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Ruby Tuesday, 4600 Devine Street : 3 December 2018   1 comment

Posted at 12:02 am in closing

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In retrospect, perhaps it was a bad idea to name a restaurant something that makes it tempting to write "Goodbye" headlines.

I never had any problem with Ruby Tuesday, but in recent years, it was clearly a place looking for its own identity in a flailing market sector. I used to visit this store weekly, as I liked the salad bar, and it was about the right distance that I could get my old Corolla wagon out on the interstate for a few miles and keep it viable. During that period I think they revamped the salad bar about four times, changes that did not always make it better, at least in my opinion. They also started and stopped serving complementary biscuits during that time as well. (They were OK, some sort of cheese drop biscuit, not as good as a real breakfast biscuit, but acceptable).

I'm not surprised this location closed, as there is another just up Garners Ferry Road, and I suspected when the chain started being in the news that one location or the other would have to go. The State has the story, but not really any more details.

With the recent retail openings in the Cross Hill area and the Old Kmart this is something of an up and coming area now, so perhaps the building will not be vacant for too long.

(Hat tip to Mr. Hat)

Written by ted on December 11th, 2018

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BB&T, 6089 Garners Ferry Road: Fall 2018 (remodeling?)   no comments

Posted at 11:27 pm in closing

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I'm not sure exactly what is going on at this BB&T next to Panera Bread on Garners Ferry Road, but it seems to be some sort of renovation.

What really needs renovation is the parking lot by the old Postal Depot, which has one of Columbia's more impressive potholes (which is saying something).

Written by ted on December 3rd, 2018

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Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, 109 East Bobo Newsom Highway (Hartsville): 1980s   6 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so at the time, Dave Thomas must have been very flattered.

Shortly after Wendy's came to town, a number of copycat restaurants popped up. They all had young girl mascots after which they were named, had square hamburgers and interiors set up with what at that time was Wendy's signature: One serving line. Unlike Burger King which was famous for letting McDonald's spend a lot of money finding ideal locations and then setting up across the street, these copy-cats tended to set up in smaller towns where there was, at the time, no Wendy's, or at least that's how I remember it. I'm pretty sure I recall chains called Judy's and Penny's (which I think had a restaurant in Georgetown which became El Cerro Grande before they razed it and built their own building). And then there was Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, which honestly I don't recall at all. Locating in Hartsville at the time would definitely be the setting up in a smaller market strategy though.

I haven't been able to find out much about Cindy's except that it definitely was a a Wendy's copy-cat and that its trademark was filed in 1976 (about the right time) and is expired. However, the chain still seems to exist in the Phillipines.

This particular location is at the intersection of US-15 & SC-151, and would have been basically in the boonies back in the day. It's still not what you would call a dense area. I may have the street address a little bit wrong, but it's close enough for Google Streetview to show the restaurant.

As you can see from the pictures, nobody else has ever set up shop here. In fact, I believe the place is now what you call a micro-clime which is uniquely suited for various plant life, though not so much for beef.

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Written by ted on November 29th, 2018

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Fallas, 5422 Forest Drive: November 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:35 pm in closing

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According to KEYT, the parent company of Fallas (and of Anna's Linens) went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August of 2018, with store closings starting on 9 August:

The National Stores, Inc says that they have also suffered financial setbacks from certain underperforming stores and that this has been exacerbated by severe weather in various regions, such as Hurrican Maria which resulted in prolonged, temporary closures to damaged stores and loss of revenue. The Company says they also suffered further financial losses resulting from the acquisition of Conway Stores. The strain on liquidity was worsened by the aftermath of the Company's data breach as access to operating funds diminished.

Apparently that didn't help much, and this store, which survived the initial wave of closings was put on a new list of closings starting 12 October 2018:

National Stores will begin a store closing sale at 184 of its remaining locations today. The store closing sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Hilco Merchant Resources, Gordon Brothers and SB360 Capital Partners. The specific stores that will be closing are currently branded as Fallas and Factory 2-U stores across 12 states and Puerto Rico. The store closing process is the result of the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing by National Stores, Inc. and certain of its affiliates. As part of the restructuring, management at the retail chain has conducted a store rationalization process resulting in the shutdown of these specific stores.

