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D's Wings Northeast, 111 Sparkleberry Crossing (Clemson Road at Sparkleberry): October 2008 (closed again)   38 comments

Posted at 5:27 pm in closing

I've written about D's before. Recently in the comments people mentioned that several other D's had now closed. I was over in the Harbison area, so I decided to check that one out, but found that I actually didn't know where it was, and had been thinking of Wild Wing (which is still open). After that, I decided to check on this location, which is on Clemson Road at Sparkleberry in a strip mall which has seen a number of restaurants flounder.

What I found was a little odd in that while there was a floor sign offering a "franchaise opportunity" (when "opportunity" is used in this way, I always decode it as in the immortal phrase from Pogo: We are confonted with insurmountable opportunities!) for this restaurant, the one in "Bythewood" and the one in Harbison, all the lights were still on, and the place looked as though it had been straightened up for business, not closing. Nonetheless it wasn't open. Still, it looked so not closed that I hesitated to post on it. Then when I was on my way to Brixx the other night I stopped by again and saw a very definite sign saying that the place would be reopened on 16 October, though it also used the dreaded "renovations" word which often indicates more of a fond wish to re-open someday than anything else (especially as no renovation work was visible through the windows). So, we will see tomorrow!

UPDATE 17 Oct 2008:

Well, they did not reopen on 16 October..

UPDATE 6 May 2009: They are definitely gone for good now, so I have taken the "(temporary?)" tag off the post title. I have also updated the post title with the full street address of the store, and added the word "Northeast" to the store name.

UPDATE 10 Jan 2010: A new operation "7 Grill & Bar" is moving into the old "D's" slot:

UPDATE 28 April 2010 -- The D's replacement, 7 Grill is now open:

UPDATE 11 December 2012: Interesting tip from commenter Frank to the effect that D's will be reopening here soon. These pictures pretty much confirm it. The 7 Grill marquee is still up, but the interior has been filled with D's stuff. In fact, that cigar store Indian is almost certainly the one from D's on Beltline so it would appear that the Beltline store is moving here!






UPDATE 23 October 2015 -- OK, this is getting a little hard to follow, but this location (D's Northeast) closed in 2008, then the building became 7 Grill which closed, then the D's from Beltline (which was a seperate operation) moved here, and now it has closed. As you can see by the door note, this latest closure came sometime before 15 September 2015:











UPDATE 7 December 2016 -- Now a J Peters:


38 Responses to 'D's Wings Northeast, 111 Sparkleberry Crossing (Clemson Road at Sparkleberry): October 2008 (closed again)'

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  1. Does anyone else remember Ruperts wings? I used to go to the one on Rosewood where Rockaways is now there used to be a strip mall. He moved a couple of times, over in 5 points, then on Beltline where the Ale House is(I think he started here to begin with) then to the Blue Dog(corner or Main and Gervais in the basement).
    He had the best wings in Columbia, nothing else came close. Now its gone and we are left with places like Ds that serves institutional food.
    Publick House is ok, but their service is so damn slow.


    16 Oct 08 at 5:39 am

  2. A co-worker of mine has a son who used to work for D's. She told me this week that none of the banks will not cash paychecks from them because they always bounce. Another bad sign for the "chain."


    16 Oct 08 at 6:53 am

  3. How about Leo's wings? Anyone remember those?


    16 Oct 08 at 7:03 am

  4. Leo's was awesome. I used to go to the St Andrew location a lot(now WGs Wings) Ten cent wings and 50 cent pitchers of beer during Monday Night Football if the Bills were playing.

    I hated the Bills, but not so much that i would turn down cheap food and beer.

    I was a poor college student who could go hang out with my employed buddies, bring 7 dollars with me and leave full and drunk.

    Good times.

    Me and the wife had our first date (well the first time i invited her anywhere, we were with 6-8 other people...i guess it wasnt really a "date") at the original D's, so watching the franchise struggle is a little bittersweet.


    16 Oct 08 at 3:23 pm

  5. BTW the Harbison D's is/was on Columbiana Drive next to the Carolina Ale House in the strip mall that contains Five Guys Hamburgers(D's is at one end, 5 Guys at the other). Its across the street (sort of) from McAllisters and the now defunct Steak and Shake.


