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SpeeDee Oil Change & Tune-Up / Harbison Auto Care & Quick Lube, 267 Harbison Boulevard: Spring 2010   24 comments

Posted at 1:04 am in Uncategorized

Closed For Renovation

This is the dreaded Closed For Remodeling trope. It seems to me that the majority of businesses that sport such a sign, never re-open. There are a few exceptions, but in general it seems to me that getting into a situation where there's no money coming in, plus lots of expenses is bad news. The right way to remodel is to keep the store open the whole time, even if you have to put the cash registers in the parking lot for a few days. That's how the Forest Drive / I-77 Wal-Mart is doing it, and while it's been a big mess, they've had money coming in every day.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, this business started as a SpeeDee and then transitioned into an independant but similar business. This Irmo businesses web page dates back to March, so I'm assuming the place was open that late. The building was built in 1970 according to Loopnet, so it may well have been a couple of things before.

I think that apart from the remodeling trauma, Harbison may just be a bad location for a business like this. Traffic is so high, that I would never think of going there for something I could get elsewhere on a less busy road.

UPDATE 24 May 2011 -- Open again as "Express Oil Change & Service Center":

Written by ted on July 19th, 2010

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24 Responses to 'SpeeDee Oil Change & Tune-Up / Harbison Auto Care & Quick Lube, 267 Harbison Boulevard: Spring 2010'

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  1. If everyone else's experience was similar to mine, I expect they didn't get very much repeat business. I took my car by one day because I was a couple hundred miles overdue for an oil change and could never hit my usual place before closing time. There wasn't anything speedee about their service (despite being the only customer there, it took nearly an hour), nor was there anything cheap about it, and for all the money they charged me I discovered later they didn't change my oil filter, actually check any of my fluids, or seem to even use the oil I requested (I use synthetic, they didn't). There wasn't much in the way of amusing myself while I waited, either. After that I decided I was done with the place, and made sure to tell everyone I knew about it too.

    While I hate to see someone's livelihood go up in smoke like that, I also have to say good riddance to a bad business.


    19 Jul 10 at 8:24 am

  2. I believe I've been there before. I used to use these types of places but now just go to the dealer. At least I know that even though I'm getting overcharged, they are doing what they claim. The fact that this is on a busy road would have been a plus for me. I used to drop off my vehicle and just take a walk somewhere (like Sounds Familiar) and avoid the "Mr. X, can we see you a minute?" spiehl that would surely come. No more, though. Too many horror stories like Jason had.


    19 Jul 10 at 8:54 am

  3. I can relate to the other Jason's issues with this business. There was definitely nothing "speedy" about their oil change service...and I left the waiting room to see what was going on with my car only to find one of the technicians laughing and listening to my radio loudly. I definitely didn't go back, and I'm sure others didn't either.


    20 Jul 10 at 2:44 pm

  4. I dont see how that building was built in 1970, since we didnt move to SC until 1976 (when i was 6) and i m pretty sure that Harbison Blvd wasnt even built until the mid eighties (a guess)
    which would have been around the time i was in middle school.


    20 Jul 10 at 3:30 pm

  5. Well, I have no personal knowledge of that, it's from Loopnet, but they may just be guessing.


    20 Jul 10 at 3:33 pm

  6. This site ( says development started in 1974. For a long time there was no exit at Harbison Blvd.--it was just an overpass on I-26.


    20 Jul 10 at 4:50 pm

  7. Thats the community of Harbison, not Harbison Blvd that started in 1974.


    20 Jul 10 at 9:24 pm

  8. There's no way that building was there in 1974. None of that was there until the late 90's when they started clearing the land for Target and the shopping centers across the street.


    20 Jul 10 at 10:24 pm

  9. I am trying to place this, was it close to what was built as a Gateway Computers, and a Midas, and a Kenny Rogers Roasters? Those pseudo Bavarian/Tudor buildings next door are confusing me. And what was the local jeweler at the top of Harb Blvd across from the big ole Ashley Furniture store?


    21 Nov 10 at 12:18 am

  10. I think it's in between the Bower Parkway and BAM/Olive Garden stoplights. Kenny Rogers was somewhere in the general vicinity. My sister really liked their chicken.


