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Archive for June, 2010

The Bohemian, 2736 & 2738 Devine Street: summer 2010 (moved)   3 comments

Posted at 3:18 am in stores

I've never been in The Bohemian though some of the merchandise I could see through the windows on Sunday looked kind of interesting. The vibe of Devine Street is rather distinct from the rest of Columbia, and somehow, since the days of taking piano lessons at Haven's music and talking to Herman the bird at The Aquarium & Pet Shop I haven't really spent much shopping there.

At any rate, it appears The Bohemian has found new digs about half a block towards the Capitol from its former location at 2736/2738 Devine to its new one at 2720 Devine.

Written by ted on June 30th, 2010

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Pot O' Gold Not Included   2 comments

Posted at 2:13 am in commentary

Written by ted on June 30th, 2010

Richland Office Equipment [ aka Richland Office Supply], 619 Beltline Boulevard: early 2000s   13 comments

Posted at 12:42 am in stores

This distinctive building is on Beltline between Rosewood and Devine Street. I don't know if they were the original tenant, but for many years it was an office supply store. I never went there myself, as I was living out of town for most of the time between when I started using "office equipment" (essentially printers in my case) and when I started buying supplies online. I'm pretty sure my sister did find a ribbon for the antique Brother "Diablo 630 compatible!" daisy-wheel printer I set her up with. Those things had a really unique machine-gun type staccato sound they made as the wheel spun and the solenoid hammerd the letters onto the page. I found the fan-fold paper feed almost impossible to adjust correctly such that it wouldn't gradually mangle the paper..

Anyway, the place was in the 1998 phonebook, but I believe Dollar General has been there pretty much for most of this century.

Written by ted on June 29th, 2010

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Automaxx, LLC / Warehouse of Cars II, 7007 Parklane Road: 1990s   3 comments

Posted at 11:57 pm in historic,restaurants,stores

This storefront on Parklane across from K-Mart, started as a Chappy's Fish & Chips, but after that, I don't believe there was ever another restaurant in it, and the place took an automotive turn, a trajectory which it is still more or less on. Given the number of car lots that have come and gone along the Two Notch Corridor over the years, and the way title-loan places pop up everywhere, I wonder if turning cars into money isn't a more stable business model than turning money into cars..

Written by ted on June 27th, 2010

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Ron Grahams Allergy Center, 1593 Broad River Road: May 2010 (moved)   1 comment

Posted at 12:56 am in business

Here's another recent vacancy in Boozer Shopping Center. I don't know if it's just coincidence, but there were a number of storefronts that moved out at more or less the same time, including The Book Dispensary, Gift's of Love and this one, Ron Grahams Allergy Center.

I don't know much about the place, but the full name is Ron Graham Allergy & Air Quality Center Inc, they can help you filtering all the allergens from your home air, and they are now out in Lexington on Sunset Drive near the Target and McAlister's Deli.

This move leaves Boozer at least three storefronts to replace on the north side of the center.

Written by ted on June 26th, 2010

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Buster's Bistro, 5143 Forest Drive: mid 2000s   7 comments

Posted at 12:11 am in historic,restaurants

I've written about this building before, both in a closing for Steak & Ale (the original tenant of the whole building) and in one for House Brand (a furniture store which used the east side of the building after it was divided).

I see now that since the House Brand signage has been off the east side of the building, the previous Buster's Bistro sign is again visible.

I don't know much about Buster's other than it was the first tenant in the newly subdivided building and that according to several commenters on the Steak & Ale closing, the chef, Sig Buster, started at Fresh Pastabilities in the Forest Park (Piggly WIggly) shopping center on the other side of Trenholm, and opened Buster's Bistro after closing that.

The place is not listed in the 2008 phonebook, and so would have closed during or before 2007.

Written by ted on June 25th, 2010

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The Village Tavern, 214 Berryhill Road: Feb 2010   3 comments

Posted at 2:21 am in landmark,nightclub

I finally got around to taking some pictures of The Village Tavern. This place was on Berryhill road, which is a frontage road on the north side of I-20, starting at Bush River Road and going east. I did not take it all the way to the other end, but it seems a fairly quiet road with very little traffic (though there is, of course a constant rumble from I-20 itself).

The area where the tavern building sits is quite pleasant. Visibility of I-20 is mostly screened by vegetation, and the tavern plot is very lush and grassy with Stoop Creek running behind the building, under a Berryhill Road bridge, I-20 and eventually into the Saluda River.

The tall neon sign at the edge of the property was the only part visible from I-20, and I would see it for years as I drove past either on errands in town, or on my way back to Aiken. Somehow I never got around to checking the place out while it was still open though.

Commenter Walt wrote this back in February:

The Village Tavern, 214 Berry Hill Road, is closing. It was established in 1968 and has been a local watering hole, pool hall, sports bar and grill for at least two generations of Columbians in the St Andrews area. Our group started having a boys night out on Thursday night back in the early 60’s when the Columbia Speedway was still open. Our hangouts then was the Tap Room on Lower Main and Don’s in Five Points. When Don sold out and moved on, we started hanging out at what is now the No Name Deli on Elmwood. When No Names expanded the dining area and closed the bar, we moved to the Village Tavern and have ben there ever since. I guess after next week we will have to find yet another gathering place suitable for a bunch of fussy 70 something year old, but young at heart, men who collectively are a store house of knowledge of, and enjoy talking about, old Columbia and Grand Strand resturants, cafes, bars, drive-ins, pool halls, road houses, etc., etc. from the late 40’s to the present. Also Carolina sports back to before the last Big Thursday and the McGuire glory days. And the stories get better and better as time goes by, we just need a place to get together to rehash them.

