Archive for March, 2012
Well, the once mighty Blockbuster chain continues to implode, and this store at The Crossings shopping center on the corner of Clemson and Hard Scrabble finally went under earlier this month.
I was surprised that it hung on as long as it did, especially after the closing of the adjacent Food Lion last year. Of course, I'm a little surprised now to see any Blockbuster still open -- It's kind of like going fishing and reeling-in a trilobite.
Commenter Joey points to this story about the store closing and if I recall correctly, commenter Andrew pinpointed the exact date in a comment I can no longer find.
(Hat tips to commenters Joey & Andrew)
UPDATE 18 October 2012 -- Commenter Andrew notes below that this storefront was wrapped in butcher paper and marked "Top Secret". Well, by the time I got by there, the secret was out: It's to be a gym:
Whoa! What the heck happened here? I've certainly seen abandoned and decrepit trailers before, but these look to have been attacked by those piranhas that can "skeletonize a cow in thirty seconds"!
This hard luck trailer park is on Shakespeare Road, just past the former Carolina Famous Hotdogs & Wings (which may be a former something else now..) on the way to Columbia Mall, as the name indicates. Googling turns up a number of crime reports, and this LoopNet listing. The property is now off the market, but the writeup
ZONED AS A 37 SPACE MOBILE HOME PARK.INCLUDES 24 MOBILE HOMES.Most in disrepair.PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER AND NATURAL GAS.PARK NEEDS A NEW OWNER.PRICED TO SELL QUICKLY.NO OWNER FINANCING.
somewhat drily understates the situation with "Most in disrepair".
I was very surprised to hear that Dollar General had pulled out of Parkland Plaza. I guess that's because I think of the chain as downscale but savvy: A Dollar General store isn't going to be brim-full of high margin items, but they seem to know their customer base and to be quite competent at what they do.
I do know that in some places (such as Pawleys Island) they have pulled a store out of an underperforming strip mall to re-open it nearby as a standalone building, but I don't think that is the case here -- though certainly factoring together this pullout with the recent Hi-Lites pullout, Parkland Plaza has to be marked as underperforming..
(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)
I ran across this old country grocery the other day at the eastern intersection of Leesburg Road and Old Leesburg Road. I haven't been able to match the name and address in google to have any idea when it closed -- Just looking at it, it could be any time from 1970 to last week. (Although he "hours" sign on the door does look more modern than 1970). Anyway, it's the kind of place where you can imagine a barefoot kid walking in on a hot day for an RC Cola and a Moon Pie (and dropping peanuts into the soda..).
I noticed Saturday that the Dunkin' Donuts in the old Mister Donut location on Forest Drive is closed and some sort of remodeling work is going on. Offhand, I would say they are trying to make it look more like one of their new locations.
Given what seems to be happening, and the fact that the sign hasn't been taken down, I would expect this place to re-open fairly shortly.
UPDATE 5 April 2012 -- Work continues:
UPDATE 16 April 2012 -- Open again:
It seems unlikely that this building, which is partly a car wash and partly a barber shop, at 5100 Two Notch road is the one which originally housed China Royal Restaurant, especially as the 1976 yellow pages ad says that they could seat 250 people. It is however at the same address.
UPDATE 26 March 2012 -- Interesting. Commenter Mike says that in fact China Royal was in the same building that also housed The Ranch and is now This Is It! Video on one side and a nightclub on the other:
The address of that building is now 5024 Two Notch Road, and the current asignee of the 5100 address (above) seems to make sense as it comes right as a new block starts..
Today's pictures come from commenter Alaska Jill, who says:
Booker T. Washington School/George Rogers Mural: I knew I'd best get
pictures of those while I could, too. These were taken on a chilly
Sunday afternoon in February 1999. The mural of George Rogers was a
Blossom Street landmark and could not be missed.
George Rogers and I were at Carolina together, though to the best of my knowledge, we never crossed paths. What I remember though, is that his winning the Heisman Trophy in 1980 was a big deal. A *really* big deal. Quite possibly a deal that was visible from earth orbit, and influenced local gravitational fields..
It was also somewhat of a surprise. I clearly recall that in the run-up to the award announcement, the Daily Gamecock ran an editorial under the head By George, He hasn't got a chance! enumerating all the reasons why it wasn't going to happen. Not being a sports fan myself, I recall the campus events around John Lennon's death that same year more clearly, but I was certainly aware big events were afoot!
I'm not sure when the murals went up, but they were, as Jill says, landmarks for many years. (The road near the stadium and fairgrounds was renamed for Rogers in the same period). I have the vague memory that the Booker T. Washington building itself was at one time a public high school before the property was taken over by USC. I think both the mural and the building came down while I was living out of town, or at least I have no memory of what happened. Today I can't exactly match where it was on Blossom with what's there now...
George Rogers played pro ball until 1987, and is now retired. Wikipedia doesn't really say anything about him after that. It would not surprise me if he had a car dealership or a real estate business somewhere.
(Thanks to Alaska Jill).
I noticed the other day that the eastern-most storefront in Tillman's Plaza was empty. I've written about this building before, as it was the last location of The Byte Shop, one of Columbia's first computer stores. The first picture above comes from that closing.
There is a Play It Again Sports on Bower Parkway, but I don't know if it moved from here.
UPDATE 19 July 2012 -- It's now 5 Star Rental Purchase (with a rather "Patrick" looking mascot):
I first wrote about this storefront in The Shops At O'Neil Court in the closing for the O'Neil Court location of Capitol Newsstand, and after that more or less forgot about it.
I noticed today that the follow-on operation to Capitol, Fitness Solutions has gone as well.
The first picture above is from that Capitol closing, taken pretty much exactly three years ago. I don't know why I didn't try for a closer shot other than there were probably people inside, but you can vaguely make out that some equipment is on display. At the time, I thought the place was a gym, but a little googling today reveals that it actually sold exercise equipment.
You can also notice that everything else in the first picture is now gone as well..
UPDATE 24 March 2012: As noted in the comments, the store moved to Bower Parkway and renamed to Carolina Specialty Fitness. I've updated the title to say "moved".
This is one of those storefronts and names (like another on Decker) that give away nothing about what the company actually does. The slogan General Merchandise Wholesale doesn't add much more to it.
Whatever Beniel did, it thought it was worthwhile to locate in a retail plaza rather than an office complex somewhere, so I guess they did count on the public stopping by.
High Point On Decker, with the Bi-Lo and McDonalds is one of the more successful strips on Decker, but I know this slot has turned over a few times in recent years. I don't recall the other tenants except that I'm pretty sure it was a computer store at one time. I distinctly recall taking my father's printer there for warranty work, and it being a bit of a problem that I hadn't bought it there.
UPDATE 23 March 2012: Added Pick-A-Flick & Moovies to the post title based on the comments. Also, apparently this was *not* the computer store, which was next door.