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The Sub Cabin, Sunset Boulevard: 1990s   18 comments

Posted at 11:02 pm in Uncategorized

The Sub Cabin was an interesting little restaurant off of Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia. The place was actually on a side street about a block off the main road and was built as a log cabin. If my memory is correct, it must have been built in at least two phases, because the front half of the building faced a wall that looked exterior and had windows as if it had originally been a porch.

The atmosphere was very casual, and the menu was fairly basic with sandwiches and burgers predominating (I suspect there was chicken as well, but that never registers with me). There were a few unusual touches however. First, each table had a Heinz Malt Vinegar bottle amongst the condiments so you could vinegar-ize your fries like at the State Fair, and second, the hamburger patties were unusual. Almost invariably hamburger patties are round or square, but at The Sub Cabin they were rectangular so they would fit in sub buns. I can't think of anywhere else in Columbia that does that.

At some point in the 90s, the church which was gradually taking over the failed plaza which abuted The Sub Cabin underwent a major growth spurt and bought The Sub Cabin's lot, eventually tearing the building down. As far as I know, the owner never relocated anywhere else -- perhaps it was time to retire. Given that the place was on the opposite side of town I didn't get there that often, but it was a quirky little joint and I miss it from time-to-time.

Written by ted on December 29th, 2008

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18 Responses to 'The Sub Cabin, Sunset Boulevard: 1990s'

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  1. I miss Jen bringing me a Pizza Philly and o-rings every time I drive by there. We had a weekly Sub Cabin habit.

    They held out for years as the church tried to buy them, but I guess the money finally was high enough. At one point the church tried to close them using the SC law about bars being so many feet away from a church. The Sub Cabin owners had to prove they were there first.

    After it closed Jen and her husband started an aquarium service for large companies and doctors and dentists but I don't think they're still doing it.


    30 Dec 08 at 9:01 am

  2. What wasn't to love about Sub Cabin? All friend food, garage sale decor, and the fact that it was in a cabin pretty much made this one of my favorite places. I was a waitress at the Sub Cabin around 1994/5 (in fact, I worked with Jen). It was definitely built in phases--there was a porch room and there was also a room to the left that was added on. These rooms would be sweltering during the lunch shift. The chicken wings and the philly steak sandwiches seemed to be favorites. The guy who owned the place also owns Dl McLoughlin's, which is in Irmo. I've heard they serve the same food.


    30 Dec 08 at 1:35 pm

  3. Hey thanks! I did not know that!


    30 Dec 08 at 1:43 pm

  4. oh man I miss this place. Didn't they have a velvet Kenny Rogers over the toilet in the men's room? I'll have to check out the place in Irmo.

    Mr Bill

    5 Jan 09 at 1:38 pm

  5. I loved this place! But my most vivid memory is the time I spotted a couple of roaches crawling up the wall next to our table. :) McLoughlin’s in Irmo is the same owners and also great.


    5 Jan 09 at 11:22 pm

  6. Hey, the Palmetto Bug is the State Bird, so whatta ya gonna do?


    6 Jan 09 at 1:55 am

  7. I think the same owners of Sub Cabin and D.L. McLaughlin's also owned the "Northern Exposure" restaurant @1994 that was on Two Notch Road in one of the *strip malls. Later, that location was briefly called "London Broil," then became a place called "Hamptons," and is now a Chinese restaurant.

    *Don't recall the name, but it's "downhill" from Two Notch, on the left side as you're heading out past I-77.


    7 Jan 09 at 10:37 pm

  8. HEY THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT. sUB cABIN IS STILL GOING STRONG UNDER TH NAME OF D.l. MCLUGHLINS 10400 broad river rd. Irmo, S.C. Donna and Lee Mclaughlin own and operate this location for 21 years now, the same great Philly steaks with the same great guy cooking them come see us!!! Mon.thru Sat 10.30 to 8.30 Thanks D.

    Donna Mclaughlin 2009

    17 Jan 09 at 9:42 am

  9. Great!


    17 Jan 09 at 10:01 am

  10. Best Dam Cheesesteak Sandwich Ever


    27 May 09 at 3:08 pm

  11. I swung by the old DL Mclaughlin's a couple of weeks ago with the wife and kids. It's not like it used to be (a sit down restaurant), it's more of a takeout place with minimal seating inside and some (nice) picnic tables outside.

    The cheesesteak sandwich I had was a good as it ever was, but I was disappointed that they no longer serve the excellent pizza they had in the past. The kid working the register told me the owners just found it too much trouble to run the full-scale restaurant with the bar and pizza oven, etc.

    I'm going back soon to see if their wings are as good as they were at sub cabin.


    28 May 09 at 6:44 am

  12. I used to eat there with my ex when we lived near the Sub Cabin in 95. We moved and hadn't been there in a while. One day, we decided to stop by and it was gone. Only later did we realize that the church had apparently taken it over. I'll have to give DL's a try.

    Ray Price

    5 May 10 at 2:13 am

  13. My dad said that church was a poor trade for the Sub cabin. He loved that place.


    5 Oct 11 at 1:15 pm

  14. Their burgers were served in pita bread if I remember correctly and their fries had the skin on them and were fantastic!

    Spinnaker's Employee

    14 Oct 11 at 3:15 pm

  15. God I miss that place! my FAVORITE was the chicken speedie with extra sauce! I swear i could eat ten of them I will have to check on the place in irmo.


    26 Nov 11 at 3:47 pm

  16. I grew up just down the street from the Sub Cabin. The building originally housed a company that built log cabins for homes and the building also served as a model. Needless to say, that didn't last too long. The Sub Cabin opened shortly thereafter and immediately became a hit. The cheese steaks were incredible, they had homemade fried with the skins still on, and also served their burgers in pita bread pockets (which were fantastic). It was a sad day when they closed down.


    30 Apr 20 at 4:22 pm

  17. Lee and Frank the owners of sub cabin were my uncles. I’m actually in the works of getting a food truck together that is going to sell similar food but on a smaller scale menu. Yes, the cheesesteaks will be part of the menu. I don’t know if they will be as good as sub cabins (hard to beat) but it’s in my blood . I’ll be in the Columbia area hopefully within the next month or so. Come give it a try!


    14 Jul 21 at 3:06 pm

  18. Hey Lawson, we are HUGE fans of sub cabin and grew up with them. What will the name of your food truck so we can keep an eye out for you?


    14 Jul 21 at 6:22 pm

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