Archive for April, 2017
While not one of the coast's great storms, Hurricane Matthew did damage enough. Our yard was under several feet of water apparently, though nothing was damaged aside from a trash caddy floating away. Other places, apparently at random, got it worse. One of the was Myrtle Beach's Palace Theater at Broadway at the Beach.
I never went to the Palace, thought I thought I was one time. Somehow or other, I convinced myself that this big theater must be the House of Blues, and that's where I headed when I had a ticket for the 1996 Beach Boys appearance there (Carl Wilson's last tour). In the event, when I got there I saw the name obviously did not match, and had to drive a further 10 miles or so. Fortunately I was running early.
I also ended up on their email list somehow, possibly from seeing a show at the other big theater in North Myrtle Beach, so I would get all the notices about the Christmas shows with the Rockettes.
I guessing that business must have been off from the peak years, otherwise they would have repaired and gone on (I do wonder about insurance, you would expect them to have it, at least for wind, and flood was not an issue here..), but that was not to be, as The Sun News recently reported.
The previous year or so has not been kind to big structures in Myrtle Beach.
(Hat tip to commenter Bobby)
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Well, today was the final call at El Burrito on Harden Street. In the event, I think I only ate there once or twice. It was good, but somewhat out of the way, and I tend to go to places with parking lots. Still, 16 years is a good run for a restaurant, especially in Five Points, and they went out on top of their game.
The Free Times has an interview with owner Suzi Sheffield which talks about the early years and the history of the building (which was originally a twin to the much remodeled Schiano's on Forest Drive).
Apparently it is still up in the air whether the developer who bought this and neighboring buildings will raze and build or just re-purpose.
Interesting article on Bloomberg:
Desperate Malls Turn to Concerts and Food Trucks
Malls are fighting for shoppers with one thing their web rivals can’t offer: parking lots.
With customer traffic sagging, U.S. retail landlords are using their sprawling concrete lots to host events such as carnivals, concerts and food-truck festivals. They’re aiming to lure visitors with experiences that can’t be replicated online -- and then get them inside the properties to spend some money.
“Events draw people to come to the shopping center,” said Craig Herkimer, whose company, KevaWorks Inc., is working with big landlords including GGP Inc. and Simon Property Group Inc. to produce outdoor events. “They generate revenue for the owner and offer a chance for cross-promotion, so they can try and drive more customers into the stores.”
I've not noticed anything of this sort in Columbia. To me Dutch Square & Columbia Mall would be iffy, but it seems like a natural concept for the top deck at Richland Mall, whereas in the event all they have on top is a closed garden center and at the side some sort of Farmers' Market that I've never actually seen open.
These are admittedly not great pictures, but you get the picture. I noticed some time ago that this longtime Two Notch Road staple had closed, but somehow just got around to getting some shots a few weeks ago.
There used to be a numbe rof little open air markets in the Two Notch and Dentsville area, but I think this was the last of them. As you can see from the little placard behind the fence, they were part of the Certified SC Grown branding for roadside markets, and in fact you can still see their page on the SCDA website, which doesn't seem to notice that they are gone and helpfully explains:
Primary Products Sold: Tomatoes, corn, string beans, bell pepper, okra, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, squash, Kentucky Wonders, green peanuts, strawberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, plums, blueberries, and honey.
I don't have any phonebooks to hand to pin a closing date here, so I'm going to guess 2015.
UPDATE 22 April 2017: Changed closing date from "2015" to "Fall 2016" based on the comments.
Well, this is a surprise. I had not eaten at Harper's more than four or five times over the years, but it was always perfectly fine. In fact, the last time I went, probably just a year or two ago after an absence of a dozen years or more, it seemed a good deal more upscale than I recalled. The dedicated parking lot was also a nice touch, as parking in Five Points can be a hassle.
Judging from the WLTX story flagged by commenter ED, the chain itself is OK, and continues in Charlotte & Greensboro, so there was apparently some issue specific to Columbia here.
It will be interesting to see what happens to this site.
(Hat tip to commenter ED)
The Rssell & Jeffcoat buildings have a distinctive style, and I have noticed several of them vacant recently. It turns out, according to The State, that the firm was purchased last year by the parent of Coldwell Banker, and if you squint, you can see the "We have moved" sign under the Coldwell Banker branding in the first picture.
