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O'Kane's Irish Pub And Eatery, 318 Centre Street (Fernandina Beach): November 2013   6 comments

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Well, Happy New Year folks!

When I don't spend the New Year in SC, I like to ring it in in Fernandina Beach, my father's hometown. My own little mini-tradition dating back a decade or so was to hit O'Kane's Irish Pub on Centre Street for the live music and champagne toast at midnight. So, I was rudely surprised when I ambled down from the hotel New Years Eve, and found the storefront dark. The next day, I asked another merchant on Centre Street what had happened, and she indicated that she had heard the owners divorced then couldn't agree on handling the lease. Whatever happened, the place seems to have closed in November.

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Here is the place on New Years Eve/New Years Day 2012/2013:

In the event, I ended up next door at The Courtyard which was a smaller, a more sedate venue with an older crowd (ie: my age). I was quite impressed with the music though. Local artist Nora Ricci was performing, and she is quite good, with entertaining stage patter (very important for a small venue) as well as solid singing and playing:

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Written by ted on January 3rd, 2014

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Don's Marching & Music Society / The Library, 805 Harden Street: 8 November 2013   17 comments

Posted at 12:46 am in nightclub

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Having a bar called The Library is an old tradition in college towns. Whether it actually happens, or just the notion is enough to hang a name on, the idea is that the hard partying student will truthfully tell his parents he's spending a lot of time at the library.

Recently, in Columbia, that tradition is reported to have taken a nasty turn. Five Points has been having a terrible year as far as crime goes, and according to The State, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lot called out The Library by name:

Lott says he sent both uniformed and undercover officers to Columbia's Five Points on Oct. 26. He says the officers found a number of gang members hanging out at a bar called The Library and other people hanging out looking for fights or to rob people.

Shortly thereafter, The State reported:

The owner of a Columbia nightclub that the sheriff says is a hangout for gang members says he could be forced to close.

Justin Kershner of The Library nightclub says he was told by the state revenue department that he must pay $18,000 in back taxes by 2 p.m. Friday or give up his permits to sell beer, wine and liquor.

Finally, The State Reports:

The Library nightclub is closed indefinitely

.....

The decision to close came a day after he said paid his back taxes and was trying to figure out how to get back into the good graces of local law enforcement.

Because of trees, it is difficult to get a good picture of The Library building from across Harden, and even on the right side of the road, the view is still a bit obstructed. When I took the first set of pictures, the signs for The Library were still up, if not easily visible. When I took the night pictures, the signage had already come down, and there was a crew inside that looked to be cleaning the place out.

UPDATE 7 December 2013: Added Don's Marching & Music Society to the post title, and check the comments for a not from the original "Don"!

Written by ted on November 14th, 2013

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Bakers Sports Pub & Grill, 7167 Two Notch Road: 18 October 2013 (open again)   20 comments

Posted at 10:42 pm in nightclub,restaurants

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Wow!

When commenter badger mentioned that the Columbia Mall outparcel Bakers Sports Pub & Grill appeared to be closed, I thought I might run over there after work to take a look. I certainly did not expect what I found.

On the east side of the building, things looked almost normal, but I noticed as I walked over from my car to the front door that part of the entrance was boarded over. Then I just figured that this was not a business related closing, but that probably they had had a fire. Looking in through the door though, there were no burned sections, just a lot of devastation.

Then I got off the porch and noticed the crime scene tape around the front and west side of the building. Then, walking around (outside the tape boundry..) I saw this:

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Once home, a bit of googling established that it was exactly what it looked like -- someone had driven a pickup truck into the west side of the building. And furthermore, it was part of a police chase that saw the truck drive through *another* building, run over one suspect and leave the other suspect (the driver) shot dead by police. It's a pretty incredible story, and in fact I had glanced through it last week without making the connection with Bakers.

The State has a dramatic picture of the pickup truck after it hit the wall.

(Hat tip to commenter badger)

Written by ted on October 29th, 2013

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Ship On Shore / Timex Social Club / Club Rolex / N-21 Plaza, 8400 Wilson Boulevard: 1990s(?)   4 comments

Posted at 10:56 pm in business,nightclub,stores

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North Main Street becomes Wilson Boulevard as it heads out to Blythewood, though perhaps more to the point here, it is also US-21. I noticed this defunct little plaza on the South side of Wilson at the corner with Pisgah Church Road this weekend. There are no numbers on the buildings, but a bit of web searching suggests that this property is 8400 Wilson Boulevard (and is much more extensive than the two buildings in the plaza).

The only business name that comes up is Armstrong Equipment Company which looks to have been a trucking firm, and would, I guess, be somewhere else on the 4 acres. As for the plaza itself, to me the two buildings appear to have been a bar and convenience store.

This Loopnet listing shows the whole property, with the plaza area listed as "under contract". This property valuation seems to be for a home somewhere on the property, but you have to admire the lake name given in the accompanying graphic.

UPDATE 29 October: From the comments, it appears that one of these was a seafood restaurant in the 80s and also one was a bar called Timex Socal Club and Club Rolex so I have added those to "N-21 Plaza" in the post title.

