Joshua Andino and his wife, Chalia, wanted breakfast. In the Midlands they searched for a perfect place for brunch but couldn’t find a place that could meet their needs.
“There are chains here, you know. I mean, breakfast is breakfast,” Andino said. “But we wanted to honor Sunday brunch.”
Because of the desire to eat brunch all week long, the idea for breakfast was born at Ruiz. Owned by a mother and son, the restaurant serves traditional Southern breakfast favorites such as shrimp and grits, French toast, and breakfast cocktails.
Andino believes that his restaurant differs from his other restaurants in Colombia because of his cuisine’s focus on fresh, local ingredients.
“I think the Southern staple is shrimp and grits,” Andino said. “We buy our grits from a local place here in Colombia.”
While most of the breakfasts on Ruiz’s menu are inspired by Southern food, parts of the menu honor the owners’ Puerto Rican culture. One of the dishes is made with sliced fried pork, which is a common dish in Puerto Rico.
The restaurant opened a trial opening on June 29. On July 2, Andino and his mother, Iris Perez, received a full house. The sound of silverware banging and soft chatter were the owners’ most rewarding moments since the crowd greeted.
It’s like, ‘You’re here for us,’ said Perez. “
It is located at 116 State St. In the bustling riverside area of West Columbia, Breakfast at Ruiz fills a place that was once home to Palate Restaurant and before that, 116 Espresso and Wine Bar, which was actually known for its brunch and brunch.
Breakfast at Ruiz is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Andino plans to expand the hours and services of the brunch venue to serve up a dessert and tapas bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. In addition, Andino intends to open the top floor of the building to provide a special venue for events on the weekends.
“(Locals) are excited to get something new. When it’s a mom-and-pop store, it’s the locals who keep you alive,” Perez said.
This story was originally published July 14, 2022, 10:34 a.m.