COLUMBIA, 2/20/12  (Beat Byte) --  Rumors of big shakeups in downtown Columbia are heating up social media hereabouts.   

"Holy crap.  Cool Stuff is closing!" writes Kimberly Pugh on the iconic downtown Columbia store's Facebook page

Heart Beat reader Pam Sisson reports that "going out of business signs" are on the store's windows and a final blowout sale is planned for this Thursday, February 23.  

"Bleu is moving to the old Boone Tavern," Tweets Columbia District director Carrie Gartner.  "Last day in the current space is February 26th.  Opening in new space in early April."
Boone Tavern is also closing "at the end of the month," Columbia School Board member Jonathon Sessions said on Facebook"Bleu is hoping to open by beginning of April."

"So let me get this straight -- one of the most popular restaurants in Columbia, in the thick of downtown -- is closing immediately before the True/False Film Festival?"  Karen Pasley asked.  "Brilliant."

Cool Stuff owner Arnie Fagan has been known for a publicity stunt now and again, and the other reports are still rumors, so it's all up in the air.   We prefer to keep our "gossip column" hats on for this one, and let other reporters confirm or deny.