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Fuddruckers, 1801 Bush River Road: 6 February 2020   17 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing

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Well, I am saddened by this one, but not surprised. I have been going to Fuddruckers for many years, and it has been obvious over the last several that there was minimal money for anything more than basic upkeep on the store. There was never a real update to the fixtures, and certain booths would break and never be fully repaired. Starting perhaps ten years ago, the hours dropped off a bit, one side of the burger condiment bar was retired, and the patio was basically abandoned.

Still I stopped in every six weeks or so because I did enjoy the burgers (and the buns!). I noticed that over the years the same faces would be there month after month -- something that is pretty uncommon in the restaurant business these days. The story in Cola Daily makes the point that the manager had been there since the store opened.

As I said, I have gone many times over they years, but some people take it to another level. The Fuddruckers model is you place your order at the register, take your drink, sit down, and then come back to the counter when your name is called. Last year I heard: "Bob, your 25th anniversary dinner is ready!"

This was Columbia's only Fuddruckers. There are at least two on the coast, and apparently several in the upstate.

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

UPDATE 13 February 2020 -- Here are some post-closing pictures:

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UPDATE 17 June 2020 -- This place has now been sold, and construction is starting. Commenter
Mike Dodds
says a church as bought the property:

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Written by ted on February 8th, 2020

Tagged with , , , ,

17 Responses to 'Fuddruckers, 1801 Bush River Road: 6 February 2020'

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  1. The sign at the second entrance to the lot toward I-20 now says "Thank you Columbia for 34 Great Years". Have gone there since the beginning, and went a couple times recently for specials, but definitely was not the bustling place it used to be. Too many new places and no real hook to come here, I guess. Only place where you could get your own add-ons, and could get enough lettuce and tomato and stuff to make a salad. Maybe that's what did it. Might try again if I'm ever in Greenville.

    gofinsc

    8 Feb 20 at 3:10 pm

  2. I ate there just a couple of months ago after raving to the GF how good their burgers were. They were no longer anything great. Maybe The Villa will move in there and get out of the dungeon that is their building.

    Dan R

    9 Feb 20 at 6:48 am

  3. @Dan R - don't mess with the Villa!

    Heath

    9 Feb 20 at 11:56 am

  4. However, it would be a great place for Real Mexico. No more playing Frogger crossing Bush River from the unofficial auxillary parking area!

    Heath

    9 Feb 20 at 12:00 pm

  5. As much as I hate to see Fuddrucker's go because of fond memories eating there dating back to my childhood and everything I do agree with Heath that it could easily make for a nicer space for Real Mexico as theri current space is tight in just about every way possible...

    Andrew

    9 Feb 20 at 1:24 pm

  6. I agree that going to The Villa is like entering a submarine. I would go there more often had they some windows..

    However, the Fuddruckers space isn't that much better. The main part is conspicuously window-deficient. I always sat in the back area because of that, even though there were no booths back there, and the flow was very bad.

    ted

    9 Feb 20 at 8:15 pm

  7. We used to go there for lunch on a regular basis, then I moved offices and was too far away. We moved again, and I went recently. I have to say, either my memories of the food were really rosy, or the quality really dropped off. The burger seemed small and unremarkable, the bun wasn't quite as fluffy as I remembered and had a bit of an chemical/sweet flavor, like maybe they used artificial sweetener to make it, and the fries were kind of bland. The toppings also tasted bland and cheap. I guess they had to in order to maintain the price of everything, but that eventually kills restaurants.

    Matthew

    10 Feb 20 at 12:46 pm

  8. Was a regular customer from year 1 up to a few days before discovering they were closed. Never had a bad burger there. Rated all other burgers against Fudds. Sorry to see them go.

    Greg

    10 Feb 20 at 5:17 pm

  9. Sorry but Real Mexico is nothing special. Last 2 times I ate there it was typical slop in the vein of Montereys or San Jose. Better Mexican can be had at El Mariachi on 378.

    Dan R

    11 Feb 20 at 6:12 am

  10. One of my family members heard that corporate wanted the owner of this Fuddruckers to remodel/update, and he refused.

    Robin

    13 Feb 20 at 10:23 am

  11. Ah... the good old days. '05-'09- I would drive out here after school and eat with my friends almost every Friday. I miss this place.

    Paul

    6 Mar 20 at 6:35 pm

  12. When I was in marching band in high school, since the state competition was always at Irmo High School, we would always eat at this Fuddruckers. I remember getting one of those big brownies at one point. It was so sweet and rich that I could barely eat half of it without feeling sick. Sad to see this place go.

    Sean

    22 Jun 20 at 9:57 am

  13. It just hit the news that the entire Fuddruckers chain is being dissolved by the parent company. Guess this closure was just a sign of the bigger corporate issues.

    Thomas

    8 Sep 20 at 5:56 pm

  14. I can't think of the last time I saw or heard a Fuddrucker's commercial. I think the corporate side of the chain has been kind of moribund, leaving the franchaises to fend for themselves without any new promotions or branding. Certainly this store, and the ones at the beach could all have used upfits and de-70s-ization.

    Which is a shame because the concept of a good, fresh, burger on a bun thick enough not to get mushy with steak-fries and your choice of toppings is still a good one.

    ted

    8 Sep 20 at 10:43 pm

  15. Apparently Fuddruckers shares a name with a Texas based company called Luby's and the liquidation is about to get started.

    I always enjoyed eating at Fuddrucker's and hated to see it go but I do remember Jodi Page doing spots for them on B106.7 around 10/12 years ago. I didn't think about the need to uplift it the way ted did though.

    I think the main issue Fuddrucker's faced is that their self-serve bar of toppings wasn't feasible in this COVID reality we're dealing with and saldy they're a casualty of it.

    Andrew

    8 Sep 20 at 11:29 pm

  16. I should say that Fuddruckers is owned by the same parent company as Luby's...

    Andrew

    9 Sep 20 at 9:27 am

  17. That's a shame to hear the whole chain is going under. I agree with Ted that the stores have been in decline for a long time and all needed an uplift. Growing up in the Grand Strand, I used to love getting a burger from Fudd's, particularly the one near the now-gone Myrtle Square Mall, a lot of good memories there.

    Justin

    10 Sep 20 at 8:09 am

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