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Dodd's 5 & 10 / Von Henmon's / Monterrey Jack's / Agave / Hannah Jane's / Nacho Mamma's / 5 Points Pub, 733 Santee Avenue & 2020 Devine Street: 1990s   17 comments

Posted at 7:59 pm in historic,restaurants

Monterrey Jack's was an Americanized Mexican restaurant on Santee Avenue behind Yesterday's. Actually that's a bit inaccurate: While Santee was the "main" entrance, there was also an entrance on Devine Street. The main entrance debauched into the bar area while the "back" entrance led into the non-smoking section.

It was also the case that, even if you were a non-smoker, you wanted to sit in the bar area since a) the waitstaff actually checked those tables from time to time, b) the lighting and decor were much better, and c) the bar had possibly the largest CD collection of any Columbia restaurant, and the music there was always interesting.

The food was, in retrospect, not that good. This place was one of the ones that started in the era when jokes about the spiciness of Mexican food were a staple of comedy and commercials, and it was thought that Mexican food had to be toned down and domesticated for American (and especially, I suspect, Southern) patrons. I don't disagree with tampering with authenticity as I've said in a number of posts on Mexican restaurants. Authenticity for it's own sake is not necessarily a virtue (for instance, while American pizza is only loosely based on the Italian model, that's not a flaw) but in general I like going the other way -- adding much more spice. As I recall, the chips here were always burnt tasting and the beans were especially bland and gloppy. Still it was edible, and the atmosphere was interesting. We usually ate lunch there, but I think the main draw for the college crowd was the bar in the evenings.

After Monterrey Jack's closed, there was another "Mexican" operation in the location: Nacho Mamma's. This was an Yo Burrito / El Burrito type place that, I believe, started as on Broad Street in Augusta. Or at least there was one that opened in Augusta while I was working there, and the local press made it sound like the first, so I always assumed the Five Points location was the second, and their attempt at becoming a chain. I can't speak for the Five Points one, but the one in Augusta struck me as severely sub-par. They had only shredded beef (no ground beef) as your cow option, and the chips and salsa were not very good. At any rate, the Columbia Location did not last long. I believe there were a couple of other short-lived eateries/drinkeries in the storefront before the current tennant, The Pub on Santee moved in. I haven't paid close attention, but I think that operation has been there several years now.

UPDATE 26 May 2010: Added a lot of former names to the post title. Also note that 5 Points Pub is gone now too. This will continue on the entry for The Elbow Room.

Written by ted on November 17th, 2008

17 Responses to 'Dodd's 5 & 10 / Von Henmon's / Monterrey Jack's / Agave / Hannah Jane's / Nacho Mamma's / 5 Points Pub, 733 Santee Avenue & 2020 Devine Street: 1990s'

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  1. Back in the early 80s the place was a punk rock/alternative music place called Von Hemin's or something like that. One of the bands that played there was an Athens Ga. quartet called R.E.M.

    Tom

    18 Nov 08 at 9:40 am

  2. The Nacho Mama's in Augusta and the one in Five Points were not related, just a coincidence. Again, I guess it comes down to differences in opinions, but the one in Augusta is still phenomenal. I cannot comment on the chips and salsa being "out of this world," but I seem to remember it being similar to Yo Burrito's. Not a ketchupy liquid like the local chains here. They do roll the burritos fat, as their logo suggests. I know you have mentioned in the past that you're not a seafood fan, but the bottom line is, there are some very good Mexican dishes cooked w/ seafood that cannot be overlooked.

    I do understand the beef/chicken comparison, however. I used to judge places on their chicken fingers thinking that if a place can't get the chicken fingers right, they can't be a good place. That logic does fall apart, however, when you go to Grecian Gardens.

    I like the shredded beef, a la el burrito, but wish they had a "Rajun Cajun" burrito like "Yo" and Nacho Mama's has. I also am almost sure they have a Mahi Mahi like Yo's has. On a side note and maybe TMI, but I ate at the Five Points Nacho Mamas one time, (buffett) and barely made it back to work to use the bathroom (10 minutes after leaving the place). That was the last visit I had.

    Jonathan

    18 Nov 08 at 2:32 pm

  3. Word on the street has Pub has been bought out by someone in order to turn it into a crappy dance club- there goes another live music venue.

