the spot appeals to a wide variety of ages and groups.
While there are plenty of popular restaurants in Columbia, Tellers sets itself apart with its art gallery aspect. Since the first day of business, Tellers has been a place for local artists to show and sell their work. The pieces hang on the walls with a price tag, and they are changed once a month.
“It’s an opportunity to keep the ambience interesting,” Rust says. “Whether it’s your favorite or not, it’s always a conversation piece and it’s always changing.”
In addition to its support for local art, the eatery is also known for quality food. From create-your-own salads to blackened salmon, Tellers has a full lunch and dinner menu, as well as a drink menu. The martinis are probably the most popular, Rust says.
It’s a winning combination of art, food and drinks enhanced by excellent customer service. Most of the food is made from scratch, and Tellers has something for any appetite, Rust says.
“We enjoy what we do and we hope that is something that people can see.”
Tellers is open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Keep up with Tellers news and events on Facebook.