Recent Comments

Recent Posts




What A Long Strange Trip It's Been   12 comments

Posted at 1:31 pm in commentary

Welcome to folks coming from the Free Times! I'm going to pin this post to the top for a while. Things are a bit slow right now during the holidays, but read on and have a look around -- you may find something that suits your fancy.


On Saturday 29 December 2007, I made the first posting here at Columbia Closings. It was a Mission Statement for a site I had been inching towards for a while. The next day I made my first real post, about the closing of Al Amir on Devine Street. I wasn't sure in those early days exactly what was going to happen, and I suppose I still am not. Whatever it was and is, it has given me the chance to ride around taking pictures, share my thoughts on vanished (and vanishing) Columbia and solicit your comments on the same. In fact, the emphasis has shifted your way over the years. In the beginning, I had some stories I wanted to tell, and gradually I have told most of them. Now, more often than not, I will post pictures and some basic information, and you will take it from there. You can add your comments to any post, or just leave general comments at the Have Your Say link. If you ever wonder Is There A Post On That?, you can check the Alphabetical Closings link here or above. There may well be one, but if not, ask and I may add your request to my queue of posts to do.

As you can guess from the site title, this blog mostly concentrates on Columbia South Carolina retail history and nostalgia. However, if I am travelling and see something out of the area that interests me, I won't hesitate to post it here as well. In particular, I spend a lot of time on the Grand Strand and in Florida, so you never know what may pop up.

All that being said, here are some of my favorite posts from the last ten years. You may have a different set, for that matter I might have a different set on a different day, but if this is your first time at the site, I have to believe you will find *something* interesting in the posts below. You can click on either the post title, or the picture to view the full content.

Thank you for dropping by, and if something piques your interest, don't hesitate to leave a comment, and drop by regularly to see what else might catch your fancy.

Thanks everybody for a great ten years and Merry Christmas! -- Ted

Al-Amir, 2930 Devine Street

Popeyes Chicken / Aloha / El Valle / Eric's San Jose / Best China Buffet / Panda Inn / Albert Tzul / Los Alazanes / etc, 2630 Decker Boulevard

The YMCA Camp (The 'Y' Camp) / R. G. Bell Camp / Bell Camp, Mallet Hill Road

"The Big T" (Taylor Street Pharmacy), 1520 Taylor Street

Virtual Growth / Blue Cross & Blue Shield / Parcone Development Corporation, 10261 Two Notch Road

Boardwalk Plaza / Bum's Factory Outlet (Bum's Bummers) / Shamrock Haircutters, 1023 Bush River Road

Brick Chimney, Forest Drive near Lakeshore Drive

Brickyard Shopping Center, 9940 Two Notch Road

Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles, Brokgreen Gardens

Cafe Risque / Victory Lane, I-95 Darien Georgia

Capital Cabana Motor Inn / The Pirates' Cove Supper Club, 1901 Assembly Street

The Carriage House / Liquids Gentlemen's Club, 5511 Forest Drive

Cayce School / Lexington District Two Learning Center, Lexington Avenue Cayce

Chung King Restaurant, 20 Diamond Lane

Columbia Athletic Club, 4502 Forest Drive

Columbia Museum of Art & Science, Bull Street & Senate Street

Dairi-O, 530 North Main Street (Bishopville)

Dutch Square: Then & .. Then

Edna's #1, 3609 River Drive


Egg Roll Station (Egg Roll Chen), 715 Crowson Road (remodel)


Forest Lake Exxon, 4751 Forest Drive

Forest Lake Park, Forest Lake Shopping Center (Trenholm Road & Forest Drive)

Galaxy World, 7814 Two Notch Road (at I-77)

The Golden Spur, Russell House USC

Green Hole, Greystone Boulevard

Circle K, 4760 Forest Drive

The Happy Bookseller, Richland Mall/Forest Drive

The Hi Hatt Club, 3830 Forest Drive


Hiller Hardware, 600 Harden Street

Hurricane Hugo, South Carolina: 21 September 1989

International House of Pancakes, 1031 Assembly Street


Kmart Store 3168, 99 N Arrowwood Road

Kroger Sav-On, 2500 Decker Boulevard (Decker Mall)

Roper Pond (Lily Pond), 6837 Trenholm Road

Little Red Barn, 3051 Ocean Highway (US-17), Georgetown

Mr. Muffler, 5314 Two Notch Road

The Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Ocean Boulevard

Nix's Olympia Grocery, 500 Bluff Road

Oliver's Lodge, 4204 Highway 17 Business Murrells Inlet

Debbie's Plants, 2505 Sunset Boulevard / Pizza House 2507 Sunset Boulevard / Columbia Rehabilitation Clinic 2509 Sunset Boulevard

Planet Hollywood, 2915 Hollywood Drive (Myrtle Beach)


Red Wing Rollerway, 2632 Decker Blvd

Richland Mall: The Map

Sarge Frye Field, 1320 Heyward Street (USC Campus at Marion & Heyward Streets)

No Swimming at Sesqui

South Carolina State Fair 2008

The South Carolina State Farmers' Market, Bluff Road

The Towers, Corner of Main & Blossom

Varsity Restaurant, 2706 North Main Street

(The Original) WIS Radio, Bull St & WIS Lane

Captain's Kitchen / Zorba's / Sparta / Zorba's, 2628 Decker Boulevard

Written by ted on December 19th, 2017

Tagged with , ,

12 Responses to 'What A Long Strange Trip It's Been'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'What A Long Strange Trip It's Been'.

