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Archive for October, 2010

Trade Unlimited, Inc. / Sesame Inn, JJ Inc. / Jiang Asian Bistro, 280-A Harbison Boulevard: 2000s   20 comments

Posted at 12:44 am in restaurants

This storefront is in the same plaza as the Harbison Barnes & Noble and is right next to Rita's Ice Custard Happiness (a place that I had picked to last less than a year, but which seems to be going strong).

I can't ever recall it actually being occupied, but google turns up three former tenants. First was a business called Trade Unlimited, Inc, which was incorporated in 1994 and dissolved in 1998. That's a fairly generic name, so I suspect they also would have had a catchier DBA name.

Next, I think was Sesame Inn JJ, Inc which applied for a beer, wine and liquor license in 2004. Again I suspect they did business as a shorter name. In this case, I'm gussing it was probably Sesame Inn, which sounds like an Asian restaurant.

The final name I have is Jiang Asian Bistro which I take to be the most recent tenant as it is still in some online restaurant guides.

UPDATE 15 March 2013 -- It's now (or soon to be) Wing Nuts:

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Written by ted on October 30th, 2010

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Nice 'N Natural, 1217 College Street: 29 October 2010   6 comments

Posted at 1:28 am in restaurants

Nice 'N Natural, located on College Street in between Main and Sumter Streets (and next to the former USC Burger King) shares an attractive old brick building with Cool Beans coffe shop. It's within easy walking distance from The Horseshoe, and in general, I have found parking in the area to be reasonably easy, at least in the evenings.

I mention evening, because I must admit that while I've been to Cool Beans numerous times over the years, I never made it to Nice 'N Natural. I was kind of vaguely aware it was there, but I was never in the area during its open hours, and had the tenuous impression from the name that it was a "healthy" place (ie: not something that would be high on my list). The Free Times brief description sort of re-inforces that impression, though "whole grain" attracts me more than "alfalfa sprouts".

I think I read in The State a week or so back that the owners reported that business fell off after 9-11 and never really recovered. If that be the case, then they've hung on for 10 bad years, which is certainly something to be proud of (and of course their 28 years is an extraordinary run for any restaurant).

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Written by ted on October 29th, 2010

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Corked, 661-3 Promenade Place (Village at Sandhill): Late October 2010   3 comments

Posted at 12:43 am in stores

Corked at Sandhill is out of business. Their web site is still up and announces the closing, though it doesn't list the actual final day. I have no idea of Corked's circumstances, but it seems to me that, in general, Sandhill would be a poor place for a beer and wine shop in that it's not near home, or on the way home, or easy to get into and out of if it is on your way home. I would think 9 times out of 10, it would just be easier to stop by a grocery store -- Sandhill is a shopping destination, not somewhere to zip into and out of.

(Hat tip to commenter Cheryl)

Written by ted on October 28th, 2010

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Art Shack Gallery Cafe: 2701-A Rosewood Drive: October 2010   1 comment

Posted at 10:48 pm in restaurants,venue

According to the still extant web site, Art Shack Gallery Cafe started out as a gallery-only in 2005 and added a cafe in 2007. I'm afraid I was pretty much completely unaware that it existed (until I went to take the second picture above in conjunction with the closing for The Daily Grind) and so never ate there.

According to commenter Mike D it was closed as of 19 October 2010, giving it a five year run. Not bad in today's restaurant climate.

(Hat tip to commenter Mike D)

Written by ted on October 26th, 2010

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The Last Stage Before 'Going Postal'   1 comment

Posted at 9:53 pm in commentary

Written by ted on October 26th, 2010

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Mirage, 111 Sparkleberry Crossing #1: 2010   no comments

Posted at 1:11 am in restaurants

I first wrote about this space at Sparkleberry Crossing in the closing for Al-Amir (which has since returned to the north east with a Sandhill location). I believe Al-Amir was the first tenant in the space, and the interior design somewhat reflected their Mediterranean/Middle Eastern heritage, which you can still see in the shape of the internal windows here. If you look at the Al-Amir link, you'll also see a tile fountain in the center of the foyer. I think that Mirage kept that for at least part of it's tenure, but as you can see here, it is now gone.

