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Archive for August, 2009

Aquarium & Pet Shop, Inc, 1701 Rockland Road: 2000s   7 comments

Posted at 10:05 pm in Uncategorized

Well, this wasn't what I was expecting to find when I took a look at the old Aquarium & Pet Shop, Incorporated site. This place is on a little side street of Bush River Road, just past Fuddruckers by the Radison and the Bush River Road, I-20 Southbound interchange. I would see it out of the corner of my eye for years as I would get on the highway there, but since I don't have any pets, I didn't really pay any attention.

I did notice when the sign came down though. I would say that was probably around 2005 or so, and I kind of wondered what would go into that spot.

When I was eating at Fuddruckers last Saturday, I decided to walk up and look at the place, expecting to find an empty building. Instead, the place appears to be jam-packed with stuff, and is plainly still under at least semi-regular care by people running the pet store. In fact, given all the paraphernalia I could see from the parking lot, I wondered for a minute if I were wrong about the place being closed, but walking up to the door cleared that up. I'm not sure what the story here is, though I hope it is not a sad one.

Written by ted on August 31st, 2009

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A & P, 421 Bush River Road, suite 3001: 4 March 1998   31 comments

Posted at 10:58 pm in Uncategorized

I've posted pictures before of the older style, steeple-topped A&P stores. This one, on a Dutch Square outparcel was one in the "new" style A&P adopted before leaving the South Carolina market. (I'm not counting the "supercenter" type stores such as in North Myrtle Beach).

I don't believe I ever went into this store. I certainly spent plenty of time at Dutch Square as I've mentioned in a number of posts, but during most of that period I was a tween or teen, fixated on books and music, and hardly shopping for groceries at all (not to mention that Dutch Square was on the other side of town from our usual grocery destinations). I'm guessing the 1990s as the (vague) closing date for this store, but it could as easily have been the 1980s.

I think that after this store closed, the area was actually pretty grocery-less, with no stores I can think of in the same general vicinity. (Food Lion had a Bush River Road store, but it closed too).

UPDATE 12 March 2011: Updated closing date based on commenter Andrew's research.

Written by ted on August 30th, 2009

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Tiny Treasures, 4711 Forest Drive #10: September 2009   11 comments

Posted at 11:49 pm in Uncategorized

Apparently Tiny Treasures was once in Richland Mall, then moved to the Piggly Wiggly plaza ("Forest Park Shopping Center") a few years ago. I have never been in there since it seems to be a children's clothes store, and I don't have any kids. That area of the plaza has been fairly volitile over the last few years, also losing Ten Thousand Villages and L. A. Weight Loss.

Written by ted on August 29th, 2009

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NAPA Auto Parts #9, 220 O'Neil Court, 2009 (moved)   no comments

Posted at 9:56 pm in Uncategorized

Here's another casualty of the decline of O'Neil Court. There's a lamp and lighting store by this, and that's a business where if you need an unusual shade or globe, you'll go loking for a store. For auto parts, it's pretty much the stores you notice when you drive by. That's my theory anyway for why this NAPA store has moved into a new building on Two Notch just under the Food Lion plaza near Pine Belt Road.

Written by ted on August 28th, 2009

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Audelo's Mexican Restaurant, 8907 Two Notch Road: summer 2009   7 comments

Posted at 5:33 pm in Uncategorized

I'm honestly not sure if I ever ate at Audelo's. I think I may have, but I also may be confusing it with the Mexican place which used to be in the Big Lots plaza. One of those two places did not give you chips and salsa unless you paid for it.

At any rate, it appears that the physical plant for this restaurant is now mostly in a dumpster, so the next place in may not be a restaurant at all.

Also, there were once a number of Mexican restaurants on or just off Two Notch in the Dentsville area -- Garcia's, Cuco's, Don Pablo's and Santa Fe come to mind.

Now, I don't think there's anything until you get almost to Wal-Mart or go down Sparkleberry.

Written by ted on August 27th, 2009

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Gold's Gym, 275 Harbison Boulevard #2: Summer 2009   5 comments

Posted at 11:40 pm in closing

Well, it must be past midnight because Gold's Gym has turned into a pumpkin. (Hey, that's the best I could come up with..)

This is the plaza on Harbison which is just across from the Barnes & Noble / Olive Garden one, and which is anchored by Books-A-Million. I've always wondered a bit about that -- if Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble were exactly equidistant from you, who would choose BAM?

In recent years, it seems these Halloween stores have started to spring up in empty storefronts all over each fall. I believe that last year, there was one on US-1 near I-26, one on Two Notch near the old Circuit City and one at Sandhill next to H Gregg. More power to them if they can make a business of it, and create some jobs -- it still just seems kind of weird to me to make that big a deal of Halloween. (Though as I mentioned last year, being on an escalator under a bevy of 'Naughty Nurses' is certainly inspiring).