    16 Oct 08 at 3:30 pm

  6. I was out in Lugoff yesterday looking at houses and there is still a Leo's out on #1 between Lugoff and Camden. I don't know if it's still the same people, but it's definitely the same sign!


    19 Oct 08 at 7:47 pm

  7. Same thing with the Ds on Beltline, which always seemed to be busy. Tried to go there on Saturday only to be greeted with the "Closed for remodeling" sign.


    22 Oct 08 at 7:40 am

  8. I thought that might be coming. Last time I was there, there was a question whether I would get my taco salad or not because "We sent someone to the store for lettuce and I'm not sure if they're back yet". Along with the new "closed on Sunday" hours, that put them under #1 and #2 of the signs your favorite restaurant is about to close.


    22 Oct 08 at 11:25 am

  9. My wife says the D's near Columbiana Center is definitely closed too. The one on Sparkleberry was doomed anyway - you could do this blog on that shopping center alone. I don't know why this chain is having so much trouble - its a good wing place.

    Leo's on St Andrews will always be my favorite.


    17 Nov 08 at 8:27 am

  10. We've not been by since late 1990 and were just thinking about, K's 1st wings at the Broad River Shack before they (and we) moved to St Andrews, many happy brews & wings; sad to hear them go. We came from Chicago, went back, then to Knoxville, then E Washingtom. to ?


    24 Dec 08 at 5:21 pm

  11. Don't forget the D's that was on St Andrews road @ I-26 for a few years.


    13 May 09 at 1:34 pm

  12. You mean this one?


    13 May 09 at 2:04 pm

  13. Man yeah ruperts atomic wings were awesome I used to go to fat buddies also they were pretty good too dinos on decker has some great hot wings as well anybody want to start a wing place I have an awesome hot wing recipie everyone who has tried it love em!


    27 Oct 09 at 11:20 am

  14. D's Wings on Beltline seems to be on the come back trail because they are now open on Sunday's again.


    14 Feb 10 at 9:59 am

  15. 7 Grill closed saturday night after being in this spot for 6 months.


    18 Oct 10 at 10:58 am

  16. The best for wings now is Blaney Wings. THey have jumbo wings and over 25 flavors to choose from. THey are in Elgin, SC about 5 minutes from Sandhills Mall up Hwy 1. They also have half pound burgers that make you slap your mama!


    19 Dec 11 at 7:52 pm

  17. D's will be reopening here in the coming weeks.


    6 Dec 12 at 2:00 pm

  18. I went to the one in Northeast Columbia, and while eating my dinner I saw a roach crawl on the wall, not once but twice. Needless to say this is my first and last time eating there!!!!


    25 May 13 at 8:31 pm

  19. What's the story with the D's in Cayce off of Knox Abbot dr.? Always seems so busy and separate and apart from the strugglings of (what was once) the 3 others.


    26 May 13 at 7:17 am

  20. I don't know, but the other D's were separately owned. I don't think the Original D's has been affiliated with them in a very long time. I think the first "other" D's was the "D's on the River" where the Hungry Fisherman used to be, and later Joe's Crab Shack. Now I think that location is apartments.


    26 May 13 at 12:22 pm

  21. I think the difference Becky is asking about likely has to do with ownership (but don't know the details myself)

    Shun's story about the roaches reminds me of how roaches disrupted class on several occasions during my freshman year of High School...


    26 May 13 at 10:34 pm

  22. The "D" in The Original D's was none other than Don Prevette, later of Wata Wing infamy. The other "D" was someone else. I don't know whether he had to get permission to crib the "D's" part for his own restaurant(s), but so far as I know, they've always unrelated menus. Here's a little on the history of the Original D's, which then ties in to Wata Wing:


    27 May 13 at 7:23 am

  23. Somewhere between getting the D's concept off the ground and starting Wata Wing something went wrong with Donny's ethical base (judging from comments on the short-lived Wata Wing )


    27 May 13 at 10:09 am

  24. We are gald to hear your back at sparkleberry, just found out from our neighbor. Now do you still have the same business hours if so please refresh us on the time and days you are open. Called and the young ladiy said you closes at 10.00.

