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Archive for June, 2011

Piggly Wiggly / Ace Hardware / Cornerstone Construction / Filling Place Worship Center / Life Church International / KC Carolina Bingo / All South, 1515 Frink Street: 2000s (etc)   5 comments

Posted at 10:42 pm in business,stores,venue

This LoopNet listing says that this building on the South side of Frink Street west of 12th was originally a grocery, and that is especially clear in side views. I don't know what chain it was, but the LoopNet statement that it was built in 1995 looks wrong to me -- I would put it in the 1960s.

Since then it has apparently been a lot of things: Two different churches, a construction company, a bingo parlor and a cellphone store. It is currently vacant, but as you can see, there is a building permit in the door, so presumably it will soon undergo yet another incarnation.

UPDATE 6 July 2011: Changed the post title from "Grocery" to "Piggly Wiggly" based on the comments. Also added "Ace Hardware" to the list of tenants.

Written by ted on June 30th, 2011

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Hair Tamers, 6070-C Garners Ferry Road: 2011 (moved)   1 comment

Posted at 1:41 am in business

I was Shoppes At Woodhill this afternoon, and noticed that Hair Tamers next to Qdoba was gone. I am over there fairly frequently, and think I would have noticed it before if it weren't pretty recent, but I can't say for sure (especially as my eyes tend to slide right over beauty shops).

I have to say that the name itself conjures up the image of Bugs Bunny fighting the hair monster ("Gossamer"):

UPDATE 30 June 2011: Commenter gary says they have moved to Landmark Square so I have added "moved" to the post title. I'll try to get a picture at some point.

Written by ted on June 30th, 2011

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Downtowner Motor Inn / The Governor's House / Rodeway Inn, 1301 Main Street: 2011   12 comments

Posted at 11:23 pm in attraction,business,historic,landmark

As reported by The State this venerable hotel at the corner of Main & Lady Streets will be converted into a upscale condo called The Palms with 54 "resort-style" units. They will also have a view of what is apparently the only pool on Main Street.

Given that the article talks about the developer struggling to find financing for the project for several years, and the fact that the Rodeway Inn is listed in the Feb 2011 phonebook, I can only guess that the developer owned the property and continued to run it as a hotel until things came together. I admit to being surprised how long it lasted as a mid-to-lower-mid market motel in an area that if it gets anyone (after all who in the general population wants to visit Columbia and stay on Main Street?) would get high-roller business and government connected types.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

UPDATE 26 May 2012: Here's a State article on the opening of The Palms.

Written by ted on June 28th, 2011

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Trojan Labor Service / Workforce USA / 10,000 National Leaders / LJ, Inc / North Main Street Construction Office, 2321 Main Street: 2000s   1 comment

Posted at 12:12 am in business,government

I found a number of different names for this building at the corner of North Main and Belleview Circle. As they all seem to relate to jobs or contracting, I have to wonder if at one time or another it was operating under several monikers simultaneously.

The street sign, which I would assume represents the most recent operation reads

North Main Street Construction Office
(LJ, Inc. General Contractors) (City of Columbia SC)

This sounds like the City hired LJ on an official basis, especially since the city seal is present. Perhaps it had something to do with the North Main Street roadwork of the past few years.

Written by ted on June 28th, 2011

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Talbots, 630-5 Promenade Place: June 2011   5 comments

Posted at 11:06 pm in stores

I was having lunch at Panera in Sandhill Saturday when I heard someone in an adjacent booth talking about a clothing store that had closed shop recently. I didn't catch the name, but when I stepped outside I saw that it must have been Talbots on the other side of the street that sparked the conversation.

As I hate shopping for clothes in general, and am even more clueless about women's clothes, I really had no mental picture of where Talbots fit on the retail map. A bit of googling however revealed that it is a somewhat upscale chain largely for women over 30, and has been struggling financially for a while now.

There 's an old story, probably apocryphal, about a feed company that hired a top ad agency to design a campaign to sell its dog food. The ads were brilliant, won awards and everyone loved them, but sales plummeted. The company finally hired a troubleshooter who investigated and issued a succinct report: "The dogs don't like the dog food".

