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Flaming Pit Restaurant, I-26 & US-378: 1970s   13 comments

Posted at 11:11 pm in Uncategorized

This ad from the 1974 Southern Bell Yellow Pages is similar to other ads for the Flaming Pit that I have seen in that it never gives a real street address for the place. That, and a complete lapse of mind that let me confuse I-20 with I-26 led me to originally post some pictures of what was certainly the wrong building for the place!

We never went to the Flaming Pit, though I seem to remember radio commercials that made it sound like a very exotic place. (I didn't do "exotic"..). I'm not exactly sure what "Open Hearth Charcoal Cookery" is, but combing that with the name of the place, I envision a large central grill in the middle of the dining area (hopefully very well ventilated with charcoal involved..) where your orders were cooked as you watched.

I'm a little surprised that the bar was The Wells Fargo Lounge given that Wells Fargo is, in addition to its evocative history, still around and presumably trademarked..

UPDATE 15 June 2010: Removed incorrect pictures, and corrected the text in which I was completely wrong about the location!

Written by ted on June 14th, 2010

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13 Responses to 'Flaming Pit Restaurant, I-26 & US-378: 1970s'

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  1. I think this was next the the Ramada Inn at 378 & I-26. I definitely remember the Wells Fargo Lounge being there. That yellowpages ad makes it look more stand-alone than it really was.


    15 Jun 10 at 6:05 am

  2. To be honmest I do not remember a Ramada on Bush River Rd. Just the Radisson-nee Shearton and the two that are there now.


    15 Jun 10 at 9:29 am

  3. Oops! I read I-26, write down I-26, but *think* I-20!

    So EJ, is that building still there?


    15 Jun 10 at 10:11 am

  4. No, it's gone. I can't remember if they tore it down when they revamped the interchange, or if they tore it down recently and built a new hotel on virtually the same spot.


    15 Jun 10 at 8:47 pm

  5. If it is the Ramada by Lexington Medical Center, then it was later renamed "The Plantation Room" and still had it when the motel lost its Ramada affiliation.


    15 Jun 10 at 10:20 pm

  6. The restaurant in the basement of the Main St. Belk's was called The Plantation Room. Always busy and good, but it never achieved Tapp's basement restaurant's fame. Does anyone know what the one at Tapp's was actually named? or, while we're at it, does anyone remember the little restaurant in the basement of Davidson's?


    16 Jun 10 at 5:50 am

  7. The FP was a bit before my rambling days. I'm sure it's been thru various incarnations since but I best remember it from about 10 yrs ago. Maybe it was 'Plantation Room' coincidentally? It had the best buffet lunch/dinner featuring things one usually doesn't see like, leeks, rutabaga, fresh turnip greens with real chunks! Not the dice-cubes out of a can. Oh, and some of the best lamb I've ever had. Anyway, they were doing great business circa the late 90s early 2000s. Then he expanded to take over the old steak restaurant in Lex. near Hess at 378 & Hwy. 6 junction. I guess he got over-extended & couldn't pay his vendors. Whatever the reason, he folded. Now the only thing comparable is Hudson's.

    John R

    16 Jun 10 at 9:13 am

  8. Dennis, wasn't the one at Tapps, the Fountain Room?


    16 Jun 10 at 1:13 pm

  9. The Penny's at Columbia Mall originally had a small restaurant as did both Whites.

    I remeber going to the Plantation Room at Belk's. It had a dark wood interior and b/w photos of SC plantations. Models would walk around during lunch wearing and showing off the latest fashions.


    16 Jun 10 at 4:08 pm

  10. I remember Flaming Pit. I worked there in the mid 1970's. It was one of my most memorable jobs.

    Jackie Payne

    13 Apr 14 at 9:57 pm

  11. Before the Harvest Moon, the Flaming Pit was the place to be. In fact a waiter there was hired by Donny A to open the Moon. One of his jobs was to buy all of the utensils needed as the Harpo boys had no experience operating a restaurant.

    The Pit will always be remembered for its Bubbles.

    see for a couple of Pit vignettes.

    Ol Mizzou

    13 Jan 16 at 10:23 pm

  12. I remember a waitress we had there. Very nice lady name was Ann. I would love to find her. We were regulars and we still remember her.
    Anybody know who she is? I think I heard someone call her Ann Marie.

    Michele Scottg

    20 May 22 at 2:38 pm

  13. Does anyone remember Archie Talley? He managed the bar in ‘77. Ned Sexton was the restaurant mgr. The steaks were the absolute best! Long time since ‘77! Is anybody still alive that remembers them or Ann or me? I was there a lot!

    Michele Scott

    23 May 22 at 12:42 pm

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