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Archive for November, 2009

Pomegranates   1 comment

Posted at 3:11 am in commentary

Posting is going to be light to non-existent going through the Thanksgiving weekend.

Here's a little helpful food hint I picked up a couple of years ago.

Pomegranates are great, but possibly the messiest fruit I've ever dealt with. The juice spurts everywhere and stains, plus it's a pain to get the arils out from the white stuff.

It helps a good bit to fill a big pot of cold water and break open the pomegranate pieces under water. You can then thumb the arils out from the wite stuff, and, the arils will (largely) sink while the white stuff will float and can be skimmed off.

Of course I still have juice stains all over my shirt..

Written by ted on November 25th, 2009

Country House Restaurant, 522 12th Street: 1970s   no comments

Posted at 12:41 am in historic,restaurants

Here's another place I have no memory of. Notice that the 1970 Southern Bell Yellow Pages ad lists the address as "522 12th Avenue". I'm fairly sure that's wrong, since there is no 12th Avenue in West Columbia, but there is a 12th Street. Given that, I found that the storefront is in the same strip building that houses that classic Triangle City landmark, Zesto, and is now a payday loan office. I don't know why I didn't take a horizontal format shot as well as this vertical one to put the place into context better.

The illustration looks makes it look a bit upscale, but the text describing it as a breakfast and lunch buffet place seems more down to Earth. I'm not sure when the place closed. As far as I can remember, Zesto has been there forever, and it would seem odd to have two restaurants backed up together like that, but perhaps they were neighbors for a while.

Written by ted on November 24th, 2009

The Trestles, Gadsden Street: 28 Janurary 1991   15 comments

Posted at 12:22 am in historic,landmark

My memory of The Trestles is now rather hazy, but I'm pretty sure they were along Gadsden Street, at the lower end of The Coliseum parking lots.

As the name suggests, they were elevated train tracks, but instead of crossing a river, they crossed Blossom Street. At this remove I can't recall the sequence of events, but I suppose that the current arch on Blossom Street which lets train traffic run under it was done so that the trestles could be demolished. The demolition itself was controversial. Many people considered The Trestles to be a huge eyesore in the middle of the city's new development project, The Congaree Vista. Others considered them an important Columbia landmark and a visible remider of Columbia history. I was living in Fayteville NC at the time The Trestles came down, but I came home fairly often and noticed story after story in The State about it. I came down on the side of leaving The Trestles because I hate for anything to change ever, but that side lost and a search of The State's archive suggests that demolition began 28 Janurary 1991.

Of course, the historicity aside, what I really remember about The Trestles is that is where everyone when to practice parallel parking. I'm not sure exactly why this was other than there was not a lot of traffic under the structures, but I clearly recall driving down there around 1976 to try my hand at it. (I was, and remain, so-so). I don't think the activity was officially sanctioned by anyone, but nobody seemed to have a problem with it. I'm sure today it would be an insurance issue for somebody.

UPDATE 24 November 2009: Corrected typo/thinko for "Gadsden Street".

Written by ted on November 23rd, 2009

Still Plenty of Time to Buy Your 2010 Calendars!   no comments

Posted at 8:41 pm in commentary

More shameless commerce!

My copy of the 2010 Columbia Closings Wall Calendar arrived today, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. There's always a danger that something that looks good on a computer monitor isn't going to look as good printed out, but I'm happy with the transfers here.

For those of you wondering where all the shots come from, here's a bit of a table of contents:

The Cover

Janurary

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October / November

December

Written by ted on November 20th, 2009

Kenny's Auto Supply, 700 Saluda Avenue: 2000s (moved)   10 comments

Posted at 8:08 pm in historic,stores

I never visited Kenny's Auto Supply, in fact, I don't believe I ever knew it was there by name, but after it moved from Five Points to 1106 Knox Abbott Drive, it became something of a local cause celebre in that you were always seeing or hearing "the site of the former Kenny's Auto Supply".

That's because it was one of the fairly rare chances to build something new in Five points, and there was quite a lot of controversy about what to actually do with the site. I never could keep up with all of it, but apparently there was a plan for a public parking garage which fell through, and more than a little angst when the final use for the lot, a Walgreen's drugstore was announced.

It looks like the Walgreen's is pretty far along now, although I'm sure it won't open until next year. I'm not exactly sure what the metal-beam structure being built behind it is -- that one looks considerably less far along.

Here's Kenny's on Knox Abbott:

Written by ted on November 20th, 2009

Primarily Pi Pizza, 2805-D Sunset Boulevard, 13 November 2009   6 comments

Posted at 2:14 am in restaurants

Well, normally I wouldn't do two pizza places so close together, but after Primarily Pi came up in Have Your Say today, I got to thinking about how it was right next to Atlanta Bread, which is not normally one of my favorite places, but that sometimes during the fall they have pumpkin soup, which would be really nice -- so I drove over there for lunch.

Primarily Pi came to my attention when I did the closing on Pizza House which is just on the other side of I-26. At the time, a discussion started up in the comments for that closing about the new pizza place which was setting up, and I was looking forward to trying it out.