UPDATE 14 December 2016: As mentioned in Have Your Say, a new gym, Crunch Fitness is opening (or may be open by this time) in this former Gold's Gym space in Harbison Center next to 2nd & Charles, the old Books-A-Million location.




The CBRE listing for the shopping center gives a detailed occupancy plan. I would not have guessed that many storefronts were vacant.

Written by ted on August 26th, 2009

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Stein Mart, 70 Polo Road: Fall 2009   3 comments

Posted at 6:38 pm in closing

I believe the only Stein Mart I've ever been in is the Inlet Square store in Murrells Inlet where a desperate mall offered them the main west-side entrance corridor as store space. I can't recall much other than it was a clothes store that probably wouldn't be on my list when I make a reluctant clothes shopping expedition.

This store is at the corner of Two Notch & Polo Roads, and had pretty much totally escaped my notice until now. Polo Road has certainly developed massively since I was in high school, and there was, in fact, a polo field out there (which one of my classmates managed to set on fire with a model rocket), and development on Two Notch has definitely moved away from Dentsville and into this area, but with the current economy there are still plenty of vacant storefronts in the area, and soon there will be one more.

UPDATE 18 May 2010 -- It's now Roundabouts Consignments:

UPDATE 17 August 2020: Update tags, add map icon.

Written by ted on August 25th, 2009

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Ritz Camera, 100 Columbiana Circle Suite 102: July 2009   2 comments

Posted at 5:32 pm in closing

This is another casualty of the Ritz Camera chain's downsizing. Previously I wrote about the store on Two Notch Road which closed earlier this summer, and was hoping the other stores were safe. Unfortunately the trend seems to be continuing with this, the Harbison area store, closing while I was on vacation in July.

My observations of the Beltline store makes it seem to me that Ritz has almost totally ditched film photography for digital. I found that the last time I was in there and needed a roll of 35mm, they had a smaller selection than either Wal-Mart or Walgreen's. I'm sure this is a deliberate stragegy, and obviously digital is where the market is and where it will be. On the other hand, when you go to an actual "camera" store, you expect some more obscure items than you can find at the corner drugstore, so I'm not sure the strategy isn't a mixed blessing during this final film/digital period of transition.

UPDATE 30 August 2017 -- Still vacant 8 years later:


Written by ted on August 24th, 2009

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Fountain Bleau Club Restaurant & Lounge, 5321 Farrow Road: 1970s   22 comments

Posted at 9:33 pm in closing

Personally, I don't want "Drama in Dining". That's when one of the couple at the table next to yours becomes aware that this is the "break up date". Drama is not pretty! I think I would also prefer my date not look like she comes from one of those societies where the women stretch their necks to prodigious lengths (not that there's anything wrong with that..).

I see that today the Fountain Bleau Club building houses The Fountain of Youth daycare center. Since the "fountain of youth" is normally something you think of in connection with old people, I suspect the name is a hat-tip to the former occupant. I'm afraid that I was shooting against the sun, so the pictures are not very good at all. I also note that in one of the pictures you can see a boarded up building to the right of the Fountain of Youth which appears to have been an old motel -- perhaps I'll run across its name someday.

(Ad is from the 1970 Southern Bell Greater Columbia phonebook).

UPDATE 17 March 2021 -- Commenter Jim Akins sends in this flyer for his band's performance at the Fountain Bleu back in the day. The 70s, gotta love 'em!


Written by ted on August 23rd, 2009

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Devine Street Book Mart, 4610 Devine Street: 1970s   8 comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in Uncategorized

Commenter Melanie found these matchbook images from a place I have no memory of. 4610 Devine Street does not currently exist. Ruby Tuesday is at 4600 Devine Street, and Checkmax Payday Advance is at 4624 Devine Street. I know they have done a lot of work in the past on the streets in this area. I believe 4610 must have been torn down to make the entrance street into the new-ish plaza which houses Ruby Tuesday, Staples and Bi-Lo (I know the Pizza Hut in that area was torn down). In fact, if that street had been there originally, you would expect Ruby Tuesday and Checkmax to have different block numbers. (As an aside, I'm a little surprised to find that these are all Devine addresses -- I had thought that Garners Ferry started here, but in fact it's apparently at Rosewood).

Anyway, it's obvious from the matchbook that this place was one of the adult book stores which have been in various parts of Columbia since the late 60s, I suppose. In fact, Fort Jackson Boulevard which runs into Devine in this area used to have a number of racy operations.

Hat Tip: Melanie

Written by ted on August 22nd, 2009

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