A Columbia One-of-a-Kind


The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant

When Billy Rentz turned 21 in 1989, he went to D’s Wings in Cayce to see about a bartending job. As fate would have it, so did someone else. “I walked in thirty seconds before another guy and I got the job on the spot,” said Billy, now one of the owners of the local landmark restaurant. “If Jimmy’d gotten there before me, they would’ve hired him. I would have never worked at D’s.”

Places like the now-called Original D’s Restaurant and Bar, a Columbia staple since 1988, often have a story marked with twists, turns and leaps of faith. In this area, D’s has a double order.

D’s was founded by the Hanshaw and Lucas families in Parkland Plaza on Axtell Drive in 1988. “They had a great concept — a wing joint, which there weren’t that many of back then,” said Billy. “Buffalo wings were really just starting to take off. There were only six items on the menu and the restaurant was just one room. All the tickets were written by hand. We didn’t even have a computer.”

Billy, a 1986 graduate of Richland Northeast High School, tended bar at D’s on and off throughout the late 80s and early 90s, and had moved on to another job when the Parkland Plaza location was shuttered. “In 1994, they’d opened D’s on the River in the old Hungry Fisherman, just down the road, and it was doing very well,” explained Billy. “So the original D’s was closed down. After a few months, they wanted to get the ‘Little D’s’ back up and running again. We started talking about it on a Friday. By Monday, I was a part owner of the business and, in 1995 we reopened the original D’s. Since 1997, my family has owned it outright.” These days, D’s is operated by Billy, and his working partner (and brother-in-law) Scott Thurber.

The one-time wing joint now boasts a full menu of steaks, ribs, wings and seafood and draws a crowd every night. One thing you’ll notice the moment you walk in is the money all over the walls. And, no, that’s not a metaphor.

“Best I know, the dollar bills on the wall happened by accident,” said Billy. “Someone wrote on a dollar bill and put it on the wall. After that, people started sticking them everywhere."

"When I reopened the restaurant, the walls were bare so we started all over again from scratch. On March 21, 1995, my mom put the first dollar on the wall. Not a day goes by that I don’t add one to a wall. People say they like doing it because it’s a fun memory of what they were doing that day — like a time capsule.”

The dollar bills have served as both a decoration and donation. “ When we celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2005, we decided to take them all down and donate the money to the George Rogers Foundation. So, we started pulling them off the wall about six weeks before the event,” he said. “What we didn’t know was that they’d be so darn hard to get down. At one point I’d completely cleaned Columbia out of staple removers!” With half of the bills still firmly affixed to the wall on the day of the event, Billy and staff quickly counted the remaining bills on the walls and paid the difference with a check — for a total donation of about $3,000.00. 

Over the years, the fun days, late nights, and twists and turns of fate have given D’s an authentic, proven flavor few restaurants ever achieve. Thankfully, the Rentz family has secured the Original D’s just as we remember and love it. “We try hard to do things as they’ve always been done,” he said.

When you think about it, it’s a miracle Billy was just a few steps ahead that day in 1989. Who knows what — if anything — would be in the time-weathered Cayce storefront today if Billy had lost out on the bartending job.

“I’m the luckiest guy I know,” marveled Billy. “I’ve known our regulars since the day I became a bartender. Every day I get to have a party at my house and all my friends come over. Can you get any luckier than that?”

The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant
The Original Ds Wings Restaurant

Find Us

The Original D's Restaurant & Bar

415 Meeting Street
West Columbia, South Carolina  29169


Our Hours

Monday through Thursday
11:00am – 10:00pm

Friday & Saturday
11:00am – 11:00pm

Closed for rest on Sundays

We're Social

Ds Wings Restaurant Cayce South Carolina   Ds Wings Restaurant Cayce South Carolina