I hope they found another place!

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Written by ted on June 24th, 2010

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Bonwit Teller / Dillard's / Blacklion / The Department Store, Richland Mall: 1990 / 2003 / 3 September 2005 etc   36 comments

Posted at 12:01 am in historic,stores

Along with White's and Parisian, Bonwit Teller was to be one of the anchors of the new Richland Fashion Mall which was to rise phoenix-like from the ashes of the original open-air Richland Mall.

It is somewhat typical of that snakebit project that all three chains are now gone. Bonwit Teller was a very upscale store, which, according to Wikipedia was founded in the 1880s. When the RFM store opened, the chain was new to South Carolina, so I went there once to check it out. I quickly determined that it was not a "guy place" at all, and I suspect that even for middle class women, there would have been a hint of Are you sure you are Bonwit Teller material? attitude.

At any rate, the whole chain (17 stores strong at the time) went bankrupt in 1989. Apparently since then, two attempts to revive the brand have come to naught.

After Bonwit Teller went under, the space was taken over by an operation called Blacklion, which apparently still exists in some form. They put up a number of billboards around town (I recall one in particular by Za's on Devine) touting a "Revolutionary new concept in shopping!" (that's not an exact quote, but the spirit is the same). Again, I visited the store once, and as far as I could tell, their revolutionary new concept was an upscale flea-market. The place seemed to be a collection of botiquey little indivdually owned kiosks selling upscale crafts. Interestingly as this 2006 press release details, one of them, Mountain Manor Gifts, did in fact move from Blacklion to the Barnyard Flea Market out on US-1. There was also an Italian lunch sandwich operation in Blacklion whose name escapes me right now, but they moved out of Blacklion to a vacant counter-equiped storefront on the second floor on the other side of Belk's and carried on for another couple years.

After Blacklion closed, there was some talk of turning the space into apartments for an urban village like the condo space at Sandhill. You can see in one of these pictures, the treatments at the end of the Blacklion building that were mocked up for that idea, but like many of the plans for Richland Mall nothing came of that either.

UPDATE 23 June 2010: Added Dillard's and The Department Store to the post title based on the comments.

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Written by ted on June 23rd, 2010

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The Book Place, 3129 Millwood Avenue: early 2000s   6 comments

Posted at 11:31 pm in historic,stores

I suspect these are not the right pictures as the address I have for The Book Place is 3129, and this little plaza is 3121. However, numbers sometimes change and walking this stretch of Millwood, I can't find any place numbered 3129, and I remember The Book Place being in a strip like this where you had to watch carefully before backing out into Millwood. If this is the right spot, the The Book Place would have been in the center slot.

OK, regardless of all the above, the way I remember The Book Place is that it skewed a bit more to rare and antiquarian books than the other used book shops I frequented. There were also very few paperback books. As I recall it, the shop was run by an older gentleman, and he was usually carrying on a conversation with someone at the front desk. I don't know if these were friends who dropped by, or if they were customers, but it seemed the conversation topics were usually either literary or historical in nature. I think there may have been a bookstore cat who stayed around the front desk, but I couldn't now swear to that.

The Book Place wasn't on my regular bookshop rotation because they didn't have much in the way of science-fiction, and their prices tended to be a bit out of my reach. What they did have was a great vintage humor section, and over the years I picked up a number of volumes of classic cartoons by artists like Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and James Thurber. I also picked up a number of the hard to find collections of Walt Kelly's Pogo (Which is supposed to be issued in a complete collection by Fantagraphics "real soon now").

I'm not sure exactly when the place closed. It's in the 1998 phonebook, but I believe by the time I had moved back to Columba circa 2003, it was gone.

Written by ted on June 21st, 2010

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Brickyard Shopping Center (Old Timey Meat Market / Gold's Gym / Macarena's Mexican Buffett / Creel Tax Service / Howle & Howle / Donna Nails / Garrett's & O'Carroll's Grille & Bar / Boral Bricks Studio / Peddler's Porch / Check Into Cash / Don Pedro / etc), 9940 Two Notch Road: 4 June 2010   8 comments

Posted at 1:24 am in business,restaurants,stores

I wrote about this place before, or at least it's main building when I did a closing for Piggly Wiggly Store 62. After The Pig closed, the building became a Gold's Gym which with this demolition moves to the old Sofa Express slot at Sandhill (apparently with plans for the old Ashley Furniture Homestore storefront as well).

As of Sunday 20 June 2010, the site is in sort of an odd state. From the front it almost appears untouched, but most of the back side has already been completely gutted or torn down, leaving the facade as sort of a potemkin shopping center.

According to commenter "mg", Dick Smith Nissan will be locating here eventually.

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Written by ted on June 21st, 2010

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