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Archive for November, 2009

2010 Columbia Closings Calendar Now Available   1 comment

Posted at 4:07 am in business,commentary,products

OK, you may have noticed I didn't post yesterday or today. That's largely because I was working on this: The Columbia Closings 2010 Wall Calendar.

This bit of shameless commerce (and just in time for the holidays!) is twelve months of Columbia Closings pictures, plus a thirteenth shot for the cover (at no extra charge:-). The images were all taken as part of the web site process, but not all of them actually made it into posts. All are full bleeds except the Eggroll Station shot, a film image for which I do not yet have a scan in high enough resolution. In doing a selection of this sort given that only 13 slots are available, I obviously could have made some different choices (for instance not indulging myself with two months of neon), but on the whole I believe it's a good collection.

I have not seen the physical results myself yet (though I have mine on order), but Cafe Press is a widely respected business, and I fully expect it to be fine.

So, once again The 2010 Columbia Closings Wall Calendar: Buy five copies for your mother!

Written by ted on November 15th, 2009

Woodlief's Appliance Co Inc. / Frank Richards Beverage Shop (The Cocktail Shaker) moved, 6420-N Garners Ferry Road: 2 March 2009   12 comments

Posted at 11:33 pm in business,stores

When I was checking out the closing of Fred's in Cedar Terrace on Garners Ferry recently, I noticed that the storefront adjacent to it on the left was currently empty as well.

The most recent business there, Frank Richards Beverage Shop (aka The Cocktail Shaker) has moved to suite 'D' at the front of the plaza and is apparently going strong with an active online presence as well, but I found what I take to be the next most recently previous business there to be a bit interesting.

Not for itself per-se (though I'm sure as with every closing there's a story there), but for a good example of something I've seen quite a bit since I started this. From the old sign sitting in the back of the interior, I'm pretty sure this spot was called Woodlief's Appliance Co, and the marquee sign pretty much confirms it -- If you look closely, you'll see that while the marquee box is empty now, the back of it is an old Whirlpool sign, reversed.

I've seen this a number of times now, old reversed signs still part of a later businesses signage, and I'm not sure why it is. It's doesn't seem likely that they thought the next store would be another "Whirlpool" vendor and were holding the spot...

Written by ted on November 12th, 2009

First Union / National Bank of South Carolina (NBSC) / Uptown Sounds, 841 Dutch Square Boulevard: late 2000s   8 comments

Posted at 1:42 am in business,historic,stores

Ok, this somewhat striking little building in the Dutch Square parking lot is now vacant. It was clearly a bank, and in fact the 1997 phonebook lists it as an NBSC. It must have closed some time ago though, because most of the google hits I get for 841 Dutch Square Boulevard are for Uptown Sounds.

The problem with that is that the hits all suggest that Uptown Sounds was a record store, and I don't recall that at all. Perhaps it went under before I came back to town around 2003, but I still thought I was familiar with the record stores in the area.

At any rate it's an interesting building (mainly because of the glassed bay extension on the end) though it's looking a bit frayed about the edges now -- the roof could certainly stand some paint.

UPDATE 13 November 2009: Added First Union to the post title based on the comments.

Written by ted on November 12th, 2009

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Le Petit Chateau, 4223 Devine Street: 1990s   28 comments

Posted at 12:45 am in historic,restaurants

This storefront on Devine Street between Beltline Boulevard and Fort Jackson Boulevard is now a tax service, but while I was growing up it was the town's best known French restaurant, or at least that was what I thought from always hearing the radio ads on WIS.

In general I don't now have any great interest in French cusine (though the best cheese sandwich I ever had was in Paris), and I certainly didn't have any growing up when I was as cheeseburger as the day is long, but the ads did have a certain appeal. I didn't know any French at the time, and the cadence the announcer used always made it sound like "Lupity Shadow" to me, which had kind of an aura about it. It seemed to me that those ads ran for years, always with the same announcer and same cadence. I'm not sure what the heraldry used in their 1970 Southern Bell ad is supposed to mean. "We cook" would be the basic message there, I suppose.

Looking at the tax storefront, the space Le Petit Chateau would have had to occupy seems pretty constrained to me, and parking along that strip of Devine is somewhat fraught as well -- it can't have been a very big place at all.

I'm not sure when the restaurant closed, but I'm going to guess the 1980s because I went to a comics store in that strip several times then, and can't recall seeing Le Petit Chateau on those expeditions.

UPDATE 14 November 2009:

From commenter Michael Taylor, a possible drumhead for the band "Lupity Shadow" (read the comments):

UPDATE 20 Oct 2010: Changed closing date from "1980s" to "1990s" based on the comments.

Written by ted on November 11th, 2009

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Delhi Palace, 1029 Briargate Circle: 1 November 2009 (moved)   no comments

Posted at 12:39 am in restaurants

The Delhi Palace has been my favorite Indian restaurant in town for several years now. I'm no expert on Indian food, but I always order from the vegetarian items on the menu, and have found everything tastes very good to me. I noticed a while ago that the old Bojangles on Saint Andrews Road had been tagged as a Delhi Palace, but I wasn't sure if it was a second store or if the original place was moving. (The new place worries me a little bit as the signage indicates Chinese as well as Indian food, but we'll see.)

In the event, it was a bit of both I think, as they opened the new location a little before closing the old one, but the transition is complete now, and the Briargate location is closed. The last few times there, even before they handed me a card with the new info, I had started to figure they must be closing this one because they had obvious AC issues that weren't being addressed. Once is just bad luck, twice you know they aren't going to pay to fix it.

