Archive for August, 2011
Noticed Monday night as I was coming out of Carrabba's that Fruiti Cup frozen yogurt in Sparkleberry Square was gone. Well, actually that's not quite accurate because I never knew it was there first, and I couldn't completely tell if it were going out or coming in. A little googling established it though, and puts the date sometime after 3 August.
This spot was originally, or at least previously Ritz Camera, and this closing adds one more to Sparkleberry Square's list.
UPDATE 12 September 2011 -- Some daylight pix:
UPDATE 17 April 2012 -- Looks like it's to be Dickey's Barbecue Pit restaurant:
UPDATE 29 June 2012 -- As commenter Andrew mentions below, Dickey's is now open:
San Jose is probably the biggest local Mexican chain (though they don't all have the same ownership), and one I like pretty well. I never made it to this smaller location on Sunset not far from the zoo, and in fact am pretty sure I did not know that it was there. Commenter MB notes that it wasn't there too long. I have to say Sunset Center has a good-looking ice cream cone on their sign!
(Hat tip to commenter MB)
It seems to me that there used to be a number of "day old" bakery thrift stores around town, but I can't recall seeing any recently. This one on Parklane not from from the old Sounds Familiar location was completely unknown to me. It appears from the signage and construction permit that it will reopen as Panda Chinese Restaurant, which will make three (that I know of) in the general area.
(Hat tip to commenter Miz T)
It can't have been great being located in-between two dead anchors, Penny's & Dillard's, but I don't think being near Macy's or Sears would have made any difference. I think cafeterias are kind of a dying breed, and you can't compound that by being in a dying mall.
(Hat tip to commenter Bobby G)
The first two pictures above come from a post noting changes in the surrounding plaza that I made last November.
At the time the whole plaza was for sale apparently as a bank forclosure. Since then, the place has been bought by East Point Academy charter school: "The first South Carolina Chinese Immersion Elementary School". (I'm not sure how that kid on their home page really feels about that Panda -- I'm reminded of a South Park episode..). Anyway, as a result, Sandy's and whoever else was still in the plaza had to get out.
Sandy's Facebook page calls this location Cherry Park, which I had never heard before, and notes that "we will open a new location soon", which I take to mean in the same general area.
(Hat tip to commenter tonkatoy)
UPDATE 5 April 2012 -- The Chinese immersion charter school which took over the whole plaza is now up and running:
If you drove I-95 to Florida in the 90s or 2000s, you could hardly miss the plethora of billboards with the come-on We Bare All dotted up and down the highway. Darien's Cafe Risque may not have out advertised Dillon's South of the Border, but you'd have to be driving in your sleep to be unaware of it -- until recently, that is.
Having not noticed the billboards lately, I decided to check into what had happened to the place on my drive back to Columbia last week.
The building is at Georgia exit 49 off of I-95 (Georgia Highway 251) on the other side of the Interstate from an outlet mall, and like many roadside attractions turns out to be much smaller than you might expect from the massive billboard campaign.
I really arrived too late in the evening to take good pictures, but these flash and longer exposures turned out well enough to show the current state of the place. Interestingly, after a month of being around marsh and woods, this parking lot was the only place I had a real mosquito problem -- the moment I got out of the car, they descended on me en-masse and I was scared I might pass out from blood loss getting these shots :-)
This Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) article tells the story of the end of Cafe Risque, and its beginning. Apparently the owner hoodwinked the town into approving a cafe on the site, and didn't mention the mealtime entertainment he planned to provide, and since there was no alcohol involved, there was little the town could do about it. (The article headline implies the town eventually shut it down, but the text makes clear it was lack of business).
As far as I could tell from I-75 signage, a sister Cafe Risque is still in operation in Micanopy Florida, just below Gainesville.
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I'm not sure when Flowers By Rita (also know as Flowers By Rita K) closed. It is listed in the February 1997 phonebook but not the February 2007 one, so my best guess would be the early 2000s.
I am curious as to what happened to the building (which is on the north side of Farrow just east of Fontaine). Google Streetview shows the building before whatever it was, so it must have been in the last few years. Fire is the most obvious guess, but there doesn't really seem to be any charred area around the damage..
Some, if not all, of you will have already noticed a few changes I made to the blog while on vacation, but for the record let me just set them out here.
First of all, and invisibly, I've upgraded from PHP4 to PHP5. I had been putting this off for a good while because I was afraid it would be an ordeal, but it had to be done before I could update WordPress versions. In the actual event, GoDaddy provided a straight-foward way to do this painlessly from their control panel (though it did take some googling around to find out that it existed since their FAQs tended to imply it was a new purchase option).
Second, with that done, I was able to upgrade to the current version of WordPress, 3.2.1. This doesn't change anything on the readers' side, but from my point of view it means I can select from a greater number of themes and plugins and not just those that work with old WordPress versions.
Third, with that done, I was able to upgrade the spam filter Akismet to the current version. Spam is a constant arms-race and it's still not perfect, but I am actually having to kill fewer spam comments than before. Of course those that still get through remain annoying.
Fourth, with the current version of WordPress I was able to implement an idea proposed by Michael Taylor a number of months ago: Having a sidebar list of posts which have been recently updated. New posts, of course, are always on the blog's front page, but many times I will update an older post with new pictures or new information, and previously there would be no way for you to tell that unless I also posted a comment to that effect, something I don't usually do for small changes. Now, if you look on the left sidebar below the recent comments, you will see a new area called Recently Updated Posts. This section will list the ten most recently updated posts, and the date they were updated.
Fifth, also in the left sidebar below the Most Popular Posts section is a new area called Tags. This section is a tag cloud which takes the most common tags on posts and renders them in a font size relative to how often they are used. (Currently it appears that "Two Notch Road" is the most common tag..). If you click on one of these tags, you will get all of the posts which use that tag (which may not all fit on one page). I did not start using tags until well after I started the blog, so many older posts still do not have tags, and also I am not perfectly consistent on what tags I use (ie, grocer vs groceries etc), but the street name tags at least should be useful.
I may move these different sections around in the future, but I do expect to keep them.
What I did not do was change the theme for the blog. I actually did find a new three-column theme that I like quite a bit, but as it stands, it does not fit well with my 600 pixel wide photos (which I am not going to shrink). I may get around to figuring out how CSS style-sheets work and try to fix it to work in my environment, or I may find another theme that will work without a lot of futzing around, but for now the current theme (Andrea) stays.