The Wall Street Journal gives as delicate a version of that quote as I have ever heard in the words of Talbots's CEO:

The predominant factors impacting our results were an inconsistent customer response to our merchandise assortments..

The article also goes on to posit a lose/lose situation:

The apparel retailer has been trying to freshen the look of its merchandise and broaden its appeal beyond its core audience of older women. But the approach may be turning them off while also not bringing in new customers.

Other papers speculate that the chain may be heading for a takeover, and mention that it is closing 110 of its 568 stores.

Talbots had three stores in the Columbia area. This one, one on Forest Drive and one on Saint Andrews Road. I drove by the Forest Drive store this evening and it is still there. I have not been by the Irmo location.

Written by ted on June 26th, 2011

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DMV, Decker Mall: 17 June 2011 (moved)   8 comments

Posted at 11:45 pm in government

I was at Schlotzsky's on Parklane having lunch today when a guy came in looking for the DMV. Naturally, I sent him across Two Notch to Decker Mall: D'oh!

I realized my mistake as I drove down O'Neil Court just a little later, and saw that the DMV had relocated to the old Pro Golf of Columbia location in The Shops of O'Neil Court.

I suspect this has something to do with the purchase of Decker Mall by Richland County, though I would have expected the two different levels of government to work out a deal of some sort for the space.

Written by ted on June 24th, 2011

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Blue Sky Gallery, 733 Saluda Avenue: July 2011 (?)   12 comments

Posted at 10:31 pm in stores

Well, Blue Sky Gallery isn't actually closed yet, but it's already in the news and I took the pictures when I went looking for Mary...

Unless you have a special interest in art, or have a friend who's an artist, Blue Sky is probably the only Columbia artist you can think of and his work has been prominently displayed around town for ages. The first Blue Sky piece I can remember is still my favorite (and probably the favorite of many Columbians): the Road-Runner-ish Trompe-l'œil Tunnel Vision.

The same parking lot off of Taylor Street has his other best known work, which people either love or hate: the giant fire hydrant. Personally, I like it.

The State article says (or implies) that he and his wife are closing the gallery to concentrate on international sales, though at 72 I wouldn't be surprised if he just wants to retire.

(Hat tip to commenter Mike D)

Written by ted on June 23rd, 2011

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It's That Time Again!   no comments

Posted at 10:16 pm in commentary

Well, Summer is back, and the Free Times' Best of Columbia poll is here again!

I'm not sure how they pick their categories, but once again local blogs are going up against WIStv.com, which is somewhat akin to The S.S. Minnow going up against The Starship Enterprise (Kirk's, not Picard's!)...

Still, if you like columbiaclosings.com, don't hesitate to vote in category "6": Best Local Website or Blog - News. Put in a good word for your favorite shops, restaurants, hangouts parks etc as well.

Written by ted on June 22nd, 2011

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Mary, 713 Saluda Avenue: May 2011   no comments

Posted at 8:44 pm in stores

I had not really been aware of Mary, a small women's clothing store in Five Points until commenter Mike D pointed out that it had closed.

It's an interestingly non-descript name for a store, not even a possessive as in Mary's. For that matter, the sign is nearly impossible to see for the trees during the summer months.

It appears that another clothing store, the neighboring Wish at 719 Saluda Avenue is ready to move up the street into the old Mary location soon.

(Hat tip to commenter Mike D.)

Written by ted on June 22nd, 2011

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South Carolina Employement Security Commision / South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, 1115 Calhoun Street: 2011 (moved?)   4 comments

Posted at 12:32 am in ngo

The LoopNet listing for this building describes it as having one space availabile. The realtor listing which I found and lost in a thunderstom crash described it as "vacant". I'm not sure if that means the Council has moved or closed shop. There appears to be a sign taped to the door that I should have gone and looked at, but I somehow missed noticing that while I was over there.

(Hat tip to commenter tonkatoy)

UPDATE 23 June 2011: Added South Carolina Employement Security Commision to the post title based on comments by Bo & tonkatoy.

Written by ted on June 22nd, 2011

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