(Columbus, June 1, 2018)  — Building on the momentum generated by the completion of the $140 million expansion and renovation of the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), the facility has attracted new merchants to the South Café & Marketplace and initiated a weekly entertainment series and a gift certificate program.

“We’ve augmented the quick-service dining establishments that guests have been patronizing for years with a selection of new tenants providing specific services to attract an additional segment of local and traveling customers,” said GCCC General Manager John Page.  “In addition, we’re further activating the destination with a Friday lunchtime entertainment series and are offering gift certificates for purchase to encourage repeat visitation.”

Three new service providers have joined the South Café & Marketplace area:

  • Sky’s the Limit Barber & Beauty Boutique, operated by Nassim Muhammad, presently offers all type of haircuts, shaves, razor shaves, and eyebrow, mustache and beard trims. Beginning in late June, an arriving associate will focus on women’s haircuts, traditional color, color correction, highlights, lowlights, crazy color, eyebrow waxing, braids, extension styles and cuts. Future plans include offering manicures and facials.
  • Donya’s Florals is operating from a colorful cart and kiosk managed by proprietor Donya Lewis. A full-service florist with offerings available at, Lewis is specializing in meeting room flowers, reception and lobby décor, air purifying plants, weekly subscription services, and special occasion and event flowers.  Exhibitors and meeting planners can also place floral orders for their events and trade show booths. About 20 commencement ceremonies are booked at the GCCC during graduation season, and Lewis is arranging grab-and-go bouquets featuring school colors for customers to purchase and present to their favorite graduates.
  • Dr. Shine, shoe shiner Harry Batté, was the longtime shoe shiner at the airport. He has relocated his stand to the South Café & Marketplace and is shining men’s and women’s shoes, boots and other leather items there.

In addition to the new merchants, the South Café & Marketplace Friday Fun entertainment series is creating a buzz from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday, except for holidays.  Entertainers have included a caricature artist, banjo player and singer/guitarist Kyle Marler, who will be performing again on June 8 before departing for a cruise ship engagement.  The GCCC is booking acts for Friday Fun — and its other entertainment series, Live at Lunch! on the first Thursday of every month at Discovery Café — directly and through referrals from the GCCC’s listing on the Greater Columbus Arts Council Street Performer Database.

South Café & Marketplace Cash is now being offered in $5 and $10 denominations. Designed to be redeemed just like cash, the certificates are available to the general public at the Guest Services Centers and make convenient gifts for employees of nearby businesses who visit the shops and restaurants on a regular basis. Event planners may utilize the South Café & Marketplace Cash as vouchers to provide meals for their staff, coaches, exhibitors and volunteers.

  • The GCCC venue itself is a cashless facility. This includes all GCCC operated concessions and all in-lane GCCC parking transactions. However, within the GCCC, there are individual contracted vendors and outlets who, at their discretion, may accept cash.