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Archive for October, 2013

Boo!   2 comments

Posted at 7:17 pm in Uncategorized

Written by ted on October 31st, 2013

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Pizza Hut, Columbia Travel Center 7400 Wilson Boulevard: mid 2000s   2 comments

Posted at 11:56 pm in Uncategorized

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It's been a few years since I noticed this, but somehow I never got around to mentioning it: The Pizza Hut attached to the Columbia Travel Center plaza closed up shop a couple of years ago. As I recall, it was not a full Pizza Hut, but one of the "express" type operations.

I suspect it was a highly unpleasant job, but someone apparently climed the sign tower to elide the "Hut" portion of the Pizza Hut placard!

Written by ted on October 30th, 2013

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Bakers Sports Pub & Grill, 7167 Two Notch Road: 18 October 2013 (open again)   20 comments

Posted at 10:42 pm in Uncategorized

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Wow!

When commenter badger mentioned that the Columbia Mall outparcel Bakers Sports Pub & Grill appeared to be closed, I thought I might run over there after work to take a look. I certainly did not expect what I found.

On the east side of the building, things looked almost normal, but I noticed as I walked over from my car to the front door that part of the entrance was boarded over. Then I just figured that this was not a business related closing, but that probably they had had a fire. Looking in through the door though, there were no burned sections, just a lot of devastation.

Then I got off the porch and noticed the crime scene tape around the front and west side of the building. Then, walking around (outside the tape boundry..) I saw this:

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Once home, a bit of googling established that it was exactly what it looked like -- someone had driven a pickup truck into the west side of the building. And furthermore, it was part of a police chase that saw the truck drive through *another* building, run over one suspect and leave the other suspect (the driver) shot dead by police. It's a pretty incredible story, and in fact I had glanced through it last week without making the connection with Bakers.

The State has a dramatic picture of the pickup truck after it hit the wall.

(Hat tip to commenter badger)

Written by ted on October 29th, 2013

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Barnes & Noble, 278-A Harbison Boulevard: 1 Jan 2014   17 comments

Posted at 10:54 pm in closing

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Well, if you were reading Columbia Closings Saturday, you'll have noticed that commenter wanda scooped The State by two days on the closing of the Harbison Barnes & Noble.

I'll have to say that this closing is a bit of a surprise to me as this B&N is still open for their standard hours, and always seemed to me to have a pretty good crowd -- I certainly thought that the Richland Mall store, with its already abbreviated hours and declining location would close first.

Of course, though they are still open until 10 and 11pm, you can still see the industry changes that are reshaping the retail (and especially book) market. At this point, Barnes & Noble is sort of an upscale toy store that sells some books. I have to admit that aside from comic strip collections and reference books, I have mostly used this store for show-rooming and coffee these last two years since I got a Kindle. (And while I *can* load BN.com books into the kindle with Calibre, realistically I'm going to end up buying the books I showroom from Amazon..).

Still, over they years, I've bought hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of books from this store, sipped countless lattes and browsed many magazines -- I'll be sorry to see it go.

The State story implies they will be open through the holidays as apparently the lease, which they have decided not to renew, runs out with the year.

What does this mean for Richland Mall? Well, I hope to be wrong, but if this store can't make it, I fail to see how they can continue much longer there either, especially with the closing of TGI Friday's.

(Hat tip to commenter wanda)

UPDATE 26 January 2014 -- Here are some pix from 12 January 2014:

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UPDATE 12 February: The windows are now unblocked, and you can see the interior again as shown in these pix from 9 February 2014:

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UPDATE 17 June 2014 -- Work on the remodel has started:

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Written by ted on October 28th, 2013

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Ship On Shore / Timex Social Club / Club Rolex / N-21 Plaza, 8400 Wilson Boulevard: 1990s(?)   4 comments

Posted at 10:56 pm in Uncategorized

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North Main Street becomes Wilson Boulevard as it heads out to Blythewood, though perhaps more to the point here, it is also US-21. I noticed this defunct little plaza on the South side of Wilson at the corner with Pisgah Church Road this weekend. There are no numbers on the buildings, but a bit of web searching suggests that this property is 8400 Wilson Boulevard (and is much more extensive than the two buildings in the plaza).

The only business name that comes up is Armstrong Equipment Company which looks to have been a trucking firm, and would, I guess, be somewhere else on the 4 acres. As for the plaza itself, to me the two buildings appear to have been a bar and convenience store.

This Loopnet listing shows the whole property, with the plaza area listed as "under contract". This property valuation seems to be for a home somewhere on the property, but you have to admire the lake name given in the accompanying graphic.

UPDATE 29 October: From the comments, it appears that one of these was a seafood restaurant in the 80s and also one was a bar called Timex Socal Club and Club Rolex so I have added those to "N-21 Plaza" in the post title.

Written by ted on October 27th, 2013

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Carolina Pools & Spas, 735 Saturn Parkway #100: 2012   1 comment

Posted at 11:51 pm in Uncategorized

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Saturn Parkway, meet the town of Elgin..

