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Hmm: The Legislature Must Be in Session   no comments

Posted at 11:49 pm in commentary

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Written by ted on January 17th, 2017

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Atlanta Bread Company, 1307 Main Street: December 2016   3 comments

Posted at 12:50 am in closing

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When I heard about this closing, I did a google search for ABC troubles at the corporate level, and surprisingly to me did not turn up anything. Usually when a chain starts closing lots of locations, there will be a story in Forbes or Bloomberg or *somewhere* trying to explain the situation, and the prospects for turnaround.

Since I started this blog, Atlanta Bread Company has closed the locations at Sandhill, Lake Murray Boulevard, Socastee, Charleston and North Myrtle Beach. Now they seem to be leaving the Columbia market entirely with the closing of this store and upcoming closure of the Sunset location. Although there may be something in the Upstate, the Aiken Whiskey Road location is the only SC store left that I know of.

Absent any hard news of what's going on, I can only speculate that Panera took their formula and executed it just a little bit better, and indeed this store closed shortly after the Gervais Panera location opened just a few blocks away.

Written by ted on January 17th, 2017

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Kmart, Inlet Square (Murrells Inlet): April 2014   6 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in closing

What with all the chatter lately about Sears and Kmart I thought I would *finally* get up these shots of the former Kmart at Inlet Square in Murrells Inlet. Part of the delay was I thought I had some other shots with the closing signage up somewhere, but if I did, I can't find them.

Anyway, this store opened, in the 80s as I recall, with great fanfare as it was the first Kmart anywhere to be attached to a mall, all the others up until that point being freestanding. That meant it was a bit of a square peg in a round hole in some ways: for instance, you could not take your shopping carts from Kmart into the rest of the mall (other than directly to and from the entrances).

The experiment apparently worked (for a while) as a similar attached store later opened at Briarcliff Mall (now Myrtle Beach Mall) though it too is now gone.

Here is a contemporary WBTW story on the store closing. It's particularly interesting as it gives the viewpoint of another merchant in the mall, who is saying essentially "Well, it's hurting me, but at least we still have Penny's, Belk and the theaters", the first and last of which have both now also closed..

I believe there is now a Planet Fitness in this space, I will try to get some shots next time I drive by (hopefully in the daytime).

Written by ted on January 11th, 2017

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You'd Have to be a Venomous Invertebrate..   no comments

Posted at 10:03 pm in commentary

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To have not bought a new 2017 Pawleys Island wall calender by now.

But if you do, you still have half a month to look at *this* non-calendar buyer.

See how that worked out for him?

Written by ted on January 8th, 2017

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Cafe Risque, 17301 NE US Highway 301 Waldo Florida: 2014   2 comments

Posted at 10:03 pm in closing

Where's Waldo?

As it turns out, the answer to this perennial question is "On US-301 just south of Starke". In fact, when I found this closed Cafe Risque this summer, I believed I was in Starke, and not this particular Alachua County metropolis of 1015 souls.

In the event, I had driven by the vacant building on the east side of the road, when the partial sign I had seen percolated to the front of my brain, and I turned around to get some pictures.

I had written about Cafe Risque before, when I noticed I was no longer seeing the I-95 billboards around Darien Georgia. Doing a little more googling this time, I see that the Cafe Risque story is a bit stranger than I might have thought: the whole chain grew out of a family restaurant empire called "Skeeter's Breakfast House". Apparently that legacy led to Cafe Risque's key insight: You could run strip clubs without alcohol if you put them in out of the way places and had decent food. Certainly, the regulatory hurdles are lower that way. Of course, it's questionable if that model still works as most of the places have closed in recent years (apparently one both opened and closed in Dunn after I left the Fayetteville area) though some of that may be due to the death of the man who was the chain's driving force as referenced at the first link above. As of this posting, it appears that the location on I-75 in Micanopy Florida is the only one left as described in this (somewhat NSFW) article in Gainesville Scene.

Written by ted on January 8th, 2017

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Truth In Advertising   no comments

Posted at 10:04 pm in commentary

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Written by ted on January 5th, 2017

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Eric's San Jose, 6118 Garners Ferry Road: 22 December 2016   no comments

Posted at 10:54 pm in closing

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Well, this has already been discussed extensively on Have Your Say, but Eric's San Jose on Garners Ferry closed on Thursday 22 December 2016.

I believe I may have eaten in the building a few times when it was a steakhouse, but can only recall eating at Eric's once, when I found it of a piece with the Columbia Mexican restaurant scene: perfectly acceptable, but nothing special.

According to The Free Times:

Owner Eric Leon has sold the property to some developers who plan to build a cellular store and other retail shops...

Written by ted on January 4th, 2017

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No Beef, No Bun?   no comments

Posted at 10:50 pm in commentary

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Written by ted on January 3rd, 2017

Happy New Year Columbia!   no comments

Posted at 11:59 pm in commentary

Written by ted on December 31st, 2016

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A Great Disturbance In The Force   1 comment

Posted at 11:55 pm in commentary

Yesterday my sister was finally able to get my youngest niece to sit down and watch Star Wars. (I had tried a few years ago with her older sister, who wandered off as the droids were traversing the desert after the escape pod touched down..). She was pretty sure it was a "boy movie", but my sister assured here there was one girl who told all the boys what to do.

That girl, of course, was Carrie Fisher in her iconic role as Princess Leia. I've written how I first saw Star Wars and the impact it had on me, and of course Fisher was a big part of that. The "spunky girl" character has a long pedigree, but Leia was one of the first to actually take charge of the action rather than just supporting her love interest's plans. It wasn't a perfect role by any means: she rarely got scenes as good as the one above, but then in the end, for better or worse, the original Star Wars trilogy is Luke Skywalker's hero's journey, not Leia's.

Having an iconic role always risks type-casting, but Fisher didn't lack for work when she wanted it, and managed to re-invent herself as a writer too, all the while wrestling her demons, sometimes into submission, sometimes not.

I think both my sister and I realized from the news accounts that Fisher had sadly suffered the kind of episode you don't come back from, and I'm sure that prompted the selection of Star Wars rather than one of the many movies the girls had gotten for Christmas.

Farewell Princess, farewell Carrie.

Written by ted on December 27th, 2016

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