I was sure I had done a closing for 230 Forum Drive before, but looking at Alphabetical Closings, I don't see anything.
At any rate, H. H. Gregg is the latest casualty of the ongoing Amazon-era retail meltdown. With the closing of Circuit City, I thought that the appliance & electronics big box market would be able to support the two remaining stores, Gregg and Best Buy, but in the event I guess not. For that matter, it still remains to be seen if *one* store is sustainable long term.
I believe this is the only H. H. Gregg I have ever been in, and I was only in it once. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just checking it out, and as I recall, my impression was that I liked Best Buy better.
Here is a very interesting article from The Indianapolis Business Journal about this Indianapolis based company, its storied history, and the path to bankruptcy this March 7th and then quickly after that, the slide into liquidation:
In the early 1980s, when Detroit-based appliance retailer Fretter Inc. entered Indianapolis and challenged HHGregg on its home turf, HHGregg bought full-page ads in the Detroit newspapers hawking its own merchandise and offering free shipping.
Those were heady days for HHGregg, which built a loyal following in Indianapolis with an unwavering focus on customer service; an army of well-paid, full-time commissioned salespeople; and an avalanche of advertising that resonated with consumers.
It was a winning formula for founders H.H. and Fansy Gregg, who opened the first store at 4930 N. Keystone Ave. in 1955, and for the family members who helped build the chain to more than 200 locations in the decades that followed.
“The customer-first attitude came from Mr. and Mrs. Gregg,” said Ken Beckley, an HHGregg executive from 1983 to 2001 who also was the face of the company’s advertising. “When I was there, we preached to employees that job No. 1 is to take good care of the customer. If you do that, profits will follow. We never put profits first. We put customers first, and it paid off.”
The strategy helped fell a long list of rivals—including Fretter and Highland Superstores Inc., another Detroit chain that dove into Indianapolis in the early 1980s. Both firms later skidded into bankruptcy, with a Highland executive calling Indianapolis its “Death Valley.” In 1998, Circuit City Stores Inc., then a retail powerhouse, arrived in Indianapolis, only to land in liquidation a decade later.
Now, done in by a long list of problems—including overexpansion and a collapse in sales of consumer electronics, once its biggest business—HHGregg is joining the trash heap of failed appliance and electronics retailers.
The company’s demise has been unfolding in slow motion for years, but the final unraveling came with breathtaking speed.
Reminds me of Hemingway's famous quote.
Aside from Gregg, this can't be very good for Sandhill either.
I noticed this vacant pool hall on Sunset near New Brookland Baptist a week or so ago. They list in this years phonebook, and I think it would have caught my eye if it had been closed earlier, so I'm going with "Early 2017" for the closing date.
That's one buff & veiny looking chicken...
UPDATE 12 April 2017: I had the closing as "Early 2017" since they are in the Feb 2017 phonebook, but based on the comments, I've put the date back to 2014, which is quite a difference!
Today's closing comes from commenter Mr. BO, who says:
A strange eclectic shop right across where I enter the office in the Richland Fashion mall. Wine & Design apparently was a place where you can tip a few glasses and do some painting. (odd combo). Some of my fellow workers noted that there were times when the paint would be tracked outside of the door. (Guess things got messy there) I was suspicious about a month ago when I mall maintenance taking out a sink.
Now I see this in pic # 2.
At least it's a move and not a closing.
I admit I was entirely unaware of this place though I have walked the whole Mall at least once or twice in the last year.
What wine goes best with abstract expressionism?
(Hat tip to commenter Mr. BO, obviously)
I first knew this storefront as Silver City Comics back when I was in college in the 80s. I know they were there as late as 1997, so I'm not sure when $2.49 moved in, but it's been a good number of years. I noticed the other week that they are gone and the place is now a Latin (but apparently not Mexican) restaurant.
UPDATE 6 April 2017 -- Hmm apparently I did this post and it was one of the ones that vanished in the database crash. I see it in the wayback machine, and will try to bring in those pictures later. I also see there that they moved from "$2.49" to "$2.79" before moving, so I'm updaing the post title with the higher price and "moved".