  1. I can see the classic nature of most of the posts mentioned in this post and do see where they're among the highlight reel.

    For 8 years I have kept up with this blog. I have seen these (and many others) close. Some cases it has chronicled a remodel or even a complete demolition and rebuild. We have all shared our knowledge of what used to be where (and I've been on both sides of the equation)

    Some of my notables (alongside the ones mentioned here):

    - The 19 Piggly Wiggly closings
    - S&S Cafeteria at Richland Mall
    - the Kmart closings (in fact the N Arrowood Road Kmart mentioned here is the closing that lead me to discover this site)
    - Radio Shack's liquidations (in fact the one in West Columbia on US 1 is offically no more but has yet to feature here)
    - Blockbuster locations
    - Cici's at Woodhill
    - Carabba's on Graces Way (that one for the comments it got)
    - transformation of Intersection center (former Service Merchandise) into the Word of God Church & Ministries


    19 Dec 17 at 6:27 pm

  2. While I do not comment as much as some others, I too have been following this blog for quite a while. I believe I first came across it in 2012 when searching for LeVecchia's, which was a restaurant in the Elite Epicurean building that I worked at in college. I grew up at the Grand Strand and came to Columbia for college in 1998 so I do not have as much historical memory of these businesses as some others. But, I've always been interested in old buildings and history and this site is a great spot to learn about Columbia. I particularly enjoy all the posts about the Main Street area and learning the history about those buildings.


    21 Dec 17 at 9:30 am

  3. I think I made my first comment in 2014. I had been lurking for about a year before I actively joined in. For the life of me, I can't recall how I stumbled onto it. Thanks for the memories, Ted. Hope this thing keeps going for another 10 years and more!!!


    23 Dec 17 at 10:04 am

  4. Ted - Happy Anniversary. Ten years and still going strong.


    27 Dec 17 at 7:01 pm

  5. Ted - congrats on making it to the Free Times. You've finally hit the big time!!!!!


    27 Dec 17 at 10:02 pm

  6. Congratulations, Ted - and thank you for the memories you've brought back over the years. From the first time I found this site (and stayed up well into the night going through the alphabetical listing) it has been a wonderful time machine - sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant, always interesting. Thank you for doing this, and may the voyage continue for years to come.

    Alaska Jill

    28 Dec 17 at 8:19 am

  7. Happy 10th anniversary. This site has been active a lot longer than some of the businesses reported here. After looking through some of the older postings I have to wonder what has happened to many of the crew from back then. With another year under our belts I am facing the reality that 60 is getting further away than I care to admit.

    Happy new year to everyone and congratulations to Ted, site-master extraordinaire.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    28 Dec 17 at 2:55 pm

  8. I remember what Internet search took me here (Tricentennial Songs), where I made my first post on this blog. Nine years ago!


    29 Dec 17 at 1:57 pm

  9. Ted:
    Thank you for overseeing this excellent blog. I came to Columbia (from Augusta) via USC and now call Lexington home. I have always been fascinated with business & lifestyle trends - for example my dad worked at Key Catalog Showroom in Augusta and we would come visit the folks in Columbia (Boozer Shopping Center) often. That business model would likely not work today.

    Keep up the good work!

    Andy Farmer

    30 Dec 17 at 4:10 pm

  10. I've been following this site for a few years and enjoyed reading the article and seeing your photo in the Free Times. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year!


    31 Dec 17 at 12:03 pm

  11. My Notable closings of 2017:

    - Piggly Wiggly in Red Bank closing
    - Carabba's on Grace's Way
    - Stein Mart (Bower Parkway)
    - companywide hhgregg liduation (to include two Columbia locations)
    - Harper's in Five Points
    - Tuesday Morning moving to Harbison Court
    - Sears liquidating at Columbia Place Mall
    - Radio Shack on US 1 in West Columbia I offically deemed a goner (though it isn't on here)
    - Shoe Carnival moving back to Harbison Court
    - Pizza Man on Rosewood
    - Best Buy (7006 Two Notch Road)

    Also of note:

    - Leaphart Road Bridge replacement (I'm so ready for the new bridge to open)
    - the solar eclipse of August 21
    - I-77 widening towards Blythewood going in full swing
    - preparations to widen Hard Scrabble
    - Malfunction junction overhaul continuing to take shape
    - Lowe's Foods opens two Lexington locations
    - RCPL remodels continue to happen (Cooper finished while Wheately, Southeast and Northeast begin and hopefully St. Andrews reopens)
    - the old AMF Capitol Lanes on Broad River Road has recently sold making me wonder what's next for that site after being vacant for a good 10-12+ years


    31 Dec 17 at 8:58 pm

  12. I have noticed several billboards on all sides of town advertising the Sinus Center is moving to Devine Street in January. Their website indicates they currently have a location on Laurel Street in Downtown Columbia and on Wellness Street in Irmo. I am not sure which location is moving. Does anyone know? I am thinking I need to schedule an appointment and finally do something about all of my allergies and sinus problems.

    James R

    1 Jan 18 at 11:43 am

Leave a Reply


Recently Updated Posts