Written by ted on October 27th, 2013

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Cactus Inn, 7349 Garners Ferry Road: 2013   7 comments

Posted at 11:05 pm in nightclub

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I remember thinking half-heartedly at one time that I needed to get a picture of neighboorhood bar Cactus Inn on Garners Ferry, but of course I didn't, and now the original sign is down and the place is half-remodeled into a title loan operation.

However you can still see the original look on google streetview for at least a while longer.

(Hat tip to commenter Frank)

Written by ted on May 14th, 2013

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Rosa Linda's Restaurant & Taproom, 3415 US-17 (Murrells Inlet): April 2013 (arguably)   no comments

Posted at 1:00 am in grand-strand,nightclub,restaurants

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Well, this is no surprise I'm afraid.

I've told how the original Rosa Linda's was the first Mexican (ish) restaurant where I was a regular, and an important part of my beach trips from the 80s into the oughties, so I was quite excited when the original Rosa Linda's family started to re-establish the restaurant in the former Hoof 'n' Finz in Murrells Inlet where US-17 business and US-17 bypass reconverge around Inlet Square Mall.

When they finally re-opened, everything tasted exactly as I had remembered it, from the yellow rice to the pinto beans flavored with crisp bits of lightly cooked onion. My only disappointment was that the new floor plan (and possibly elevation..) did not make a pizza oven possible as I had really loved the pizzas in the old locations. (And after all it was "The Mexican / Italian Connection").

My only concern was that attendance seemed very light the times I was there, and sure enough I found it closed on one of my 2011 trips.

Later, I heard it was open again, but the story seemed a bit confusing. Basically piecing things together from the Rosa Linda's Facebook page, and some things that local restaurant writer Becky Billingsley (who often seems to know more than she puts down) had written (here, here, here, and here)., I think the story was this: The original owners had a silent partner in the re-establishment of Rosa Linda's and when the initial financial goals weren't met, the silent partner took over the operation with some grandiose plans for making it a chain.

I was a bit reluctant to go back, as the original manager knew me by sight if not by name, and I didn't want to undercut her, but after I saw that they had moved to Texas, I figured it would be OK to check it out. My thought was that the new management would have tinkered with the menu, possibly adding some standard Mexican fare such as chile rellenos etc while keeping the signature items in place. In fact that was not the case, and the menu was completely new without any of the historical Rosa Linda's items. I thought it was acceptable, but gave me no reason to come to Rosa Linda's in preference to the many other Mexican restaurants on the strand. I mean, no Mexicana Mud? Come on!

After that, the place showed the dreaded Rule #1 from signs your favorite restaurant will soon be closing: The hours changed. More to the point, though the place was not supposed to be seasonal, it closed for the winter with a note on the roadside marquee that it would be open again in March. When I went down in March, the sign said it would be open again in April. I think we all know how that story ends! When I went down in early May, the branding signs (except for the parking lot marker) had all been taken down, there were Home Depot boxes and packing tape inside, and the new phonebooks sat in lonliness outside the front doors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on May 14th, 2013

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The Rolling Stone, 1332 Rosewood Drive, March 2013   4 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in nightclub

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The Rolling Stone was the follow-on operation to End Zone Grill on Rosewood just up from the Fairgrounds.

It got some publicity last year for getting into a spat with representatives of the music magazine of the same name over trademark issues. I guess that was settled, as neither the bar nor the magazine changed its name. I never stopped by, but it looks to have had a nice setup, with an outdoor stage and movie screeen and a bonfire pit. I have to say though, that the tree by the front left of the building is by far my favorite feature.

The place has just reopened as a barbecue operation, The Southern Belle.

(Hat tip to commenter Dennis B.)

Written by ted on April 20th, 2013

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Bailey's Sports Grille, 115 Afton Court: 3 March 2013   28 comments

Posted at 11:10 pm in nightclub,restaurants

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Every now and then, I go down Afton Court for the theater at the bottom of the street, which sometimes seems to have slightly different selections from most in town. Nonetheless, I was pretty much unaware that there was a Restaurant/Pool Hall just a little up from there. According to their closing sign, Bailey's had been there 18 years, which is a pretty good run, especially with all the turnover on Columbiana Drive.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

Written by ted on March 11th, 2013

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Your Mom's House / Good Times, 2006 Senate Street: late 2012   5 comments

Posted at 12:27 am in nightclub,restaurants

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It's really uncanny how many times this little locaation on Senate Street, tucked behind Food Lion and Cookout has opened and closed. In fact, I completely missed the closing of Your Mom's House (the follow-on operation to The Cock Lounge) and both the opening *and* closing of Good Times.

I have to say, looking in the windows, that for having hosted so many clubs, the interior looks quite Spartan..

One constant as the club names come and go, is the magnificent Magnolia tree in the side yard!

UPDATE 1 July 2014 -- It's to be Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant:

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Written by ted on January 29th, 2013

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Dave's Restaurant & Lounge, 2325 Two Notch Road: 2012   2 comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in nightclub,restaurants

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Dave's is a longtime Two Notch fixture not far past Covenant Road as you head into the city. I had noticed it often over the years, but it hit me lately that I couldn't recall seeing anyone there over the last few months when I would drive home from downtown at night, and indeed it does seem to be closed.

This review makes it sound like a pleasant low-key kind of place -- rather old school in fact, with live music by a "Drifters" alum.

Written by ted on December 12th, 2012

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