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Archive for May, 2010

Not a beach I want to visit.. (December 2001)   1 comment

Posted at 9:42 pm in Uncategorized

Written by ted on May 7th, 2010

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The Book Dispensary, 1601A Broad River Road: May 2010 (moved)   10 comments

Posted at 1:54 am in Uncategorized

I was saddened yesterday when I heard that The Book Dispensary at Boozer Shopping Center had closed. As it turns out, like Mark Twain, reports of its death have been exaggerated. (OK, I suppose this is no longer the case for Mark Twain..).

In fact, Columbia's Book Dispensaries have always been a bit peripatetic. The one in the Northeast has had three locations that I can think of, Two fairly close to each other on Two Notch Road, with one stint in the former Winn-Dixie plaza on Decker Boulevard.

I don't think the one near the VA in the Big Lots plaza ever moved before closing, but this one will now have had at three locations. My memory is that it started at Boardwalk Plaza. Boardwalk Plaza was on Bush River Road, somewhere between the K Mart and I-26. The place was called Boardwalk Plaza because all the stores were connected via a raised wooden deck rather than sidewalks. Looking back on it, I think that may be because they were basically in trailers rather than real buildings set on the ground. I could be wrong about that, but whatever the configuration, the plaza was entirely gone by the 1980s, though I can't identify exactly which buildings replaced it.

After leaving Boardwalk, the Dispensary moved to this location in Boozer. As you can see from the pictures, it is actually a fairly large space, indeed larger than I remember though that's not too surprising since the book shelves would have always broken up the view.

As I mentioned in Have Your Say, I used to spend a lot of time in this store (and the first Two Notch location). I would go through the entire science-fiction section book by book, running triage on the books I wanted vs the books I could afford. I would always check out the humor section as well, looking for old books of cartoons, and the juvenile section looking for original series Tom Swift books (though these were becoming collector's items during that period with the prices climbing accordingly).

You can also trade in old books at the Dispensary for store credit, but in general I never could bring myself to part with much of anything, even books I regarded as real stinkers.

I'm afraid my patronage of the Dispensary dropped way off in the late 80s. There were a number of factors, some specific to me, some general. Firstly, I moved out of town. Secondly, I got a real job, and could generally afford to buy any new book I wanted (within reason). Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, there was the Internet. Whereas I used to spend hours going through the shelves at used bookstores and the cutout bins at record stores, now I can find almost any book ever published with a few mouse clicks. There's still the possibility of seeing a book I didn't know beforehand that I wanted at a store, but it's no longer the norm...

Anyway, I wish them luck at the new location, and will try to get over there and check it out at some point.

(Hat tips to commenters Tom & Thomas)

UPDATE 7 May 2010: Well, The State says that the new location is consolidating the Boozer and Two Noch stores, with the Two Notch store already having been closed. I did not know that! I guess it really has been a while since I've been in a BD.

UPDATE 4 June 2012 -- Here (finally!) are some shots of the new location at 710 Gracern Road (parallel to I-126):



Written by ted on May 7th, 2010

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Good Five Points Story & Pictures In This Week's Free Times   no comments

Posted at 4:31 pm in Uncategorized

Aside from being an interesting article in its own right, Eva's cover story in this week's Free Times has a lot of good pictures of old-time Five Points (as does the front cover of the issue itself).

Written by ted on May 6th, 2010

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McDaniels Acura Value Cars, 6237 Two Notch Road: 2010   1 comment

Posted at 3:07 am in Uncategorized

There are a couple of variations of the name of this car lot on Two Notch Road. McDaniels Acura Value Cars seems to be the most common, but sometimes it's just McDaniels Value Cars, and as you can see on these pictures, the building itself says McDaniels Acura Wholesale.

At any rate, this is on Two Notch Road, just opposite of Arcadia Lakes Drive, and across the street from the old Po Folks Restaurant / Moore For Less car lot. Apparently this intersection is not a good location for a used car store. In fact, Two Notch Road as a whole seems to run through used car lots at a pretty rapid clip -- I've probably done closings for a half dozen or more.