    21 Nov 10 at 12:43 am

  11. Remind her that it was Cosmo Kramer that put them out of business.


    21 Nov 10 at 1:32 am

  12. Had to google that -- I'm pretty sure she never saw it; I know I never did..


    21 Nov 10 at 1:41 am

  13. The Kenny Rogers' Roasters building was converted into the Bojangles. The jewelry store was Groff's Jewelers... it's now a mattress store.


    21 Nov 10 at 11:08 am

  14. Gateway Country was across from Columbiana Station around where Target is and is now Leigh Outfitters...this was just past the Bower Parkway stoplight near where Footaction USA (formely Just For Feet) and the section of Columbiana station with PetSmart, Micheal's, buybuy Baby (in the former Circuit City)


    21 Nov 10 at 1:37 pm

  15. Not a Seinfeld fan, huh ted? Groff's, thanks EJ. But what are those english tudor/bavarian buildings in ted's pics?


    21 Nov 10 at 11:38 pm

  16. Nope -- I heard about it at work of course, and caught bits of it over the years, but I've never seen a whole episode.


    22 Nov 10 at 12:55 am

  17. The bavarian themed building is fairly new and is on the site of the old BP/Popeyes. It is at the Bower Pkwy/Harbison intersection.


    22 Nov 10 at 12:20 pm

  18. Thanks, Matt. I remember the BP/Popeyes. That would be lot of work, removing a gas station, what with all the underground tanks and all. So, what business would be so lucrative to have that done? What are the bavarian buildings?
    ted, you need to bite the bullet and see the KR Roasters episode, since you are widely considered the guru of business closings. "Takin' it to the streets!" And also Popi's Pakastani themed restaraunt, another closing(and deportation). Available on netflixs.


    22 Nov 10 at 3:47 pm

  19. That would be Babu Bhatt's Pakastani themed restaurant, Poppie was the pizza restaurant owner who had a nervous bladder and couldn't tolerate abortions. Agreed that The Chicken Roaster is a great episode, and it's in context with Columbia Closings for sure, and everyone would have their favorite episode to recommend, but the one I would start Ted off with would be the episode where Kramer finds the old Merv Griffen Show set in the dumpster and proceeds to set it up in his apartment. And now when Jerry, George, or Elaine visits, Kramer conducts it as an interview like Merv would have done, complete with commercial breaks with intro and outro music. There are too many subplots to list, but let's say the animal expert Jim Fowler makes a notable cameo when Kramer has a wild animal segment on his "show." Turns out that Kramer babysat Fowler's children at one time.

    It really is hard to imagine someone not having at least watched a couple of "Seinfeld" episodes in total (you do have to watch it in total because of all the subplots, just watching snippets of it often wouldn't make any sense), but with Ted, we have a guy who doesn't even like chicken or fish, so what should we expect? ;-) That said, I have a buddy who has never seen an episode of "Seinfeld," but absolutely loves "Curb Your Enthusiasm," both being the brainchildren of Larry David.

    Michael Taylor

    22 Nov 10 at 5:05 pm

  20. Yes, BABU, thanks. "Jerry, you are a bad man. A very, very bad man" (finger wagging). And you are right about the intricate subplots. Like Fowler having the raptor on the 'Merv/Kramer show', and George bringing in the squirrel that he has been forced to nurse back to health to keep his girlfriend happy. Also, as you know, Larry David is the real George Costanza, as the whole show is in fact based on Seinfeld's real life. Does your friend know this?


    22 Nov 10 at 5:47 pm

  21. Yeah JBL, my bud is fully aware of the "Seinfeld" show's heritage, but he's one of those folks who stubbornly resists anything that attracts the masses. Back in the early '70s while everyone our age was listening to Led Zeppelin, he was listening to John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and the like, even though he enjoyed certain obscure rock groups (Captain Beefheart comes to mind). He often said that if people started listening to the jazz cats en masse, he would have to think of some other obscure music to enjoy. Very eccentric, and almost pretentious in that regard. However, he introduced me to bebop, which is something I thoroughly enjoy to this day.

    Michael Taylor

    23 Nov 10 at 4:24 pm

  22. What is going in there now?? My husband needs a job so bad... please help me out


    7 Dec 10 at 3:23 pm

  23. I went by this afternoon and it appeared that they were renovating the outside a little in favor of a place similar to this opening up (I even managed a pic of it)


    8 Dec 10 at 11:00 pm

  24. this place is back up and running...


    10 Feb 11 at 12:08 am

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