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Lum's Restaurant, 2005 Greene Street: 1970s   28 comments

Posted at 12:29 am in historic,restaurants

Lum's was a small chain of hot-dog restaruants. I say small, because I only knew of two stores -- I suppose it could have been huge somewhere else in the country, but as far as I know, in South Carolina there were only this store on Greene Street (now Andy's Deli) and a store in Myrtle Beach by the Family Kingdom amusement park (the home of the "Swamp Fox" coaster).

I don't know why it is, perhaps because hot-dogs just seem such a casual food, but hot-dog restaurants don't seem to make it big. I know Sandy's is locally beloved, but those are small stores with no table service, and I believe the same is true for the only other famous hot-dog outfit I can think of: Nathan's. If I recall correctly, Lum's did have menus and table service. It's been so long ago that I was there that I'm on very shaky ground here, but I believe their big claim to fame was hot-dogs cooked in beer. I'm sure we wouldn't have been allowed to have such a thing. I have an even vaguer memory that perhaps I had a "cheese-dog" there, a hotdog covered with melted cheese. I also think that perhaps the hot dogs were plumper and less firm than I now prefer -- I enjoy the consistency of an Oscar-Meyer dog myself (cooked on a fork over a stove eye is fine if a grill isn't available).

Whether because folks just don't associate hot-dogs with a real "restaurant" or for Lum's specific reasons, both the stores I was familair with closed long ago -- I don't believe either made it out of the 1970s: Guess they coudn't cut the mustard...

UPDATE 20 April 2010: Added full street address to post title, and corrected spelling of "Greene" Street.

UPDATE 9 June 2010: Changed post title from "Lum's Hotdogs" to "Lum's Restaurant" as that was how they listed in the 1970 Yellow Pages.

Written by ted on November 21st, 2008

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28 Responses to 'Lum's Restaurant, 2005 Greene Street: 1970s'

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  1. For some reason hot dog restaurants draw a really loyal following, at least in SC. There's a chain called Skin's in the Clemson area. There's also Wally Dog in Greenville, and Jack's Cosmic Dog in Charleston. Jack's is absolutely packed for lunch every day.

    I've personally found that when I go to a hot dog restaurant that people rave about, I'm never impressed. It's a hot dog. With a bunch of toppings on it. What really makes a hot dog place good is if they have the kind of french fries similar to the ones you can get at the fair.

    Matthew

    21 Nov 08 at 8:55 am

  2. There are still a few Lums open and scattered around the country, although now they call themselves "family restaurants" and don't emphasize the hot dogs "steamed in beer."

    When the one on Green Street closed, they put the giant illuminated sign letters on the street and a friend of mine had the L in his tiny aprtment living room for a long time. The kind of thing that makes perfect sense when you're single and under 30.

    Dennis

    21 Nov 08 at 9:24 am

  3. They used to have a wonderful chili burger.

    Topm

    22 Nov 08 at 6:39 am

  4. There was also a Lums in Cayce on Knox Abbott Dr(about the 1300 block and diagonally accross from Love Chev) One of their signature dogs was the "hot dog steamed in beer" This was in the late 60s very early 70s.

    Terry B.

    22 Nov 08 at 11:49 am

  5. FYI that's Andy's blue Chevy convertible in your photo. He's had it for years and loves it like a child.

    There is an ancient enmity between Andy's and Groucho's over the similarities in the menu. Andy at one time worked for Groucho before deciding he could do it better, and I'm told Groucho took him to court for "stealing his ideas."

    I personally never understood why USC students just love both places, as they both just sell overpriced lunch meat on white rolls with thousand island dressing. What is the big deal?

    Dennis

    23 Nov 08 at 4:59 pm

  6. I would like to see a sandwich place in Columbia like Dagwood's Sports Bar in Surfside Beach. Table service, huge tea glasses, wi-fi, and great sandwiches (and of course beer and sports TV if that's your mood).

    ted

    23 Nov 08 at 5:28 pm

  7. Eh, in the war between overpriced sandwich shops, Groucho's has it all over Andy's.

    ChiefDanGeorge

    24 Nov 08 at 6:32 am

  8. Anyone else remember Poor Richard's? It was on Harden street almost across the street from Groucho's about ten years ago. It only lasted a few years and I cannot figure out why because they had GREAT sandwiches. So much more of what I wanted in a place like that than Andy's or Groucho's.

    Dennis

    24 Nov 08 at 8:30 am

  9. Poor Richard's sold Boar's Head. That's why they were so good, and very reasonable as well. Great place. I last went into Andy's about 10 years ago. He charged me 25 cents for a tea refill. He calls everybody "my friend," but friends don't charge friends for tea refills.

    Jonathan

    24 Nov 08 at 9:47 am

  10. There was also a Lums on Two Notch in front of the old Atlantic Store/ Twin Cinema. It and the Knox Abbott Dr. locations became Shrimpers (remember them?) There was also one in Myrtle Beach on Kings Highway near the Swamp Fox coaster. its a Chineese place now I think.

    Tom

    24 Nov 08 at 1:07 pm

  11. Anyone remember Gramby's? It was pretty good place to eat with about the same menu and same "feel" as a Lum's. They constantly ran 2-for-1 ads in The Gamecock for hot dogs and sandwiches, so I went there a lot as a starving student. Good coffee.

    It was directly behind the Sandy's Hot Dogs (which was then a Hardee's), 1114 College St. The building, which is virtually unchanged on the outside, is now the SC Beer Wholesalers Assn.

    I also ate at that Hardee's a LOT as a student, because they had a 99¢ all-you-can-eat salad bar that was pretty good.