    Christine Laughead Elgin SC

    8 Jun 13 at 9:04 pm

  25. Great news the D's wings on Sparkleberry is back open. Their wings and food are excellent. Never have had a bad meal there and the place was always packed. We sorelt needed a good wings place on this side of town. Daryl the owner is fantastic and the service has always been good.


    17 Feb 14 at 1:47 pm

  26. Great news the D's wings on Sparkleberry is back open. Their wings and food are excellent. Never have had a bad meal there and the place was always packed. We sorely needed a good wings place on this side of town. Daryl the owner is fantastic and the service has always been good.


    17 Feb 14 at 1:47 pm

  27. Robin, you must work there or must be affiliated with the owner or someone who works there. This place won't make it for another 6 months. Every time I have been in there on either a Friday or Saturday night, there was not more than 15 ppl in that place. and 13 of them were at the bar. And then they close up at 10:30 on Friday and Saturday night. Good luck with this place. You are right there, the wings are good. But there is a better atmosphere at Wild Wing in Sandhills since they brought the bands back. If you are affiliated with them, tell them to get a band or two in there on the weekend. Without an attraction, they won't last.


    17 Feb 14 at 8:32 pm

  28. Simply horrible


    2 Jun 14 at 10:10 pm

  29. Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 07:12:52 +0000
    Author: Sidney

    Well, I am VERY surprised this place lasted this long, as you can tell from my last post.

    Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:17:59 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    Last I knew, D's at Parkland Plaza is still in operation...

    Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:25:54 +0000
    Author: badger

    Right. "There can only be one." But, as noted above, the Original D's has not been affiliated with the other D's locations in a very long time.

    Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2015 06:29:25 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Personally, I don't know how a lot of these 'fast casual' restaurants stay i business. You can practically interchange the menus in many of them. Unless, they are a chain that is forced to buy their product from the home office then, chances are, they are being supplied by the likes of US Foods or Sysco just like every corporate cafeteria and school. You have to have someone in the kitchen that has a knack for making something great out of institutional foods to make these restaurants stand out.

    Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2015 12:45:31 +0000
    Author: Sidney

    Homer, I agree with you. And it just so happens that I experienced this situation at 7 Grill. All the food was just bland to me. Seemed like no seasoning at all. So they didn't have that "someone" in the kitchen. Without looking, I'm sure I posted that in this thread when 7 Grill closed up.

    Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 03:08:04 +0000
    Author: badger

    Most people don't really care that much about the taste, anyway, so bland is a benefit to the business model. Look at how many McD's there are. Doesn anybody. . . ANYBODY. . . ever say "Let's go to McD's because they have such great tasting burgers!" You might find some, no doubt, but those are definitely outliers.

    Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 18:07:06 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    There are things that keep people going back to the golden arches though different people have different reasons for it. The same goes for any other national chain you can think of...

    Today The State chronicled Rush's 75th anniversary

    Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 22:58:17 +0000
    Author: Rick

    I enjoy Rush's and can say I have never had a bad experience until just this past Saturday. I blame the manager on duty. He did not seem to have control of what was going on.
    FIRST - The order taker took the persons order that was in front of me. The order taker then went and stood at the warming rack where burgers are placed waiting to be picked up and given to the customer. The order taker stood there for over four minutes waiting for the last order he called out to be prepared, when it was ready he gave it to the customer then asked to take my order. I think he could have taken several more orders from those of us standing in line while he was waiting. There were no others taking orders. They did not appear to be short handed.
    SECOND - I ordered a milk shake and the cup was not full.
    It was one and one half inches from the top of the cup.
    I only got like 3/4 of a milk shake.
    THIRD - When my chili cheese burger was ready the guy that made it "Slung" it into the warming tray which resulted in a burger that looked like someone stepped on it when I pulled it from the wrapper. It was falling apart and the ingredients were all over the place. I had to rebuild it just to eat it.

    Now, I am one that has never hesitated to bring issues like this to the attention of Management but, for some reason I just did not feel like a confrontation that night.
    I was hungry and tired and just dealt with it.

