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Cedar Terrace Pharmacy, Garners Ferry Road: 1990s   7 comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in historic,restaurants,stores

Sometime in the late 1980s, The State newspaper ran a weekend feature article about the search for the best hamburger in Columbia. I cut the article out and put it in my glove compartment and over the next few years, tried most of the places mentioned. As it turned out, I wasn't that impressed in general by the writer's research and the burgers he identified struck me as "OK", but not spectacular. What's perhaps most interesting though is how many of those places are gone now.

I can't recall them all, but the list included Edna's on Forest Drive (I really wish I had some pictures of the interior of that -- it's not often you see someone merging preoccupation with both sex and Jesus in one setting), a small place in Woodhill Mall called, if I recall correctly, Johnathan's, Ed's Drive-Thru on Meeting Street in Cayce, The Seaboard Diner on Gervais (which recently came up here in a comment thread) and Cedar Terrace Pharmacy.

Unfortunately I can't even get a photo of a re-purposed building for CTP, it was all torn down to make way for a new Eckerds (now a Rite-Aid), but it was an old time drugstore with a lunch counter (and booths). In fact, it may have been the last drugstore with a lunch counter in Columbia. I certainly can't think of any still operating right now. When I went burger hunting there, I'm guessing it was about 1989, and while the counter wasn't swamped, there were a number of other diners. I think that if the base pharmacy operation had been able to hold its own against the chains, the counter would have stayed marginally profitable and might still be with us today. We'll never know, and as I said, it's not a tragedy for the Columbia burger market -- the burger was good, but not a classic.

What does depress me just a bit is that what I consider the best burgers in Columbia today: Five Guys, Fuddruckers & Red Robin are all chain operations and not local.

Written by ted on June 9th, 2008

7 Responses to 'Cedar Terrace Pharmacy, Garners Ferry Road: 1990s'

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  1. There is still an operating Edna's at the corner of River Drive/Broad River Road, but I am not sure if they were connected. I went to Rockaway's Monday, and although they don't have the variety of cheeses they had in the old establishment, it's still "One tasty burger." USC's McCutchen House is grilling up tasty burgers as well through August 2nd.

    Jonathan

    11 Jun 08 at 8:28 am

  2. I think the "Edna's" were connected somehow since the one left on River is "Edna's #1" implying that there are/were others.

    I've often driven past the River Drive one, but never got around to stopping yet -- with no dining room, I know there's no art gallery like the Forest Drive one.

    ted

    11 Jun 08 at 12:20 pm

  3. I have lots of good memories of Cedar Terrace Pharmacy. Their lunch bar was awesome. I'd always get a strawberry shake while waiting for prescriptions to get filled. The pharmacist, Tony, was great. He always remembered regular customers. It was like a place out of another era. They also had lots of cool arrowheads framed and hanging all over the store.

    I think the other burger place you mentioned that was in Woodhill Mall was probably Richard's.

    Cathy

    17 Jul 08 at 1:35 pm

  4. Richards. Yep, I think that's it.

    ted

    17 Jul 08 at 1:45 pm

  5. I remember the many arrow heads over the counters

    gary

    26 May 09 at 7:01 pm

  6. Anyone remember the ice cream parlor further back down the plaza on the pharmacy side? My grandma used to take us there for ice cream.

    Richard's in Woodhill Mall was awesome. Great burgers and my first experience with seasoned fries.

    jamie

    8 Jul 09 at 10:03 am

  7. Yea, the lunch counter at the pharmacy was really good. I remember the arrowheads over the counter. Used to go to the ice cream parlor also. We used to laugh at their sign, they shared a sign pole with a hair cutting salon next door to them, the sign on top said "ICE CREAM" and just under that it said "JUST HAIR" We always checked our ice cream really good before we ate it.

    Rick

    16 Jan 11 at 11:49 am

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