The situation with the Economy Inn at I-20 and Briargate Circle (frontage on Broad River Road) which houses this restaurant is rather interesting and unusual. The hotel has actually withdrawn from their original lobby / conference building, and is now being run out of a new lobby in a repurposed space amongst the guest rooms. I attended an "Album Show" in the conference area probably ten or so years ago, and it was still reasonably kept up (though the show had more high-priced vinyl and fewer "import" CDs that I hoped for). In recent years though it has really gone down as you could tell by traversing the area from the restaurant to the restrooms. I think that at one time, a church was meeting in the old lobby, but in recent months it has still had ponsettias on the tables as if it hadn't been touched since last Christmas. With the closing of the Delhi Palace I don't think there will be anyone using the front building, and it would not surprise me to see it razed (though the Economy Inn doesn't strike me as prosperous enough to undertake any major projects).

Written by ted on November 10th, 2009

Maurice's Gourmet Barbeque, 7350 Garners Ferry Road: October 2009   1 comment

Posted at 11:22 pm in restaurants

I wrote a few days ago about the Sunset Boulevard location of Maurice's Gourmet Barbeque closing. This location, on Garners Ferry Road / Sumter Highway just past I-77 also closed about the same time. In the second picture you can see that it sits next to the former Fantasy Lingerie, which itself closed recently.

I've never been in this, or indeed any, Maurice's location, but what strikes me looking in through the window of this building is how little it looks like a former restaurant inside. It could almost be a generic office building just judging by what's left. The flowers are a nice touch though.

Hat tip to commenter Terry for the heads-up.

Written by ted on November 8th, 2009

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, 542 Knox Abbott Drive: 1970s   7 comments

Posted at 12:16 am in historic,restaurants

I'm pretty sure this building, on the North side of Knox Abbott Drive just past Silver City was once a Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. I think various folks have tagged it as such in the comments, and it has that odd "Why not cover our store with a facade of fake rocks?" 1970s look of the other two older Popeyes locations in Columbia that I know of: This one on Farrow Road and this much restauranted building on Decker Boulevard (which has actually just had the rock facade ripped off in the last month or so).

Currently the building hosts the Vacuum Center vacuum cleaner store, but I'm unsure if this was the immediate follow on to Popeyes or if there were one or more other tenants intervening. I have the vague feeling that Vacuum Center may once have been in Parkland Plaza and that I may have bought a reconditioned Electrolux from them, but that may have been another store entirely. Popeyes in the meantime is still around in some form and has Columbia Stores on Augusta Road and Garners Ferry Road. (And, yes, they spell it without an apostrophe, which really grates on me..)

Written by ted on November 8th, 2009

Alan Ray's Salon LLC, 931-D Senate Street: Fall 2009   no comments

Posted at 12:03 am in business

Last time I went to Five Guys on Senate Street, I noticed that the adjacent storefront (in-between Five Guys and Paul's Philadelphia Eatery) was now vacant. It had been home to a hair salon for some time, though it never really caught my notice because I've never been tempted to walk into a hair salon. I guess if I had thought about it, it was only to note that the place was sort of the odd-guy-out in a building full of bars and restaurants. I'm guessing that that didn't help it any, nor did the fact that the parking lot there fills up sometimes.

What struck me about this closing was the unusually explicit real-estate listing pasted to the door, giving a full floor plan, all the building financial information and a complete profile of the neighboorhood. Certainly more than you usually see.

UPDATE 27 May 2010 -- It's now Robert Jeffrey Salon:

Written by ted on November 7th, 2009

Women's Club of Columbia, 1703 Blossom Sreet: 1940 (built)   7 comments

Posted at 5:15 pm in historic,landmark,venue

Today's bonus post comes from commenter Dennis, as do the photos:

After driving past a million times and promising myself to take some pictures before USC bulldozes it, I finally stopped and got some photos of the old Woman's Club building at 1703 Blossom St., next to their tennis center.

As you can see it is slowly moldering away. It has achieved a wonderful haunted house feel, and I'm sure it has a thousand stories and a few ghosts. I don't think it's used for anything currently. For years it was a little rundown but still rented a lot for fraternity and sorority parties. I've been to several wedding receptions and parties there.

It's basically one big room with a kitchen on the end, and some tiny side rooms. I peeked in one years ago and there was a wonderful, poster-sized b&w photo in an old frame showing the club in its heyday, with dozens of stylish ladies wearing their best hats and pearls at long banquet tables, taken in the 1940s I'd guess. I tried hard to track down who to ask about getting my hands on it but never could figure out who to talk to.

The Woman's Club of Columbia is still around and very active. They now meet here:

http://www.gfwc-sc.org/headquarters.htm

Columbia City Council records show that they were given permission and "encouragement" to put up a plaque explaining the history of the old Blossom St. place. It hasn't happened yet. The building has been nominated to go on the federal List of National Historic Places, but I don't think that has happened yet either. It's currently owned by USC and valued at $700,00 but I'm sure the acre and a half lot is worth a lot more than that. And the huge oak trees are priceless.

UPDATE 8 November 2009: Added '1940' to post title.

Written by ted on November 6th, 2009

Frawley's Audio, 2714 Devine Street: summer 2009   7 comments

Posted at 12:49 am in stores

I have to admit I wasn't really aware of Frawley's Audio until it was gone. In fact, I only noticed that when I saw the going-out-of-buisness signs at Fontenay Fine Rugs & Antiques next door, walked over to take a look and saw the empty storefront.

The sign on the door says they were there for over 35 years, which is a good run for an independent store in these big-box times.

Written by ted on November 6th, 2009

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