    By the way most of my fries were broken, both ketchup dispensers were empty (Had to ask for packets of ketchup) and the napkin dispensers were empty. The manager bought some out while I waited. And the garbage cans were full to overflowing. I just left the trash on the table.
    Not a typical Rush's visit for sure.

    Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 23:35:44 +0000
    Author: Joe Shlabotnik

    There is a nice article in today's paper about Rush's celebrating 75 years in business. They attribute this to good customer service and not altering their menus to current whims and sticking with known comfort foods.

    Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 01:11:30 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Growing up in the 60's it was always a treat to go to the old Dairy Queen/Rush's on Broad River. I was only around 10 when they transitioned over so I don't recall exactly when that occurred. At the time this was the only fast food restaurant around St. Andrews and Irmo. The things that I remember the most about the original building were the loud colors, the neon lights, the outdoor bathrooms and the old fashioned bug zappers that hung at every door. All of these were still in place until they tore down the original building.

    Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 20:27:28 +0000
    Author: Rick

    I have probably mentioned it on Columbia Closings before on one post or another, even so I'll say it again.
    I make my own buffalo wings that I find to be just as good as any wing joint one can go to.
    Back in the mid 80's a good friend of mine, Rupert Rentz, owned a restaurant called wings and ale. I would help him cook at night after I closed my stereo business. It was fun. We would drink beer, cook and have a great time. I learned to make the best wings from him. I have not seen him in years but I think he continued to own several different wing joints after wings and ale.
    If anyone is interested just ask and I'll tell you how it's done.
    Keep in mind I would rather cook my own than pay a premium and hang out at a wing joint, I'm just not into that anymore.

    Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 23:47:07 +0000
    Author: Sidney

    @Rick, I remember the name Rupert and Wings and ale being thrown around in my family in the 80's. My sister worked there also. You're talking about the Wings and Ale off of Beltline next to where the lady got shot and killed a few years ago. I want to say that he was either related to or just really good friends with the people who used to own the Corner Store at the corner of Forest Dr and Percival Rd. My sister worked at both places.

    Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 05:02:21 +0000
    Author: Homer

    @Rick - I'll bite. What's your magic wing recipe? I love me some good chicken wings!!


    23 Oct 15 at 7:12 am

  30. @Rick - let me get your chicken wing recipe. I asked for it about the time ted had the crash so I don't know if you saw it....


    30 Oct 15 at 12:53 am

  31. @Sidney - Same Ruppert. The Wings and Ale off Beltline is where I helped Ruppert. I had a Stereo shop just down the street at the Corner of Beltline and Two Notch so his place was a regular hangout for me. Rupperts brother Malcom and I were in the same Mason Lodge.

    @Homer - The wing recipe is really quite simple but as you know I am one that goes into great detail when explaining something, I can't help myself.

    *Two to Four dozen frozen chicken wings split, or fresh wings that you split yourself.
    *One gallon P-nut oil.
    *Two sticks REAL butter (salted or unsalted) *REAL BUTTER*
    * Two and 1/2 cups FRANKS REDHOT SAUCE (regular variety)

    *If using frozen wings rinse them under cold water to remove any ice crystals and pat dry with a paper towel, even a little bit of water or ice on them is going to cause a fireworks display when they hit the hot oil.
    * If using fresh wings split them first and pat dry, again no water wanted or you'll wish you had a fire extinguisher.
    *In a large pot heat oil to 350 degrees. I use a thermometer. Keep in mind 350 degrees is really hot and dangerous for that much oil on the stove top. I use a fish frying pot that is about 12 to 14 inches wide and 7 inches deep. I keep a fire extinguisher handy also. I also have a semi professional gas cooktop with six burners that are 11" by 11" each. Keep that in mind when deciding how big of a pot to use.

    * While the oil is heating, and keep an eye on it, slowly melt the butter in a microwave. I use a rather large Tupperware bowl with a lid, around 12" wide 7" deep. After the butter is melted add the Franks Hot Sauce and stir to mix.

    *After the oil is hot, slowly add a few wings at a time until you have 12 to 18 wings in the pot. Slowly because they will still pop and splatter. I can't tell you exactly how long to fry them but you'll know, it's somewhere around 10 to 12 minutes. Don't fry them so long that they start to dry out.