Mirage was one of those odd places that never seem to be open when you go by, but never seem to be out of business either. In fact, at least twice I saw the place looking deserted with no cars in its part of the lot and went so far as to park and get out the closing-cam only to walk up to the doors and see that although it was not open, it wasn't out of business either. Maybe it was the name. After all, a "mirage" is something that appears to be there, but is really not..

UPDATE 10 April 2013 -- It's to be Henry's:

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Written by ted on October 26th, 2010

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South Carolina State Fair 2010, Fairgrounds: 24 October 2010   3 comments

Posted at 2:39 am in attraction,entertainment,events,venue

These nine pictures are attempts at HDR. I took a tripod, and set the closing-cam to do 3 exposure brackets (1 "under exposed", 1 "over exposed" and 1 "correctly exposed"). I still have had trouble getting anything reasonable looking out of Qtpfsgui though other folks certainly have. There are just too many knobs and levers for me, at least for now. I did find another free program called Picturenaut, which actually produces nice results with the default settings. The downside is it only runs on Windows.

All the night pictures were taken on 15 October and the day pictures on 24 October. As usual, the fair remains an evergreen experience and if you missed it this year, you should try to catch it in 2011.

Lots and lots of other pictures after the jump. Be warned!

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Spring Valley Ace Hardware, 10012 Two Notch Road: 25 September 2010   5 comments

Posted at 12:32 am in stores

Well, another "traditional" hardware store bites the dust. According to this story in The State, the same owners had to close one in Blythewood around the same time. The reasons look to be the usual ones: The economy in general, and the rise of the big box stores

This store in particular I think would have been hard hit by the later as both Lowes and Home Depot are in very close proximity.

(Hat tip to commenter Jason for the heads-up and commenter Javier for the closing date)

Written by ted on October 23rd, 2010

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Golden City Restaurant, 1729 Charleston Highway: 2010   10 comments

Posted at 12:41 am in restaurants

Golden City is listed in this year's (Feb-2010/Feb-2011) phonebook, so it can't have been closed for too long. I find it a little interesting however, that Loopnet describes the place as "recently renovated" while work is clearly currently ongoing.

I'm not sure how long Golden City was there. Without going to the library, I can confirm that it existed in 1998, but not in 1976. Again according to Loopnet, the building was built in 1970, so there must have been other operations there over the years. And, speaking of the building -- it's rather an interesting one. The back part is fairly standard looking, but the trapezoid in front is quite unusual.

I wonder how accurate the English name is. If each Chinese glyph equates to a word (or idea) then there are four words getting squoze down into the two word "Golden City". Can anyone translate?

Written by ted on October 22nd, 2010

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Gaz-Bah Mini Shop, 7426 Wilson Boulevard: Fall 2010   2 comments

Posted at 11:57 pm in stores

Gaz-Bah was on Wilson Boulevard (what North Main becomes as it gets near to I-20 and heads to Blythewood) right next to the long defunct Denny's restaurant, and was open until fairly recently. I'm not sure when it closed, but the branding is still up, and the gas pumps have yet to be taken out. I find it a little odd that they felt it necessary to board the store completely up, given that the aforementioned Denny's has survived in good shape for years with no apparent vandalism.

As I was taking these pictures, one of those erratic Fall flocks of birds was in the area, moving from the high, I-20 visible sign to the roof of the store to the roof of the pump carport and back again. You never realize how many there are until they all take wing at the same time in Hitchcockian fashion.

I'm not sure why an exit gas station off a high traffic Interstate would go under, but I will note that the exit from I-20 to Wilson is a bit odd in that you come out on the other side of the street than you expect, and would then have to make a left to get to Gaz-Bah, while there is a travel plaza directly in front of you that requires no turn.

Written by ted on October 20th, 2010

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