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The Rocket's Red Glare   no comments

Posted at 1:53 am in commentary

Go hold some truths to be self evident. Have fun, be careful.

Written by ted on July 2nd, 2015

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Church's Chicken, 4729 Devine Street: Late June 2015   1 comment

Posted at 12:00 am in restaurants

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Now the chicken you can't get here goes well with the tacos you can't get next door.

(Hat tip to commenter John Barrs)
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Written by ted on July 1st, 2015

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Sizzle, 819 Harden Street: May 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:25 am in restaurants

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I remember I was at a conference once in San Diego and a group of us walked into the Gas Light District looking for restaurant that someone had heard of that specialzed in garlic. Well, I like garlic and it was an excellent meal, but I recall thinking it was too bad that Columbia (much less Fayetteville where I was then living) could never support such a place.

I had a similar thought when I read the opening press for Columbia's bacon bistro Sizzle: Can Columbia really support a bacon restaurant?. Unfortunately, the answer appears to be: no, and arrived before I got around to checking it out.

(Hat tip to commenter Matt)

Written by ted on June 30th, 2015

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American Roadside Burgers, 702 Cross Hill Road Suite 400-D: Late June 2015   14 comments

Posted at 12:46 am in Uncategorized

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As you know, I don't wish failure on anyone, and certainly the crew at this Cross Hill Market burger joint seemed nice enough and I'm sorry for their jobs, but to be frank, I couldn't figure out how they lasted as long as they did.

I ate here twice, probably about a year apart, the last time in April or May of this year. When I had decided to go, I picked the place because it was a very nice Spring day, and I knew they had patio seating. In the event, by the time I got there, the sky had clouded over, and the temperature had dropped too much for outside seating to be comfortable.

Taking myself inside, I remembered why I had not been back after my first time. The interior was sort of dark and cave-like, not cheery at all, and everything seemed kind of industrial and not homey. In addition, the burgers were quite pricey and I felt like I was paying Red Robin type table service prices for counter service. And while there was certainly nothing wrong with the burgers, I would not count them in the running for Columbia's best. Also, given the location, I wondered after both times why I hadn't just gone to Smash Burger across the street, something I'm guessing a lot of people did.

(Hat tip to commenter Elizabeth)

Utopia Food & Spirits, 4330 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 20 June 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in nightclub,restaurants,venue

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There's already been a good bit of discussion on this in Have Your Say but Utopia Food & Spirits, a local music venue and restaurant across from Cross Hill Market, has closed after suffering extensive electrical damage on 20 June.

Although I posted about their move from Rosewood to this location, I'm afraid the place was not really on my radar, but they seem to have been doing good work providing a showcase for local bands. Unfortunately repairing all the damage was just too expensive given the current economy.

The Free Times has the story here.

(Hat tip to commenter Justin)

Written by ted on June 26th, 2015

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Jack and Jane Sport, 4840 Forest Drive Suite 5: June 27 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:08 am in stores

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Commenter mamarose notes the upcoming closing of Jack and Jane Sport in Trenholm Plaza.

I have to admit that since I don't like clothes shopping and since nobody has ever mistaken me for someone who does sports, I couldn't place this storefront in my mind and had to drive around the plaza looking for it. In the event, it turns out to be in the suite formerly occupied by La Bag Lady which closed in 2012.

It appears to be chilly in there.

(Hat tip to commenter mamarose)

Written by ted on June 25th, 2015

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Radio Shack, 1318 Bush River Road Suite D3: Spring 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:25 am in stores

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Here is the Radio Shack in the Wal Mart complex at the old Bush River Mall site.

I see this storefront has already attracted another business: Laptops For Less. It's a little odd that the Radio Shack marquee is still up there. Usually a chain which is still in some form of existence wants their logo off of former locations. And there *are* still some open stores though the present continued existence of RS as an entity is pretty tenuous at the moment.

Written by ted on June 24th, 2015

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Harrell's Bicycle World / Bike Street USA, 2515 Broad River Road: 2014   11 comments

Posted at 1:30 am in stores

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I think I know who could ride this bike..

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Harrell's Bicycle World apparently sold out to Bike Street USA in 2014, but that operation, which also bought out Bike To Nature did not long survive the expansion, apparently liquidating in November of 2014. It appears the chain's main strategy was buying out local stores and then functioning as sort of an IGA for the bicycle market:

Pat Patregnani, an avid cyclist and the CEO of marketing advertising firm Zimmerman Advertising, founded BikeStreet USA in 2012 and launched into the market with an aggressive business plan, acquiring independent bicycle shops and rolling them up into its corporate structure. Under BikeStreet, the stores would benefit from leveraging technology like point of sale systems, inventory management and websites that would be handled by BikeStreet, as well as marketing and greater buying power from its larger scale. Former owners and managers would receive backend operational support, allowing them to focus on taking care of customers and servicing bikes.

Though unfortunately:

"BikeStreet was also founded by folks without multi-unit store experience," he said. "When you go from one shop and you're in there everyday and you can control everything. You have your eye on everything and then you go and own 17 locations, you have to have a different set of skills to manage 17 stores, 17 managers, 17 set of employees. That's just not suited for enthusiasts without multi-store experience," he added.

(Hat tip to commenter Aaron)

Written by ted on June 23rd, 2015

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Charlotte Heroes Convention 2015, Charlotte Convention Center: 20 June 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:57 am in events,out-of-area

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Coming off of I-77 and heading downtown on Saturday gave a really stunning view of Charlotte's downtown. The sky was dotted with puffy clouds and the skyscrapers were laid out almost artistically. I really wish I could have pulled over and gotten a shot.

I was headed to the Convention Center for this years iteration of Charlotte's Heroes Convention which I have been checking out out over the years as often as I could since the days when it was a few meeting rooms at the old Holiday Inn on Woodlawn.

This year, I didn't attend any of the panels as it took all of my time just to completely canvas the main show floor. My impression is that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a new hit with costumers, though there was no single theme for the majority of costumes. I think I did notice a bit of fall-off in the Frozen costumes since Amelia Con. Stan Lee was there for photo-shoots, but the line was so long that I didn't attempt to see him. There were plenty of other creators there as well, and I bought a number of indie books for myself and my nieces, more than I've scanned below.

Anyway, it's not a bad drive (I-77 seemed a little less pot-holed this time) and there's a reasonable nearby lot, so if you get the chance next year, I recommend you check it out.

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Written by ted on June 22nd, 2015

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Krystal / Pearle Vision Express, 7301 Two Notch Road: 1990s / 2006   15 comments

Posted at 11:55 pm in business,restaurants

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I believe this building in the Dentsville K Mart parking lot was built as a Krystal in their first wave of expansion into SC. At the time they were playing up their differences from other fast food outlets with the main thing I recall being that they had a couple of non-standard vegetable offerings like fried mushrooms and maybe okra. For some reason, the chain never thrived here and now has no Columbia stores and very few South Carolina stores. Of course now their slogan is apparently Stupid Good, so they've got that going for them..

Pearle was here at least through the February 2005 phonebook, but was gone by the February 2008 one.

Written by ted on June 18th, 2015

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