Aside from this store, the South Carolina stores affected are Factory 2U stores in Spartanburg and Sumter.

This is the second time East Forest Plaza has been hit, as the Anna's Linens here closed due to bankruptcy in 2015. It's not clear to me if Anna's was owned by The National Stores at the time, but I don't think so. If that be the case, picking up the defunct chain can't have helped the new owners any..

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on November 19th, 2018

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Delaney's Music Pub and Eatery, 741 Saluda Avenue: 30 November 2018   7 comments

Posted at 12:09 am in closing

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According to The State Delany's which has been open for almost 20 years will be closing on Friday 30 November 2018.

Delaney's Speakeasy, a jazz club down the street, was once under the same ownership as Delaney's. It was sold first, and then Delaney's itself was sold last year (it's not clear from the story, but I'm guessing not to the same party that bought Speakeasy).

In theory I have Irish roots, but in practice I've never been a pub goer, and never took the opportunity to visit Delaney's. From these pictures (taken several years ago), it looks like it would be a pleasant al-fresco experience in the spring or fall.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

Written by ted on November 17th, 2018

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Consumers Feed & Seed Store, 525 Columbia Avenue: 28 December 2018   2 comments

Posted at 12:29 am in closing

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It's been a awful week or so for taking pictures, but at least it wasn't actively pouring this afternoon.

Consumers Feed & Seed Store in Lexington just announced their upcoming closing after 61 years in business, which is certainly a good run. Looking at the Facebook page, it strikes me as the kind of place my mother used to visit in the 60s for bird seed and gardening necessities. I don't have any inclinations in either direction, but it's sad to watch an era pass as everything goes to Lowes & Home Depot.

(Hat tip to commenter ED)

Written by ted on November 16th, 2018

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Pizzera Opa, 7320 Broad River Road: August 2018   1 comment

Posted at 10:28 pm in closing

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Well this one is a shame. Pizzera Opa was the new name for Zorba's Express which was here in the Publix plaza for many years, and was the follow-on restaurant for the crew from The Parthenon in Five Points. The Parthenon was my favorite pizza in town, and when I was living in Aiken, I would come back to Columbia on weekends and take my father to The Parthenon Saturnday evenings.

When I discovered Zorba's Express, the pizza was just as good as ever, and the manager, who remembered me from the Five Points days, would always come out and say hi. Unfortunately, the new location was just too far out for me to visit more than a handful of times; I wish it would have been more, and I wish them well.

(Hat tip to commenter IrmoJeff)

Written by ted on November 14th, 2018

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Chandler Chiropractic, 3119 Sunset Boulevard: 2018 (Moved)   4 comments

Posted at 10:47 pm in closing

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I noticed this vacant house/office on Sunset a few months ago. It seems that Chandler Chiropractic moved from this location sometime after April of this year to their new office at 3681-D Leaphart Road.

This building was obviously a ranch style residence when it was built, and was on a nice little plot of land. Of course that was probably when US-378 was a sleepy two lane road, and I don't see a family moving back here any time soon. The building is for sale, so we will see what happens next.

Written by ted on November 13th, 2018

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Merritt Veterinary Supplies, 1520 Pineview Road: 2017   no comments

Posted at 10:52 pm in closing

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I noticed this empty building on Pineview a few weeks back. It turns out to have been Merritt Veterinary Supplies which was a Columbia based company:

Merritt is headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, and was founded in 1938 by veterinarian Dr. Lloyd Merritt and his wife. Merritt has about 150 employees and offers a comprehensive line of products, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and equipment, some on an exclusive basis.

Merritt was bought last year by Henry Schein with the purchase finalizing in October 2017. I'm guessing the local office closed not long after that. Currently the building is vacant, but has been sold, so perhaps something else will be coming in soon.

Written by ted on November 12th, 2018

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Bank Of America, 4300 Saint Andrews Road: 16 October 2018   no comments

Posted at 1:19 am in closing

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There's not much to say about this closing except that the process of branch pruning at banks is continuing apace.

As a Bank of America customer I have used this ATM a number of times to avoid fees, but have never been in the branch itself. For now, the ATM will remain.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on November 10th, 2018

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