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Steak & Ale, 788 Saint Andrews Road (aka 109 Woodland Hills Road) (at I-26): early 2000s   21 comments

Posted at 1:19 am in Uncategorized

I've written about the Steak & Ale on Forest Drive, but this one I didn't remember as a S&A at all.

It finally struck me driving by that certainly a building that looked like that couldn't have been built as an Asian buffet (is anything?) and almost had to have been a Steak & Ale. Old phonebooks more or less confirmed that (though I never found an actual street address, just verbiage like "the Saint Andrews exit off of I-26"). At the time, I wrote down the last phonebook listing the place, but have lost that note somewhere -- I'm saying it was the late 1970s. (The ad is from the 75-76 Southern Bell directory)

UPDATE 13 Oct 2010: Well, I wouldn't have thought it given that I can't personally recall the place as a S&A, but it is in the 1998 phonebook (interestingly the address is given as 109 Woodland Hills Road, the cross street), so the comments about it being open into the 2000s are probably right, and I'm updating the closing date from "1970s" to "early 2000s". Wish I could get my age wrong by 30 years..

Written by ted on October 13th, 2010

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21 Responses to 'Steak & Ale, 788 Saint Andrews Road (aka 109 Woodland Hills Road) (at I-26): early 2000s'

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  1. "Does your restaurant serve more ale than steak?"
    Yes, this was a S&A. Remember the chilled pewter plates at the salad bar? How about the bright red carpet?

    Midnight Rambler

    13 Oct 10 at 8:26 am

  2. How 'bout the fireplaces? and the gigantic steak knives?


    13 Oct 10 at 8:53 am

  3. This place I know was open in the 90's, because we've eaten there. I also remember they turned me on to the "bourbon marinated steak," which was dusted with brown sugar. In their honor, I will have one this weekend.


    13 Oct 10 at 9:49 am

  4. They were open as late as 2000/2001. The King Buffet moved in in 2002.


    13 Oct 10 at 10:02 am

  5. This was DEFINITELY a Steak & Ale. I've eaten at the Chinese buffet a few times, and the interior has not been changed at all. Even the medieval pictures are still up. It's a bit of cognitive dissonance, eating your cut-rate lo mein and looking at pictures of castles and coats of arms.


    13 Oct 10 at 11:29 am

  6. I remember going here a few times back in the late 90s (my memories are a little on the scratchy side though) so it definitely was there until at least 2000/01 but I don't remember the last time my folks and I made it. I have been contemplating trying the buffet (because from what I've read, it's not just a Chinese buffet (as Matthew suggests) but it appears to have a little of everything) but haven't made it yet.

    by the way, Steak & Ale appears to be defunct as of 2008 according to their wiki page after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but a company called Atalaya Capital Management appears to have purchased the rights to the name to possibly open new restaurants in the future.


    13 Oct 10 at 2:48 pm

  7. The buffet is actually one of the better Asian buffets in town. Odd, I know.

    Virginia had at one time more strict blue laws than South Carolina. No business could reference alcohol in their name, so the Virginia places were named Steak and Ox (Ox?????). Most were gone in the area by the late 1980's. For my on-a-budget because of 3 kids, Steak and Ale/Ox was a fancy going-out to eat dinner. Us kids liked it because of the commercials, which always emphasized "Beer, Wine or Sangria." To this day, Sangria always has to follow "Beer and Wine" in my mind.


    13 Oct 10 at 9:55 pm

  8. My understanding is that the local franchisee went out of business several years before the chain itself went defunt. The one in Spartanburg on old I-85 is still open as "Steak Royale."


    14 Oct 10 at 5:52 am

  9. It was also a "Fishermen Four" restaurant. I worked there while in high school in the late 70's.
    I think it then became a bar/nightlcub/restaurant for a few years until Steak and Ale bought it back.


    14 Oct 10 at 11:45 am

  10. I remember this as a steak and ale growing up in landmark apts in the 80's down the road on st andrews. This whole area has really gone downhill in the past 30 years. In that whole stretch I think the Domino's Pizza, Seven Oaks Animal Hospital and the Food Lion (previously Food Town) are the only remaining businesses since the early 80's. Gone are my beloved Putt Putt, the Piggly Wiggly (now Display Center), Bruce's Family Restuarant/Perkins, Schiano's, Capitol Newsstand, and many more. Steak and Ale was down in the area where Cussin Bills and Yamatos was - Yamato's may still be open, I think Cussin Bills is long gone.


    17 Oct 10 at 8:54 am

  11. ^^In the late 80's I remember that Food Lion on St. Andrews Road. There was a Sears Outlet, and a Golds Gym in that same plaza. The Golds Gym closed and briefly turned into a really nice night club. Remember going once and seeing a live band there.

    Lady L

    10 Nov 10 at 12:01 am

  12. Lady L,

    It started out as an Otasco. It was located where Harbor Freight is now located. I remember that venue. It has been mentioned on this site, it started with a "C" I believe. Now I will have to research. I saw Cheap Trick there. Kenny Wayne Sheppard opened.