It finally opened in the summer (early July at the latest), but the hours were not such that I could normally go. They were only open until 9pm during the week, and 10pm on the weekends, but I was finally able to get over there one Saturday evening and try it out. Frankly I was not bowled over. The pizza was perfectly acceptable, but nothing special, and the fixtures struck me as rather industrial and not very homey.

I went about 9pm, and noticed that very few people were there. I'm guessing that that was an ongoing problem that led to the situation that apparently came to a head on 13 November (Friday the 13th, natch..). From the location of the place and the early hours, they must have been counting on lunch traffic from the medical center which for some reason did not materialize. According to the comments over at the Pizza House closing, these were experienced restauranteers, so I'm sure they had plans based on assumptions that seemed reasonable, but there are always business conditions and economic times that just can't be anticipated.

(Hat tip to commenter Larry)

UPDATE 3 Nov 2010 -- It's now a La Fogata Mexican:

Written by ted on November 20th, 2009

Triangle Safe & Lock aka Triangle Lock and Key, 1210 Augusta Road: 2009 (moved)   4 comments

Posted at 10:38 pm in business,stores

I guess I've seen this little building, in a triangular shaped lot more or less at the intersection of 12th Street and Augusta Road, lots of times over the years, but it never really made an impression on me. Recently when I was doing closings for Luigi's and then West Columbia Pawn & Loan I had the occasion to drive down that little spur (which seems to be Augusta Street rather than Augusta Road) and notice that this building was now empty.

I havent' seen the new location on Sunset Boulevard, but I would imagine it would have to have more parking and be easier to get to than this lot. It's kind of a shame to see something with "Triangle" in its name leave Triangle City though.

UPDATE 5 Nov 2010 -- Their new location at 1400 Sunset Boulevard:

Written by ted on November 18th, 2009

Sbarro Pizza / A Slice of Italy / D'avino's Pizzeria, Dutch Square: September 2009   34 comments

Posted at 12:30 am in restaurants

Here's another Dutch Square casualty -- the food court is looking pretty thin right now. (Chik-Fil-A keeps chugging on in the same space its occupied since at least 1970 tough..). I know D'Avino's was not the first restaurant in this spot, probably not the second either. I seem to have a vague notion that a hot-dog operation was there at one time, but I could easily be mistaken about that. On the face of it, you would think that the location is ideal for folks taking in a movie at the AMC theater just up the walk to duck in and have a slice before showtime, but in the event, I guess not.

On the "up" side for the old mall, there's finally something going into the Old Anabelle's spot, Burger Time Chargrill & Bar

(Hat tip to commenter Evelyn)

UPDATE 15 Feb 2011: Added Sbarro to the post title based on the comments.

UPDATE 17 Feb 2011: Added A Slice of Italy based on the comments.

Written by ted on November 18th, 2009

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Blockbuster Video, 2509 Decker Boulevard: 16 November 2009   6 comments

Posted at 7:00 pm in entertainment,stores

This Blockbuster Video Rental on Decker Boulevard, across from the old Decker Mall has has the going-out-of-business signs up for a few weeks now.

I stopped in about two weeks ago, and it seemed that they were continuing to do a normal rental business on some titles while selling out the rest of the store to the walls. I thought the prices were good, but not great, and picked up a couple of DVDs.

As I drove by today, I saw them carting off the sign, so as of now, Decker has lost yet another business. As with Hollywood Video, I guess Redbox, Netflix and the Internet have done a real number on their business model. Lately they have been trying to adopt the Netflix model while leveraging their store network ("Bring your DVDs back to the store for immediate credit!") but so far it doesn't seem to be working.

UPDATE 7 Jan 2010: Here is the store at night after being totally cleaned out:

UPDATE 12 Jan 2010: Added another picture.

UPDATE 30 August 2011 -- work is underway to turn this location into The Chabad/Aleph House:

Written by ted on November 16th, 2009

Qdoba Mexican Grill, 10136 Two Notch Road #104-B, October 2009   4 comments

Posted at 9:45 pm in restaurants

I've only eaten at Qdoba once. That was at the store on US-17 Bypass at SC-544 (between Surfside Beach & Socastee). This was after the Moe's in Murrells Inlet closed, and I was really in the mood for something similar. In the event, I wasn't too impressed. First of all, they picked an unpronounceable name, second unlike Moe's, Qdoba doesn't give you chips and salsa as part of your meal, and while I have very rarely had a blow-out at Moe's (though it's a bit worse since they went from steaming the tortillas to heat-pressing them), my Qdoba burritto blew-out immediately, leaving me with a plateful of messy goo to pick my way through. Thirdly, I don't think the booths were cushioned either. I was not greatly surprised to see both Grand Strand locations close fairly soon thereafter.

This one on Two Notch Road in the old Circuit City plaza (and by a still operating Hollywood Video!) was not open for too long. My guess would be about a year. The decline of the plaza can't have helped it any, but I'm not really sure why it closed. The one on Garners Ferry near Panera seems to be OK for now.

(Hat tip to commenter Jason!)

Written by ted on November 15th, 2009

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