This storefront on Saturn Parkway almost up against I-26 was formerly Carolina Pools & Spas. For at least another week or so, it is Halloween Express.

Interestingly, either a very similar store or another incarnation of this one, Carolina Spas, Pools & Billiards is hosting a competing Halloween store.

Boo!

Written by ted on October 25th, 2013

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Palmetto Carpet Co., 610 Beltline Boulevard: 2013 (consolidated, moved)   no comments

Posted at 10:57 pm in Uncategorized

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I noticed a sign on the door of Palmetto Carpet Co. near the intersection of Beltline and Devine the other day, and stopped to check it out. Unfortunately I did it rather poorly as I somehow failed to get a closeup of the door sign itself, and my memory fails on some of the details.

The gist was that Palmetto has joined forces with another flooring company and has moved to a consolidated location, the where of which escapes me...

UPDATE 9 December 2013 -- Here's the sign I mentioned. The new address is 4884-G Sunset Boulevard:

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Written by ted on October 24th, 2013

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Pet Basics, 494 Town Center Place #5: Fall 2013   1 comment

Posted at 11:26 pm in Uncategorized

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Commenter Jason points out that pet supply store Pet Basics at Sandhill has closed. This store was just down from the old Village Bistro/La Fogata location.

I'm not sure exactly when they closed (other than sometime this year), but their web site says they opened on 7 December 2011.

(Hat tip to commenter Jason)

Written by ted on October 23rd, 2013

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Le Peep, 110 Forum Drive #7: October 2013 (open again)   30 comments

Posted at 12:16 am in Uncategorized

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It hardly seems possible to me that Le Peep was at Sandhill for the five years that their closing letter claims, but looking back I see that in fact The Italian Pie closed in the fall of 2008.

I'm not a morning person by nature, and Le Peep closed at 2pm, so I never got a chance to check it out, but it seems to have been a well regarded breakfast spot. The door letter implies that the space remains under the same ownership and that something new may be forthcoming. In the meantime, the chain just opened a location on Gervais Street in the old Mezza space.

I have to say posting a listing of all the other Sandhill restaurants is a classy touch.

(Hat tip to commenter JB)

UPDATE 24 January 2014 This story from The State makes it clear that this Le Peep was moved to the Vista, rather than the Vista operation being a new one, so I have updated the post title to add "(moved)":

UPDATE 19 Aug 2014 -- This location is up and running again. Not sure what the story is, but good!

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Written by ted on October 23rd, 2013

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TELEVAC 86000 / CENTAURI-68000, South Carolina State Fair: 2012   38 comments

Posted at 11:32 pm in Uncategorized

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Once upon a time, computers were magical devices, "Electronic Brains", spoken of with tinges of awe and fear. See for instance the classic Hepburn / Tracy movie Desk Set. Nobody, in their day-to-day lives would expect to see a computer, and few people had any idea what they actually looked like. Everybody was sure, however, that they involved lots of blinking lights (and tape drives moving forever back and forth).

That first actually wasn't far from the truth. Early computers did have many lights, often signifying bits in various registers and program counters. They also had toggle switches (like the much missed computer in the old Columbia Science Museum) for setting all those bits.

The illuminated front panels of early computers loomed large enough in techie culture that you often found variations of the following sign posted in a computer room:


ACHTUNG!
ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN!
ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.

and the portmanteau word blinkenlights permanently entered the hacker lexicon.

So people were interested, a bit awed and a bit scared by the idea of computers, and had only a very general idea of what they could do and how they looked. Thus: The TELEVAC 86000.

This amiable faux computer has been making the rounds for as long as I can remember, which is to say, at least since 1965 or so, and probably prior to that. Every year, it would set up shop in the Steel Building or the Ruff Building and dazzle the passers by. How could you possibly doubt a handwriting analysis from the TELEVAC 86000? IT'S A COMPUTER! IT'S SCIENCE! IT HAS BLINKING LIGHTS!

While we never did spring for the analysis when my parents took us to the fair back in the day, I have the feeling that at the time, this wonder of technology dispensed pre-printed cards dissecting your penmanship -- certainly there were no portable printers available for such a travelling roadshow.

As the years went on, the TELEVAC did add a printer, and astrological predictions as well as handwriting analysis, but the basic blinkenlights front panel stayed fundamentally unaltered, even through the name change to the less antique sounding CENTAURI-68000.

By the time I actually dropped $3.00 in 2012, the whole concept was not too credible. Whereas in 1965, nobody had seen a computer, much less had a computer, and the blinkenlights represented (to this 5 year old anyway) the apex of science, by 2012 most everybody (including lots of the 5 year olds) had a computer, and everybody knew what one looked like.

Sad to say, the TELEVAC / CENTAURI did not make an appearance at the 2013 State Fair, and I'm afraid it is the end of an era.

Written by ted on October 21st, 2013

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