    10 Nov 10 at 10:35 am

  13. I remember the nightclub Lady L and Jonathan are referring was called Characters...something became problematic I recall (I don't remember details) with it and it ended up closing down and now it's Harbor Freight Tools. Although it isn't displayed anywhere, the shopping center is called Richardson Plaza . By the way, the Dollar General it appears is going to be moving out across the street next to the Shell station at St. Andrews & Ashland...they're building a building that is looking more and more like a new Dollar General as construction progresses

    and St. Andrews is down to one Food Lion after the Seven Oaks Shopping Center Food Lion closed


    10 Nov 10 at 11:14 am

  14. Pat Benatar played Characters on Nov. 9, 1997. (At this show she confirmed she was a bank teller at C&S on Main Street around 1971. Her first husband was at Ft. Jackson.) Cheap Trick was there June 26, 1996.

    Midnight Rambler

    10 Nov 10 at 3:27 pm

  15. Well, let's see... The Food Lion has gone; Big Lots is there now.

    As far as Steak & Ale, goes, that was there until 2000/2001, as badger says.

    Steve, Andrew's wiki link for S&A correctly states that in states which do not allow alcohol references in business names S&A used the name Jolly Ox, instead.

    As I remember it, Jolly Ox was also used as the name of the bar area in S&A, while in the blue-law states, they called the bar area Steak & Ale.

    I remember hearing a story of members from the Society for Creative Anachronism going to one in the Atlanta area in appropriate attire, but don't recall much more than that about the occurence.

    As far as Columbia King goes, I suppose I'll have to try it again. The first (and last) time I went, I was underwhelmed. My two current favorite eastern cuisine eateries are Super China Buffet at Dutch Square and Eastern Buffet on US 1 in Lexington.


    14 Jan 11 at 9:52 pm

  16. @Alex - even though your post is over two years old ... . .

    Yomato's moved out by Columbiana Mall, last time I drove by the building it was a dance studio, which may have been out of business. WG's still operates in that shopping center where I grew up going to Tons of Toys!

    Cussin Bills went under, and has a thread on here.

    I remember this being Steak and Ale, I believe I ate there once, as a kid.


    29 Jan 13 at 4:48 pm

  17. In a striking coincidence, there was also a Holly Farms Chicken restaurant in the plaza that housed aTons of Toys/Leo's Wings/WG's/TJ Maxx/Old Country Buffet. It was in the outbuilding that later housed Johnny's Jungle. Weird that I would remember that, but I saw Chuck Finch's request for a recipe and it sparked my memory!

    Many times I would get a to-go beer from Leo's and walk next door to TJ Maxx and shop. I thought that was so cool.


    30 Jan 13 at 9:39 am

  18. It's funny that Steak & Ox was mentioned. When we moved to Richmond in 1979, it was known as the Jolly Ox, which my crazy Aunt thought was actually called the Dolly any rate, it became a Steak & Ale not long after that. There were two that I can remember in the Richmond area, and I went to the last one in 2004, but, the service was far from what it used to be. My Mom worked there for a few years in the early '80's, and still keeps up with a lot of the people she worked with, which is funny, because I can't say I was too fond of the majority of people I worked in restaurants with. Anyway, we thought it was an awesome place, with the chilled plates, the melted butter with the candle underneath, the Ms. Pac Man tabletop I used to sneak into the "Pub" to play, and on and on. It was definitely the place for proms, graduations, and just about any other special event (or not). I was nostalgic driving by the old Forest Drive location the other day, and wished the next time I go by they are back in business. Not sure how Applebee's is still kicking, and they aren't. Oh well, great times.


    18 Jun 14 at 11:41 pm

  19. I love coming on these threads that have not gotten much recent attention, reading the old posts, and thinking "Yea, I agree with that," only to recognize I was the one that wrote it! I guess it's good that I don't disagree with myself almost four years later. On that thought, in honor of my October 13, 2010 post, I will have a bourbon marinated steak dusted in brown sugar on Saturday night. Got to start the marinating tonight though. Can't just marinate for 24 hours.


    19 Jun 14 at 9:51 am

  20. @jonathan - I agree with you 100%. When I first stumbled across this site I did nothing but browse for a while before I ran into an article that I just had to post to.

    I know that I have rehashed old stories from time to time, pulled out the 'soap box' a few times and have gone off on some crazy tangents from time to time.

    I do try to visit at least once a day just to see what's going on and I feel that I have made some 'virtual' friends on here. Yourself, Andrew, TahoChic, Badger, CayceKid. MrBO, tonkatoy, and Rick (which I hope to share a shot of tequila with one day). I know I left some folks off and I'm sorry about that.

    The bottom line is, Ted, thanks for all you do on here and keep up the good work!!!!


    20 Jun 14 at 12:53 am

  21. The St. Andrews location was definitely open in the mid-90s. The food and decor was a cut above most of the other restaurants in the area and they had a good salad bar. We were disappointed when it closed. There was also an Old Country Buffet just up the road from it, which also closed in the late 90s.

    Larry Shackley

    24 Apr 21 at 10:54 am

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