Owner, Muse Clothing and Director of Outreach, Downtown CID

Meet Nickie Davis, owner of Muse. Muse is a street-style clothing store for everyone. Formerly located on Ninth Street across from the world-famous Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream, Muse now operates as a pop-up shop and online retailer, featuring styles from local merchants and designers. In fact, Nickie is one herself. Shop her styles and read on to see her most-loved aspects of Columbia.

Nickie petting Whedon


Whedon is a 5-year-old German shepherd/husky mix. When I opened Muse five years ago, I called around to see who was dog friendly and I was shocked at how accepting downtown was of animals. So he goes almost everywhere with me. It’s wonderful to be able to walk around downtown with your best friend. If you want to see him, follow the Muse Facebook page to catch the next Muse pop-up shop, or just hang out downtown. Chances are you’ll run into one of us before too long.


Columbia has a great downtown, known as the District. It is full of all types of different small businesses. We have clothing stores, consignment, furniture, restaurants, bars, tattoo shops, music venues, art galleries, theaters, book stores, record stores, all within walking distance. I am proud of the District for not bringing in those larger chains. Many of the stores focus on handmade craft goods, made locally or in the USA. The landlords have taken these old buildings and, instead of tearing them down, embraced their character, which preserves history and makes for a unique downtown.

Ariel view of the District
On stage at the True/False Film Fest


I am very active in organizations around town. For example, I am on the core staff with True/False Film Fest. True/False started with a couple of guys working out of Ragtag Cinema, and now it is the second largest international documentary film festival. Celebrities and directors come into town for it. People come in from all over the world just to attend. We shut down Ninth Street, there are huge art installations, a parade. But for as big as it is, it runs so smoothly. You’ll see all kinds of people, hear all different languages; it’s just a super-diverse weekend with an amazing energy. It is definitely something that everyone should experience.

Nickie getting a slice of pizza


In Columbia, you’re supposed to say Shakespeare’s, which is great. However, I love Pizza Tree. And I will probably be called out for saying that. They just have the most fun pizzas. They have the classics. But they also have things that sound like they would be terrible, like Banh Mi pizza, but they’re phenomenal. You can get it by the slice, grab a beer. It’s just a great little spot.

Nickie enjoying a glass of wine


My go-to is Teller’s. It’s my “Cheers” bar. I know everyone, I’m in there all the time and they have great food. Hands down, my favorite restaurant is 44 Stone. They are an English pub on the south side of town, but they also opened 44 Canteen on Ninth Street, which has more of a tapas style with a global flair. Sycamore is very focused on local, fresh ingredients. They come up with the most interesting dishes and tell you where everything comes from on their menu, which is super cool and something I support. It’s kind of dangerous to work down here because you’re shelling out money to all these amazing restaurants. But I don’t ever feel bad about it because they are great, and the owners are great.

There are a lot of great bars downtown. Top Ten Wines has a ping-pong table in a wine bar, and Whedon is welcome there, too. If I want to dance, The Social Room is one of my favorite places. The Garcias, the owners, are amazing business owners here in town, so I like to support their establishments.


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