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The Closing Car, 567110: 6 October 2014   2 comments

Posted at 12:59 am in landmark

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And I didn't even get the venison.

Written by ted on October 24th, 2014

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Cycle Center, 9003 Two Notch Road: 14 October 2013 (temporary)   2 comments

Posted at 1:38 am in stores

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Commenter Patrica Lewis points out that Cycle Center in Spring Valley Commons is closed.

The sign explains that the location was rendered infeasible by the fire last October (2013) which did a lot of direct damage to the East wing of the plaza and indirect damage here.

Rebuilding is continuing on the east wing and Tripp's Cleaners and the storage facility have reopened.

(Hat tip to commenter Patricia Lewis)

Written by ted on October 23rd, 2014

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The Little Gym, 2005 Beltline Boulevard: 21 October 2014 (moved)   1 comment

Posted at 12:20 am in business

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Kids' exercise and gymnastics center The Little Gym has moved out of the suite on Beltline adjacent to the old Sulley's and over to the Sounds Familiar location on Rosewood. As of today, they are open:

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Allstate Insurance, 609 Columbia Avenue: 2014   2 comments

Posted at 2:28 am in business

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Here's a nice little brick building in Lexington at the point where US-378 transitions from North Lake Drive to Columbia Avenue. That transition and interchange makes this site a bit iffy to get in and out of, but at least on a Sunday it wasn't too bad.

I like the blue shutters, which give it a nice Greek touch.

UPDATE 23 October 2014 -- Added interior shot.

Written by ted on October 21st, 2014

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South Carolina State Fair 2014, Fairgrounds: 19 October 2014   3 comments

Posted at 12:25 am in attraction,entertainment,events

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Well, what do you want me to say? It was the State Fair, and if you've followed these posts for a while, you know the kind of thing I like to take pictures of at the fair, so there won't be any surprises here.

Some changes that started last year seem to have stuck. In particular, the sand sculpture is still in the Ruff Building rather than the Ellison Building and the gray market videos and TELEVAC 8600 are still gone:

The pictures are from 12 October, which was an overcast day, though the temperature was nice. As the evening wore on, it started to spit rain a bit, and in fact more than a bit at times. That affected the skyride video this year. I was afraid it would really start coming down, so I took the video going west to east, rather than hoofing it back to the east and going the other way. That means that we're travelling away from the most visually interesting parts. I think the rain was also futzing with the autofocus of the camera a bit from time to time.

Many more pictures after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on October 20th, 2014

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Coronet Motel / Circus Room, 2770 McCords Ferry Road: 1980s   3 comments

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I probably should remember seeing this place more, as we drove past it on the way to the beach innumerable times while I was growing up. However, I always had my nose in a book, so I was only vaguely aware of the name Circus Room and couldn't have told you where it was. Or, for that matter, *what* it was. At this remove, my understanding is that The Circus Room was actually a circus style tent set up on the grounds of the Coronet Inn at the intersection of US-601 & US-378 in Eastover, and that the tent hosted a restaurant and nightclub. Even in these days of the metro area creeping ever outwards, this is a pretty rural area, and back in the day it must have been even stranger to find a well regarded hotspot here.

What was the attraction? Google pulls up this hint from the 2006 cookbook Cookin' with Cocky II: More Than Just a Cookbook:

Bright Stevenson:

I first met Bright in the Fall of 1956. Bright owned the Coronet Motel and Circus Room nightclub in Eastover. The Circus Room had the finest food and the only mixed drinks in the Columbia area at that time.

The two ads above are from the Sumter Register in 1974 and 1976 respectively.

Amazingly, both Coronet motels still exist and still are in operation, although under different names and ownership. The Eastover location is currently an Anyday Inn and is now combined with a convenience store run in the old office.

The topic has come up in Have Your Say from time to time, and here is what some people have recalled:


The Circus Room was in the old Coronet Motel near Eastover which I think was somehow related to the motel with the same name on North Main. I know they used to advertise a lot on the radio and had quite a business at one time. I drove out to Eastover a few weeks ago and what was the Circus Room was a seedy convenience store in a no tell motel.

Tom


Tom---You are right. One thing about the Circus Room was that it featured USDA "Prime" steaks which is a rarity even for today. You could call in the morning and they'd marinate your steak all day for you. I live in Kansas now which is beef country and know of only one steakhouse type place out here where you can get USDA prime beef. John.

John Merrell


I had forgotten all about the Circus Room. This was one of a few out-in-the-boondocks restaurants where we would eat on occasion when my father felt like driving out into the country (circa 1965-68). I remember the food being pretty good and it having a totally unpretentious atmosphere, but that was when gas was 25¢ a gallon, and it was easy to justify such a long trip for a good steak. I'm sure if the Circus Room had been a couple of miles down Trenholm Road, that would have been where we would have visited most often when we ate out, which at that time was once, maybe twice a month. Ancient and forgotten fond memories, thanks John.

Michael Taylor


The Circus room is still back there, but the entire back part of the motel is living quarters for the people who run it. The woman told me they took the tent down when they moved in.

She also said the guy who built the motel back in the fifties still drops into the convenience store every day.

jamie


Coronet Motel w/ Circus Room restaurant. Actually, that was out where US 601 intersects Sumter Hwy., but the restaurant was so good that folks used to drive from Columbia all the way out to Eastover to eat there. Bright Stevenson Jr owned it. His dad owned the Coronet Motel up out North Main St., going toward Blythewood.

Sid

UPDATE 24 October 2014: Added Yellow Pages graphic from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook.

Written by ted on October 17th, 2014

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Atlanta Bread Company, 8966 University Boulevard (North Charleston): 6 April 2014   no comments

Posted at 12:40 am in out-of-area,restaurants

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I wonder a bit about how Atlanta Bread is doing. They had their category to themselves for a number of years, but nowdays, it seems as though I see new Panera stores opening more often than ABCs. In fact the opposite seems to be true. ABC has left the Grand Strand with the closing of the North Myrtle Beach and Socastee stores, and here in Columbia, they have closed Sandhill (which was *directly* replaced with a Panera) and Lake Murray Boulevard (twice!).

This ABC, off I-26 exit 205, is one I would sometimes stop at on my way into Charleston if I wanted a cookie and spot of wifi before heading downtown. The last time I tried that, in June, I found the place closed for some time and already on the way to becoming a Firehouse Subs.

Written by ted on October 16th, 2014

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Wing Nuts, 5454-B Sunset Boulevard: March 2014   no comments

Posted at 11:44 pm in restaurants

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When I blogged the closing of the Harbison Wing Nuts back in June, commenter badger mentioned that the Lexington location on Sunset Boulevard had closed in March. Somehow it took me between then and now to get over there and get some pictures, but surprisingly the marquee is still up after six months.

(Hat tip to commenter badger)

Written by ted on October 14th, 2014

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Firefly Toys & Games, 5060 Sunset Boulevard: September 2014 (moved)   3 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in business

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I had driven past this Firefly location dozens of times over the past year or so, and never really cosidered the "& Games" part of the Firefly name. Since it was a bit off the beaten path, I had it mentally pegged as some sort of specialty toy store, perhaps educational toys, but never really considered that the "games" might be for "gamers".

In the event, it appears that they are, and the new location at 657 Saint Andrews Road continues to host gaming events.

(Hat tip to commenter James)

VK Nails, 2130 North Beltline Boulevard: October 2014   no comments

Posted at 11:07 pm in business

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I noticed as a went to Moe's the other day that VK Nails in the little strip mall across Beltline from Richland Mall had closed. Aside from Moe's this group of stores has always been about fitness and grooming, so it will be interesting to see what moves in next.

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