Archive for September, 2009
These pictures are a bit older, but when I drove by Decker Auto Mart today, there was a "For Sale" sign on the central building proclaiming that the whole place was, I believe, 2 acres. The lot is just above Pep Boys and almost across the street from the old Taco Cid.
This is one of the many used car lots that have come and gone in the Dentsville area over the years. This one looks a bit more "homey" than most -- I like the central building, and the slogan on the sign is nicely undestated.
Appropos of very little, this lot is directly above Sandy Shore Road, which winds along a good bit above the shore of Cary Lake. The road was never paved and some sort of deal was worked out to leave it that way if the end connecting to Decker was closed off. I've always thought that a bit odd (though nice for the residents).
Here's another bygone restaurant, this one on Two Notch Road fairly near the intersection with Beltline. The place today is Forest Oaks Apartments apparently a city of Columbia property. I suspect the Forest in the name is a rememberance of the restaurant, though it's generic enough that I could well be wrong.
The Yellow Pages ad from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook makes it sound fairly upscale, with lobster and "roast prime ribs of beef", which means I would have turned up my nose at any attempt by my parents to take us there (not that I had veto power, but they rarely wanted to waste money on food I wasn't going to like). In the event, I can't even recall seeing this place though we must have driven by many times before it was torn down.
I don't particularly concern myself with "timeliness" here. For one thing, I'm just one guy with a car and a camera -- there's no way I could keep up with everything closing, even if I somehow knew about it. For another thing, I may care more about some place that closed 20 years ago than some other storefront that went under yesterday.
With that said, after commenter Tom mentioned it in Have Your Say and after I saw the story in The State that today was the last day in business for Jim Moore Cadillac, I thought I might as well drive by and get some pictures.
According to The State the dealership is a casualty of GM's ongoing
death-spiral restructuring. The story is a bit vague about whether the store was making a go of it otherwise, saying only that sales had been "improving".
I really don't have any mental tags for this dealership at all. We were never a Cadillac family, and the only commercials I recall were for what I presume was a related business, "Moore Hudson Olds", which all had a distinctively overmodulated announcer pretending to be live from their lot. Still it's always sad to see a landmark like this close, and Main street definitely doesn't need another vacant lot.
UPDATE 30 Nov 2010 -- Here's some more pictures taken on a brighter day:
I first wrote about this building doing a closing for Luigi's Italian Kitchen, and that's the post the third picture comes from. The first two, which I took today, are done against the light and from inside the car because I was running late.
Anyway, I don't know anything about West Columbia Pawn & Loan, but you've got to think that if even *pawn shops* are going under, the economy must still be pretty bad.
UPDATE 2 Sept 2010 -- It's now West Columbia Pawn & Jewelry:
UPDATE 20 Dec 2010 -- And they do it up for Christmas:
OK, yesterday's post on Peddler Steak House certainly seemed to get some fond memories, so I'll try another defunct steakery today: The Chopping Block.
I used to notice The Chopping Block driving I-20 west. The lot butts against the Interstate just after the Economy Inn, and there used to be some signage visible there. I'm afraid I never ate there though. In fact, I don't think I ever went onto Briargate Circle at all until I started eating at Delhi Palace and figured out I could circle around behind the motel and come out at the stop light if I needed to turn left onto Broad River Road. I didn't even know there was a post office back there.
The ad (from the 1976 Southern Bell Yellow Pages) makes it sound like a pretty happening place. I was unaware of the nightly "entertainment" and extended "blockbuster" happy-hour. It all sounds rather upscale, which is not the current profile of the area ("upscale" has migrated to Harbison..) The address is now occupied by a mortgage company, and the buildings all appear to be fairly new, so I'm guessing the original restaurant building was torn down at some point.
Peddler Steak House, now Bar None seems to be a small southeastern chain of franchaised steak restaurants which started in Sanford NC on an amateur basis and was instituted as a restaurant in Southern Pines NC. I have never eaten in one myself, but when I was living in Fayetteville, I recall several people mentioning The Peddler very favorably.
I'm not sure when the one in 5 Points opened (the Yellow Pages ad is from the Southern Bell 1970 directory), but I don't think it lasted into the 80s as I don't ever recall it being an option when I was driving and picking restaurants on my own. (Not that I would have picked a steak place on my own anyway, but I think I would at least have been aware of it..)
UPDATE 14 September 2009: A lot of love for the place in the comments! And a correction on the closing date, so I have updated the post title to say "early 90s" rather than "1970s".. My poor sense of passing time strikes again!
UPDATE 16 September 2009: Added Poor Richard's to the post title due to information in the comments.
The Sunset Drive-In was at the top of the hill where Sunset Drive turns into River Road. The drive-in wasn't actually on Sunset Drive, but was, I believe on the intersecting Clemnet Road. The site is now a church, and as far as I can tell, nothing of the drive-in remains.
The theater ad comes from The State on 15 April 1973, and the place had apparently already gone porno by that time. I believe it stayed X-rated until it closed. I'm a bit hazy about when that was, but I don't think it lasted into the 1990s.
This space, to the right of Barnes & Noble on the lower level of Richland Mall was the mall's drugstore, Eckerd Drugs.
I'm trying to remember if the original Richland Mall had a drug store and I don't think it did. Eckerd's came in with the enclosed Richland Fashion Mall stage, and may have ended there. I don't think it made it to the Midtown at Forest Acres stage, but I'm not sure exactly when that started, and I refuse to call the mall that anyway.
It certainly did not make it as late as the Rite-Aid buyout of Eckerd's. I'm not sure exactly when it closed, but I think it was the early 2000s. By that time, Eckerd's had already seen the writing on the wall which required corner stores, and had moved the Trenholm Plaza store to the current corner-equivalent location that RIte AId on Forest Drive now occupies. The Richland Mall store had no drive-through, and could never have one, and while the parking was as close to strip-mall parking as Richland Mall gets, it still wasn't as good as a real strip-mall.
Some time in the 1990s, I started a quest to find the best pizza in Columbia. I never really finished it as I was living out of town at the time, and my father and I fell into a routine of hitting The Parthenon on Saturdays when I was in town. (In fact, I'm pretty convinced that The Parthenon would have been the winner anyway as I've never had pizza here that beat it.)
Anway, during that process, I checked out Tony's on Knox Abbott, The Villa in Five Points, Pizza Cucina near Spring Valley and a number of places that don't come readily to mind right now. This building, now a real-estate office, was one that was on the list, but which I never got to. I went so far one night as to drive there with my father rather than hitting The Parthenon, but there didn't seem to be any obvious place to park, I didn't want to ask him to walk far, and the place (the name of which I have forgotten) actually looked rather uninviting, so we turned around. I think it changed hands not long after that.
This is one of the reasons I hate to give my address to anybody: They start sending you all sorts of nagging "When are you coming back?", "Big Sale!", "We've Moved!" junk mail. Some of them are even doing it by email now. I don't have anything against Jiffy Lube -- they seemed to change my oil just fine and I'm sure I'll use some store or other of theirs from time to time in the future; I just dislike having a "relationship" with most businesses.
At any rate, in this case the postcard is more honest than the signage at the store -- they haven't really "moved", the 7452 Two Notch store has been there a good while.
The Parklane store was in the next block from the old Sounds Familiar and right at a really awkward traffic light, though I doubt that had anything to do with the closure.