    Speaking of that Hardee's, and the nearby Burger King -- how on earth do you run a place like that out of business when you are in the middle of a huge college campus? Not to mention the downtown workers?

    Dennis

    24 Nov 08 at 5:15 pm

  12. I remember Gramby's well. In its day it was my favorite on-campus spot spot. The BK closed due to problems the franchisee had. The Hardee's (which was cited for air pollution violtions in the 70s) relocated to the corner of Blossom and Assembly then went under.

    On a related note, I was once told that the reason McDonald's pulled out of the Cornell Arms was because they did have a drive through.

    Tom

    25 Nov 08 at 6:57 am

  13. I don't know about the others but the Lum's on Two Notch Rd had nickel beer on Wednesday's. They tapped 1 keg & sold it for a nickel a glass until the keg went dry. Then we'd go to Decker Blvd. for all you can eat seafood at Captain's Kitchen. Full of beer & fried shrimp for about $4.00.

    Gerald

    25 Nov 08 at 4:40 pm

  14. I remember the strawberry shakes at Gramby's. When I was little that was always a big deal to get to go there for supper after a Carolina game before we headed back to Florence.

    Gil

    25 Nov 08 at 6:42 pm

  15. Oops - I did a little research and it was Granby's, not Gramby's.

    Dennis

    25 Nov 08 at 9:46 pm

  16. Poor Richards became bar none. you can still get some of the sandwichs. In fact Grouchos once took them to court over stealing their recipies.

    Mr Bill

    26 Nov 08 at 11:55 am

  17. I use to eat at a Lum's in Huntsville, Al 1973. The beer dogs were the best. I have tried to copy that method but with no luck.

    jim

    1 Jan 09 at 3:12 pm

  18. I was in the Carolina Band and we used to go to Lum's all the time after practice.

    Debbie

    11 Feb 09 at 7:50 pm

  19. I frequented Lums and Granby's as a student in the mid-70's. Granby's featured natural casing hot dogs that they called "boondoggers", and Lums had a great seasoned burger called the Ollieburger, as well as schooners of draught beer. Another post mentioned the milk shakes at Granbys, which were hand dipped and mixed. I never remember either place being very crowded so their demise doesn't surpise me.

    Tin Man

    10 Dec 09 at 10:17 am

  20. At its peak in the 70's Lum's had over 400 locations. There is still one open in Bellevue, Nebraska, just outside of Omaha. With no franchisor, their menu is now determined locally.

    David

    20 Feb 10 at 4:09 pm

  21. Lums on Green had the best pastrami/rye sandwich ever. And the sexiest looking schooner of ICE cold beer. Took two hands to lift it sometimes. Had a nice atmosphere without being stuffy or sleazy. A great place to eat.
    I think a friend of mine ODd on the cheese cake.

    Hugh

    16 Dec 10 at 11:41 pm

  22. We used to go to Lum's after concert choir practice on Monday afternoon. They had good fries. I do remember getting a large fried cockroach in my basket once. That put me off my feed!

    Walt

    7 Jun 11 at 12:03 pm

  23. Probably better for you than the fries :-)

    ted

    7 Jun 11 at 12:36 pm

  24. We used to eat regularly at LUM'S in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 60's and early 70's...they were located on Peachtree St.. between Lenox Square and Brookwood...best boiled in beer hot dogs ever and the beer was cold and refreshing...wish they were still there.

    Sue

    22 Jun 11 at 5:44 pm

  25. Lum's on Greene was the first place I ever had dark beer. It was something crappy like Miller Dark, bit I liked it, both the novelty and the flavor. Iit made me feel worldly, as if I was drinking the same stuff Andy Capp quaffed when he could get Flo to "spot him a few bob."

    Good thing we didn't have Breathalyzers back then. There were several evenings in the summer of 1971 when I'd drive home from Lums with a snootful. Even remember a few rainy nights late that summer when I'd drive home listening to The Doors sing Riders on the Storm. That song has always reminded me of driving on a rainy night, with too much dark beer in my belly, and hoping to not see a blue light in my rearview mirror.

    No Name

    5 Feb 12 at 9:06 pm

  26. I remember going to "bust a keg night" at the Lums on Green St near USC in the late 60s and up to 72. The dogs and ice cold beer were a great combination. Also visited the Myrtle Beach Lums and it was great as well, but it felt more of a family place. As a proud lint head from the former Olympia High School, it brings back memories. I have tried hot dogs from Hawaii to Boston but none compared to Lums (including Pinks in Los Angeles). Semper Fidelis!

    Tom M

    9 Mar 13 at 1:15 am

  27. Menu: http://www.mhodistributors.com/lums-2-b.jpg

    Recipe for Lum's dogs: http://recipehut.homestead.com/bigboysauce.html

    LUM'S BEER HOTDOG
    1 can beer.
    2 can water (use empty beer can.)
    1 teaspoon sugar.
    1 teaspoon garlic powder.
    1 teaspoon caraway seeds.
    1/4 wedge of a fresh onion.
    One Package, John Morrell's, New York Deli Brand, Beef Franks
    or your favorite brand of all-beef hot dogs. Lums used a 1/4 pounder hotdog.

    Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat to a lowest heat and let stew for no less then 15 minutes or longer for more intense flavor.

    These are delicious to eat right out of the stewing pot or do them the Lums hotdog way; remove and grill slightly.

    Serve on a Quality Hot Dog Bun.

    tonkatoy

    4 Oct 13 at 1:55 pm

  28. Best baked beans, ever! I think they has cheese and celery seeds. Is that possible???

    ba

    23 Jan 14 at 10:21 pm

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