    *Remove wings to a wire rack over a sheet pan to drain excess oil then place wings in large Tupperware bowl to coat with sauce. I put the lid on a swirl them around. I also let them soak in the sauce while I add the next batch of wings to the oil.
    *Repeat process. The only problem I have with this method is that we will eat all the wings I just cooked while the next batch is cooking. By the time I've finished cooking all the wings, there are none left.

    Some people that I gave the recipe to said they finish the wings in the oven, some say the do this with no sauce on them others put them in the oven after the sauce is added.
    Ruppert never did it that way. Also Ruppert used a restaurant deep fryer like McDonalds cooks their fries in and had huge round, flat bottomed plastic bowls with lids that could hold 4 or more dozen wings at once when he swirled them around to coat in the sauce.
    Variations to the recipe would be to use a different hot sauce but I would not do it. The difference between Franks and most other sauces like Texas Pete and Tabasco is that Franks has garlic powder in the ingredients and Ruppert always said that was important. You could use margarine but I tried it and it sucks. You could use store bought buffalo wing sauce but those do not have butter in them, they use a butter flavored vegetable oil, and the reason they do that is because the butter coagulates and makes for a visibly poor product on the grocery shelf. Real butter in the mix is very important. If you have any wings left over, pour remaining sauce over them and put them in the fridge. They are just as good reheated.
    Anyway, I know, to much detail for such a simple recipe but, I learned from the best and it was trial and error to cook them to taste the same on a kitchen stove vs. using restaurant equipment. Enjoy


    30 Oct 15 at 9:27 am

  32. I forgot to mention when adding oil to your pot make sure the oil only comes up half way or less in the pot because it will overflow after adding the wings if not careful.


    30 Oct 15 at 9:29 am

  33. Thanks, I think I will try that out next week. I will opt to use my propane turkey fryer instead of the stove. Much safer.


    30 Oct 15 at 11:15 am

  34. Yes, much safer and, you will be able to cook more wings at once instead of a few at a time. Of course adjust amount of oil used if opting to cook more than a dozen or so wings at once. Funny thing, I have never tried to make Teriyaki or other flavors, I'm a Buffalo wing guy. Get some celery and blue cheese and damn you're set. I tried to recreate the raw fries a couple of times, can't do it for some reason. They just do not turn out like Rupert's but then again, when I was helping, he always cooked the raw fries.
    Rupert would snap the celery in half with the curvature of the stalk facing up, pull down, and the strings would pull right out.
    Ever since I can not eat celery with the strings still in.


    30 Oct 15 at 12:02 pm

  35. @Rick - dang, that's the same way I make them. I picked this up from a friend of mine except she bakes her wings instead of frying. She's one of the anti-frying fanatics. My Mom always bakes her wings too because it's 'easier'. For me, there's nothing better frying. I wonder how they would be with sriracha on them? That's one of my go-to condiments lately.


    31 Oct 15 at 12:13 am

  36. @Homer - From what I can tell, the recipe, or slight variations of, are very popular. I mentioned in my comment that I know people who finish their wings in the oven but neglected to mention I know people that bake their wings as well.
    I am old school and deep fry mine. I do not eat as many fried foods as I did in the past so when I cook something like wings, I'm going deep fry and not fell guilty.
    Baked does not taste as good.


    31 Oct 15 at 7:53 am

  37. @Rick - I agree. Some things wee just meant to be fried and wings are one of them. The problem I have with baking them is that if you get wings that are kind of fatty, it's just not going to cook out in the oven.

    I was looking for a recipe that I have for tequila key lime wings but can't find it. No heat associated with them but they are awesome!!


    1 Nov 15 at 2:54 am

  38. Frying is best. As a convenience, I tend to grill them. low heat, 10 minites each side flipping 3 times for a total of 40 minutes.

    Of all the pre-made wing sauces, I like McILhenney's tabasco wing sauce with melted butter. Hmm, I've been making homade smoked siracha sauce. Wonder how that would fare in a wing-sauce.....


    1 Nov 15 at 6:06 am

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