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Archive for February, 2021

Virginia College, 7201 Two Notch Road: 2018   no comments

Posted at 12:46 am in closing

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Virginia College was the follow-on operation in this Columbia Mall outparcel to Toys-R-Us. As you can see in that post, the college did some major work on the building before opening in 2010.

The whole chain ran into trouble in 2016 when the Federal Department of Education withdrew recognition of its accrediting body. (As I recall the feds were in a bit of a snit about for-profit schools in general at the time). They tried & failed to find another body that would accredit them, leading, as far as I can tell from the Wikipedia article, to the whole chain shutting down in 2018.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on February 13th, 2021

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Holiday Inn Express, 501 Taylor Street: December 2020 (Reflagged)   no comments

Posted at 11:26 pm in closing

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When I go traveling on my own dime, I usually like to stay in Holiday Inn Express locations. There are some exceptions, such as Fernandina where another chain is just much better located, but in general they have reasonable prices, safety & comfort.

As such, I had noticed this hotel at Taylor & Huger from time to time as someplace I might have stayed if I were visiting Columbia for some reason rather than living here, but I had not noticed until commenter Alan mentioned it that they had reflagged as Fairfield Inn & Suites.

(Hat tip to commenter Alan)

Written by ted on February 11th, 2021

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Sarku Japan, 7201 Two Notch Road Suite FC-1: December 2020   3 comments

Posted at 10:45 pm in closing

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I read recently that Richland County had totally dropped the ball on redevelopment of Columbia Mall, and had no idea what they were going to do, despite already buying all the anchor locations. Certainly on a brief partial walk through last Sunday, many shops were shut during regular mall hours, and the number of vacant spaces continues to grow. Stocking even looked a bit sparse in Macy's.

When I visited the food court, it appeared to me that only one vendor, Cynthia's Soul Food, was actually open at the time, though I think at least two other storefronts looked to still be populated and would probably be open on weekdays. I don't know anything about Sarku Japan, but google suggests that there is still one at Columbiana Mall.

I think the King Pizza sign can come down now..

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on February 10th, 2021

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Michaels Jewelry, 4840 Forest Drive: March 2021   1 comment

Posted at 10:28 pm in closing

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I noticed a sign for a 50% off closing sale at this Trenholm Plaza jewelry store when I was coming up Trenholm from Decker the other day. I don't believe I have ever been in this store, but it has been there quite a while as a Columbia Star profile indicates this location opened sometime around 2004. I can't find anything online about the closing, but there was this story about a 2013 robbery that I can't ever recall hearing about before.

This closing will bring the count of vacant storefronts on this north wing of the plaza to four by my count.

UPDATE 15 February 2021 -- The closing signs are up:

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Written by ted on February 9th, 2021

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The Lunch Box, 1305 Lady Street: 2020   3 comments

Posted at 10:13 pm in closing

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Here is another downtown place I was unaware of. Their still somewhat working web site says the place opened in 1981, so that's a nice long run. I'm unsure exactly when they closed, but I can't find any review newer than about a year old, so I am guessing that they probably closed during the early stages of the 2020 COVID-19 infestation.

I think they also had a second location in Jefferson Square.

These pictures come from Alan LEBON, so big thanks to him for that, and for commenter Justin for the heads-up.

(Hat tips to Alan LEBON & commenter Justin)

Written by ted on February 8th, 2021

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Regions Bank, 149 Columbiana Drive: 13 November 2020   no comments

Posted at 12:57 am in closing

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I have to admit I've always thought Regions Bank is a pretty lame name, though it sounded less derivitive after NationsBank reflagged to Bank Of America. That aside, I know nothing about the chain, other than, like most, it is shedding branches.

I got these pictures of the Harbison location back in September -- I'll try to remember to follow-up with some pictures of the vacant building when I'm out there in the daytime again.

(Hat tip to commenter Justin)

Written by ted on February 6th, 2021

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King Leather Company, Inc., 1917 Barnwell Street: 2020   1 comment

Posted at 10:10 pm in closing

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I don't know anything about (John) King Leather Company except that it was open until fairly recently and that I don't remember ever seeing it before, though I must have driven this stretch of Barnwell at some point. The phone company can't be bothered to send me directories anymore, but they were still listed in the February 2017 book, so I'm just going to say they were a casualty of 2020 unless I hear differently.

(Hat tip to commenter Justin)

Written by ted on February 4th, 2021

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Ale House Lounge, 12 Tommy Circle: December 2020   no comments

Posted at 11:05 pm in closing

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Ale House Lounge (or as some listings style it: The Original Ale House Lounge) sits in a little plaza off of Beltline which, like Lake Wobegon, the decades cannot improve -- or at least to me it seems unchanged from the first time I saw it.

I can't find any media stories online about the closing, but commenter Joelc chalks it up to limited bar hours, presumably due to COVID-19.

(Hat tip to commenter Joelc)

Written by ted on February 3rd, 2021

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LensCrafters, 3400 Forest Drive Suite 2050: Fall 2020 (Moved)   2 comments

Posted at 9:58 pm in closing

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LensCrafters in Richland Mall was on the upper level across from the barbershop, in the far left of the first picture. I had another picture of the facade, but it didn't come out, and Richland Mall is locked on weekends now, so it will be a while before I can get another.

They moved to Cross Hill Market in an outparcel across from Duck Donuts sometime in the fall. I believe that with this move, the barbershop is now the only business in Richland Mall which does not have outside access.

J. Crew, 4840 Forest Drive: 24 January 2021   no comments

Posted at 11:42 pm in closing

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J. Crew apparently has the distinction of being the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 infestation, and this store at Trenholm Plaza, which was the only Midlands location, closed as a result of that.

ColaDaily has the story, as does WLTX which also points out that this leaves the shopping center with four vacancies.

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

Written by ted on February 1st, 2021

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