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Morrison's Cafeteria / Piccadilly Cafeteria, Dutch Square: June 2010   9 comments

Posted at 11:18 pm in restaurants

Well, another original Dutch Square merchant bites the dust. This cafeteria started with the mall as a Morrison's back in 1970. At some point, Piccadilly bought the Morrison's chain, and the place stayed open with mearly a nameplate change, so I do consider it the same operation over the whole period. The place was on the north side of the mall, on the west entrance corridor, the one where Edkerd's used to be.

I don't believe I have eaten in a cafeteria since the early 1990s. In my mind, they were always associated with visits by elderly relatives, and involved liver, weird rice that didn't stick together like it should, and various carrot concoctions. I do believe the last one I ate in was, in fact, a PIccadilly. I had just started working in Augusta Georgia, and for some reason or other we needed some maps at the office to plan a trip (this was pre Mapquest), so a co-worker and I drove down to the ill-fated Regency Mall on the Gordon Highway to visit a bookstore and eat lunch. I could tell the minute we stepped inside the mall that it was on its way down (what can you expect when the anchor store was Montgomery Ward?), but nonetheless we got our maps and stepped into the Piccadilly. I saw enchiladas, and made the mistake of thinking that cafeteria enchiladas would be like mexican-restaurant enchiladas -- man, they were bad! (To go even further afield, I was probably the slowest guy this co-worker knew, and he was the fastest guy I ever knew. Not on this trip, but on one of our lunch trips, he locked me into his car and was already back into our building before I even realized the inside locks wouldn't work without a key..)

Anyway, with the closure of Piccadilly, I believe only Radio Shack and The Rogue remain from the original contingent of Dutch Square stores.

(Hat tips to commenters Andrew & Joe.)

Written by ted on July 12th, 2010

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9 Responses to 'Morrison's Cafeteria / Piccadilly Cafeteria, Dutch Square: June 2010'

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  1. Even though I have not eaten in a cafeteria like this since the early to mid-eighties, you could blindfold me and walk me in there and I would recognize the smell. When you are a child, the term "cafeteria food" does not conjure up thoughts of a good meal. I remember my reasoning was, I eat cafeteria food everyday in school. I don't want it when I go out to dinner. I think cafeterias in general are the blue hair equivalent of somewhere like Chili's, where you can get "something for everyone," be it seafood, hamburger, chicken, or in your experience, Mexican. But to quote Neil Young, "It's all the same song." It all literally tastes the same. No seasoning allowed. I'm referencing cafeterias, not Chili's to be clear.

    Jonathan

    13 Jul 10 at 8:12 am

  2. Hey Ted: Great blog!
    I have been reading Columbia Closings for awhile and have not felt the need to comment until I saw the mention of Regency Mall in Augusta. The story of that place has to be one of the saddest in retail history. I grew up in Augusta and vividly remember going to the opening festivities when I was six. It was exciting because there was nothing like that anywhere in the area, and we were told it was one of the largest malls in the Southeast at the time. I don’t want to get into a long history (there is a very good article about Regency Mall at deadmalls.com) but I went to that Piccadilly many times Ted. As I recall, it had a very dark and 70’s feel to it. The food seemed Ok, but I was also pretty young. As for the Mall, if you went there anytime after about ‘92 or ‘93, it was already in serious decline. The worst part is that the owners never modernized it – it’s closed now but essentially looks like it did the day it opened, only now it is crumbling and outdated.

    Andy

    15 Jul 10 at 11:05 am

  3. Thanks Andy!

    The last I recall reading about it was probably in the early 2000s, before I moved back to Columbia. The mall had been closed for several years, and there was some thought of moving some government offices to it, but the report was that mold had taken off inside, and it would be hard to rehabilitate.

    ted

    15 Jul 10 at 11:40 am

  4. I ate there several months ago and it was the kind of food that would start a prison riot!! I am beginning to hear the sounds of silence blow thru Dutch Square----- --- ---

    Kc

    16 Jul 10 at 7:10 am

  5. last couple times I've set foot inside Dutch Square I felt like I was in a 'dead zone'

    Andrew

    16 Jul 10 at 10:39 am

  6. I just found this blog and was venturing through the pages when I came across Morrisons. I worked there when I was in high school.
    This blog brings back a lot of memories. Thanks for putting it together.

    LT

    7 Sep 10 at 4:25 pm

  7. there like 10 eople in that mall when i go.Even the columbia place mall are closing stores.the only two malls that are popular are columbiana mall and it only has one floor mot like columbia place that has 2 floors.Oh and also Village at sanhills is popular and its outside.i love going their.oh and did i mension the richland mall on forest dr. its even lonlier than dutch square......

    Javier

    24 Sep 10 at 5:53 pm

  8. There was also a Morrisons located in downtown Columbia in the late 60s and early 70s if I remember correctly.

    Gary

    17 Aug 12 at 8:03 pm

  9. Did it become this S&S maybe?

    ted

    17 Aug 12 at 10:57 pm

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