    Scott F

    18 Nov 08 at 7:07 pm

  4. ah, but the history of this place!

    yes, as someone noted, it was once Columbia's first/only "punk" place, and featured not only local acts such as The Fanatics, Nervous Tension, and so on, but also some regional/touring acts such as REM, The Method Actors, Pylon, The Swimming Pool Q's and more ... legal capacity of 96, if i recall correctly, though certainly more packed in by REM's third visit ...

    Von Henmon's was the name, but it had only the Santee Avenue part of the building ...

    back in the day, it was Dodd's 5 & 10 cent store ... and took up the entire space through to Devine St. you could walk out of the back door of Roses, (on Harden St.), cross the street, and have a full bore five & dime shopping experience ... and yes, you could really buy things for a nickle ...

    cheers!

    janedw

    19 Nov 08 at 8:20 pm

  5. Well, I have to say I didn't know about the punk club / REM thing at all. Interesting!

    (And the only Dodd's & Roses I knew were on Forest Drive).

    ted

    19 Nov 08 at 10:42 pm

  6. Dodd's was across the street from Von Henmon's. It had doors on Harden St. and doors on Saluda. It was very handy, I miss it.

    Dennis

    20 Nov 08 at 6:09 am

  7. I think there was a Dodd's in the old Rosewood Shopping Center and in the A & P strip mall where Broad River Road forks into River Dr. and Sunset Dr. (One could akmost do an entire web site about former A&Ps in Columbia, they used to be everywhere!)

    Tom

    20 Nov 08 at 10:23 am

  8. Yep! I've got a picture of that A&P and several of the others in town here

    ted

    20 Nov 08 at 11:48 am

  9. TOM - Yes, that was a Dodd's in Rosewood Shopping Center. The other one you mentioned was the last in town to go. I want to say it turned into something else (Rose's?) before it finally went away.

    Dennis

    20 Nov 08 at 3:21 pm

  10. Every dish on the entire menu at Monterrey Jack's tasted like chili powder. It didn't matter what you ordered -- it all tasted the same.

    Of note however, since you brought it up, the Nacho Mama's in Augusta serves the finest fish tacos known to man -- or so I'm told. Care to back me up on that, KC?

    -=B

    Brian

    20 Nov 08 at 6:19 pm

  11. It is worth the drive -- and it is next to the Soul Bar where James Brown hung out -- Check it out --

    http://www.soulbar.com/

    KC

    20 Nov 08 at 7:34 pm

  12. Pub has been around for a few years, but it used to be much, much smaller. A couple of years ago a leaking air conditioner caused the roof to collapse shortly after closing one night and they were closed for almost a year with renovations. They acquired Tuscany's on the other side of itself and have substantially expanded their square footage. Now they have live bands most nights and has become a 5 points favorite again.

    Lisa

    17 Dec 08 at 3:15 pm

  13. Some of the other names associated with this location beteen "Monterrey Jack's" and "The Pub" were "Agave" and "Hannah Janes," although "Hannah Jane's" might have been only the back side of the restaurant. I think it was named that after either a Hootie song, or one of the Hootie kids.

    badger

    22 Jan 09 at 2:20 pm

  14. After Hannah Janes, it was briefly Tuscany or Tuscany's, I think - also only the back side of the restaurant.

    CJD

    29 Jan 09 at 5:05 pm

  15. Monterrey Jacks and later the Pub was my favorite 5 Points bar. They always had Rolling Rock for a buck. I rarely ate there and I don't know if the Pub had their own grill anymore. There is a grill service that sends its food around to the different bars in the area. In fact, to serve alcohol an establishment must have a menu.

    Monterreys was a favorite hang for me and my college buddys back in the mid 80's. The manager, Hugh S., would always have a pitcher or two of beer waiting for us after closing time. It was a private party of sorts.

    joel

    30 Apr 09 at 4:51 pm

  16. awwww my favorite memories in 1980 at Von Henmons! I was a groupie for the local punk band Xtones and married the lead guitarist, been married for 30 years now. Anyone remember the Xtones? They played there alot!

    Jones

    2 Jan 12 at 4:49 pm

  17. Xtones sounds familiar. Von Henmons was the bomb in the late '70's. Is Rick still alive???

    Chris Rosenbusch

    15 Jan 13 at 2:37 pm

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