Written by ted on May 6th, 2010

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Hardee's Restaurant #11, 901 Harden Street: 3 May 2010   8 comments

Posted at 1:18 am in closing

This closing has been talked about long enough that I actually got these photos last year, knowing I would have to deploy them eventually. This Hardee's has been a fixture in the old Five Point's Sears parking lot for years. I think it may even date back to when Gene's Pig & Chick across College Street would have been its competition. (It certainly does not date back to Hardee's original space-age designs such as at Silver City or The Eggroll Station though).

This story from The State last year tells how the Hardee's is going to be replaced with a Chick-Fil-A, and how it will all be carefully landscaped in accordance to the new Five Points streetscaping guidelines. Color me unimpressed. You have only to compare US-17 as it passes through Mount Pleasant where everything is set-back so far and blends in so blandly that you can't even tell you are passing stores that want to sell you something with US-17 in the Myrtle Beach area where even failed and vacant storefronts are exuberant to see how guidelines can suck the life out of a road. Not to mention this quote:

"Chick-fil-A is a business of high quality and we anticipate this development will add great character to the already diverse and eclectic makeup of Five Points," she said.

Of really? Replacing one national fast-food chain (which is actually currently on the rebound) with another national fast-food chain will add character and diversity to Five Points? I guess character and diversity aren't what they once were..

(Hat tips to commenters Tom, Mike D, Larry & Jim)

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Go Kart Track / Pet Vac Center, Trenholm Road: 1980s   5 comments

Posted at 1:03 am in Uncategorized

Before the Burger King was built, this lot, on Trenholm Road near Dent Middle School was once a go-kart track. It was a pretty loud and noisy business for a rather staid street, and you have to wonder how Arcadia Lakes and the other businesses in the area felt about it. On the other hand, I can't actually ever remember seeing any of the cars in motion. They were there for a number of years, and must have had customers, but I can only recall driving by and seeing the track and karts, not hearing anything or seeing any races in progress..

I wouldn't have minded going myself, but at the tme, I was perpetually broke, and while riding the karts would have been fun, picking up the latest Perry Rhodan space opera at Capitol Newsstand was a lot higher on my expense priority list.

After the go-kart track closed, the main building was used for another several years as a "Pet Vac" center. I always assumed that to be "pet vaccination", but I suppose it could have been for hoovering up dusty cats instead -- I never went in to see either way.

After the Burger King was built, it closed down for a long time due to a dispute between the local franchise owner and Burger King Corporate. In fact, all Columbia area BKs were shut down during that time, and some of them never came back.

Written by ted on May 4th, 2010

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Howards Sports, 1113 Lady Street & 1306 Assembly Street: (still open)   6 comments

Posted at 10:18 pm in Uncategorized

Howards Sports occupied a rather unusual building on Lady & Assembly Streets. It's unusual in that it has a frontage on both streets, but is not a corner building, but instead wraps around behind Moe Levy's (which is the corner building) and Reliable Loan Office. As far as I can tell, Howard's identified itself only with the Lady Street address, but the Loopnet listing specified both addresses.

It's definitely an interesting building even aside from the shape, brick with three levels, murals on the north side and a corner stair-case. I'm saying 2005 for the closing date, as the business license in the window was for 2004. Interestingly though, there is a 2010 license pasted below that, and the Loopnet listing above claims the building is now off the market, though it was still plastered with "For Sale" signs when I took these shots on 14 Feb 2010 and 10 April 2010.

(I see references to the name both with and without an apostrophe -- I'm going by the signs in the window and leaving it out).

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Written by ted on May 2nd, 2010

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Bearing Supply / Power Drives, 128 State Street: 2000s   3 comments

Posted at 12:36 am in Uncategorized

Well, I haven't been able to find out anything at all about Power Drives other than its nameplate is on 128 State Street in West Columbia and that it is not there now. Everything google turns up for that address is for Bearing Supply, presumably a business that could supply you (or your factory) with bearings.

This strip of State Street is an interesting little area, once known, I believe as New Brookland (commemorated in The New Brookland Tavern just north of this storefront). Just south of here is the old mill antique mall, which actually was a (textile) mill at one time, and the other shops in the area are a mixture of the old and new, but all in interesting vintage buildings.

Written by ted on May 1st, 2010

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