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Julie's Garner's Ferry Road: late 1980s   16 comments

Posted at 8:03 pm in historic,restaurants

Julie's was a small Columbia restaurant chain with a Bennigans-like concept. There were two in town, one on the frontage road at the Broad River Road/I-20 interchange, and one on Garner's Ferry Road near the old Woodhill Mall (about where Hampton Hills Athletic Club is now, but closer to the road).

I think these two started in the heyday of restaurants like Bennigans and Tuesdays 1865 (though those chains never came to Columbia for some reason), but never updated after their initial opening. I was more-or-less unaware that they existed until a group of friends ended up going to the Garner's Ferry location one night. Along with the standard burgers, steaks and pasta dishes, they also had a few Mexican items on the menu, and one, quesadillas was something I had never had (Mexican food was not very common at the time) and sounded interesting. In the event, I enjoyed it, but ended up with food-posioning from bad sour cream, and spent two days flat on my back (when I wasn't racing for the bathroom). I felt so low that I was unable to get up from the couch where I was lying in order to turn off the TV when one of my all-time most hated shows, The Scarecrow & Mrs. King, came on.

Needless to say, I never went back to Julies, and both locations closed sometime in the late 80s, the I-20 one after Woodhill. I don't recall anything else going into the building at Woodhill; I think it was torn down soon after Julie's closed, but I believe the building of the I-20 location did house something else before it too was demolished.

Update 30 May 2008: Added pictures of the doctor's office now on the old Julie's lot.

UPDATE 30 July 2012: I believe this building was the Julie's off I-20.

Written by ted on January 24th, 2008

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16 Responses to 'Julie's Garner's Ferry Road: late 1980s'

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  1. After I-20 closed, it was a ribhouse of some sort. My wife, then girlfriend and I went there, and they had apparently boiled the ribs, but failed to cook them any further and served them w/o any sauce. That was our first and last visit.

    Jonathan

    22 Feb 08 at 11:43 am

  2. Boiled ribs, yum!

    ted

    22 Feb 08 at 12:51 pm

  3. A physician's office was built at the site of the old Julie's on Garner's Ferry.

    Justin

    14 Mar 08 at 3:59 pm

  4. Well, that's what I needed after eating there..

    ted

    14 Mar 08 at 10:49 pm

  5. They lasted into the 1990s: I remember we ate at the Garners Ferry one just after Hugo (our criterion for a restaurant: working electricity), and it was still "Julie's Place". They later changed their name to just "JULIE'S" for a couple years on the signs, then they closed entirely, my guess would be around '95.

    Jason

    21 Mar 08 at 9:59 pm

  6. Interesting. I didn't remember them as being there that late. Yep, working electricity is a big selling point.. I may make a Hugo post someday if I ever get those pictures digitized.

    ted

    21 Mar 08 at 11:12 pm

  7. I love your site - just stumbled across it today. My husband & I had one of our first dates there on 2/25/95 - yes, I have an uncanny ability for dates...we had a nice experience, and tried to go there again, but it was being turned into the doctor's office.

    Thanks so much for all the info on here - I moved to Columbia in 1992 when I was 20, and you have brought back some memories!

    Nancy

    21 Apr 08 at 1:15 pm

  8. You're welcome Nancy!

    ted

    21 Apr 08 at 9:25 pm

  9. Wow flashback to 1989 - my only trip to this place was the week after Hurricane Hugo hit - we had no electricity in Shandon for many days and most of the local restaurants were closed. Julie's was the only place open and boy were we grateful even though the food was less than mediocre. It was packed with folks who were dying for something other than peanut butter and crackers.

    fancylibrarian

    30 Apr 08 at 5:40 pm

  10. You're the second person to mention the Hugo connection! Guess it was a beacon in a storm, so to speak.

    ted

    30 Apr 08 at 7:01 pm

  11. The name of the ribhouse the I-20 location became was the Chicago Smokehouse. It was only open for a matter of months i believe. We ended up there on one Valentines night (dont ask...long story) and they served me and my pregnant wife chicken fingers that were raw. I cussed out the kitchen manager in the lobby. Fun tims. Luckily no one got sick, but i like to think that i was the beginning of the end for that restaurant. :)

    Jeff

    20 Aug 08 at 4:31 am

  12. Between your experience & Jonathan's -- I'm glad I never tried the Smokehouse!

    ted

    20 Aug 08 at 10:24 am

  13. Ate there a few times back in the 80's. It was another date night must go for the VA side of town. They had really good blackened sword fish. We also went there for happy hour because the mixed drinks were two for one. It was a deal paying only $4.00 for a White Russian (one mini bottle of vodka and one of Kahlua) and getting a second one free!

    Ned Harkey

    10 Jan 12 at 12:29 am

  14. Julie's was open at the Garner's Ferry location until at least 1997. Also, the original building was not torn down; it was incorporated into the current building that is there now.

    David

    10 Jan 12 at 8:28 am

  15. My wife and I really liked Julie's Place, although we seldom ate there. We went on cold nights and just sat for hours in front of the fireplace in their bar sipping Irish coffee. Wonderful for a couple of apartment dwellers.

    Dennis

    11 Jan 12 at 8:53 am

  16. I have good memories of Julie's Place when I was in graduate school in the early 80's at USC Columbia. I live in Watertown, NY and havve been to Columbia only once a few years ago. The restaurant business is so demanding that a small chain like Julie's got lost in the chain restaurant shuffle.

    Dave

    10 Jan 14 at 5:20 am

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