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Pizza Hut, 4620 Devine Street: 1980s   15 comments

Posted at 12:21 am in historic,restaurants

The whole area on Garners Ferry near where this Pizza Hut sat has been reworked so much over the years that it's hard to say exactly where the restaurant actually was, but I think it's not far off the mark to say it was about where Ruby Tuesday now is.

I don't know what the ownership structure of Columbia Pizza Huts in the 70s & 80s was, but as far as I could tell, they were almost all about the same, with no real standouts or bad stores. (I believe PH was in general better back then -- I don't care too much for it today). I say almost because this store was something of an outlier.

I remember that my sister and I stopped there once in the late 70s, and after our pizza came we ate for a few minutes before, independantly, coming to the conclusion that while the crust was fine, the cheese properly melted, and the toppings we had ordered had been duly applied -- there was no sauce anywhere on the pizza. I believe we raised it as an issue to the manager, but decided to take a discount on the check rather than wait for a new pizza to be prepared.

I didn't think much of the incident though obviously it did not move that PH to the top my "where to eat pizza" list. Still about five years later, I found myself in the area when it was time to eat and decided to stop by again. As I'm sure you already suspect, my pie was once again served sauceless. Now, the old saying is

Once is happenstance
Twice is coincidence and
Three times is enemy action.

and I didn't try a third time, so I can't rule out coincidence, but I can't help suspect that there was a management policy to cut costs by shorting the sauce. After all it's the least noticable bit of the pizza, being normally mostly hidden under the cheese anyway.

I can't remember exactly what happened to the place. Either it burned down (I know the one of Forest Drive did, so I may be conflating with that) or was torn down during one of the plaza remodels. At any rate, it was never rebuilt, and I can't say I'm too heartbroken about it.

UPDATE 5 March 2011: Changed the post title to use "Devine Street" rather than "Garners Ferry Road". I thought the name changed at Fort Jackson Boulevard, but actually Devine Street goes all the way to Wildcat Road.

Written by ted on January 18th, 2009

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15 Responses to 'Pizza Hut, 4620 Devine Street: 1980s'

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  1. I worked in that Pizza Hut during high school (1971-72) and it used to party on Friday and Saturday nights. After 10 PM we would crank up the volume on the Rockola and run Boone's Farm specials. Life was good. And then I got fired. "How many times do I have to tell you a large gets 17 slices of pepperoni! You put 22 on this one!!." Obviously the manager was the only one counting.......

    Terry Edwards

    21 Jan 09 at 6:11 am

  2. I worked for Pizza Hut in about 1977 and Garner's Ferry was one of the locations at which I worked (the other two were South Main Street and Forest Drive).

    The Garner's Ferry one was awful. The first night I worked I was breaking down the prep area and when I opened the under-counter cooler doors I found there was what can be best described as two inches of "algae" on the bottom at the back where food would fall in from the pull out ingredient pans. When I took the 30 minutes needed to clean it out the assistant manger tried to clock me out without pay for going over the schedule! I quit after about a week.

    The other 'Huts I was at were OK, just so you know.

    Talking about that Garner's Ferry area: does anyone else remember "Tracy's" which was a bar in the same shopping plaza? The male electrical engineering students from USC used to go cougar hunting there in the late 1970s.

    Peter Hoffman

    9 Jan 10 at 10:30 pm

  3. Peter
    I think we are talking about 2 different Pizza Huts. The one you worked in on Garners Ferry was located in the East Pointe Plaza. Tracy's had the neon lettering on the front of the building and was also the afternoon happy hour hangout for the employees of Square D. Glad you brought that up because I had forgotten all about it.

    Terry

    10 Jan 10 at 1:50 am

  4. The East Pointe plaza 'Hut had that cool table-top Pac-man game. That reminds me: Any posts on the horizon about Columbia East Theaters at East Pointe Plaza?

    Brent Carter

    4 Mar 11 at 10:59 pm

  5. I have to confess I can't recall those at all. I'm even a bit hazy on where East Pointe Plaza is.

    ted

    4 Mar 11 at 11:35 pm

  6. @Brent I don't see it anywhere on this site but I pulled the East Pointe Plaza lease plan and am wondering if you could take a look and tell me around where it was in relation to the site plan. I don't doubt it existed but it was likely before I knew anything of East Pointe Plaza.

    I also have no memory of Pizza Hut either but it probably moved into their current location between I-77 and Leesburg Road on Garners Ferry Road

    Andrew

    4 Mar 11 at 11:41 pm

  7. @Ted, East Pointe Plaza is the shopping center is where the Garners Ferry Road Sears used to be. It is where Garners Ferry Road meets Atlas Road on one side and Fountain Lake Road on the other side. Southearn Salvage, Planet Fitness and Surplus Warehouse (Former Food Lion) are also there.

    Andrew

    4 Mar 11 at 11:57 pm

  8. OK, gotcha. I know the place now, but never heard of any movies there, and I thought I knew all the theaters in town. They must have opened and closed while I was living out of town.

    ted

    5 Mar 11 at 12:02 am

  9. Columbia East Theaters was located in the building that's behind the current Pizza Hut on Garners Ferry. It was a double theater (and kinda small as I remember). I remember seeing The Big Chill there which would have been in 1983.

    Mike

    5 Mar 11 at 1:31 am

  10. Ok that is not East Pointe Plaza. I read somewhere that a Bi-Lo was there before moving out to 7830 Garners Ferry Road (at Garners Ferry commons) but that was before I full understood Garners Ferry Road to the extent I do now. The Word of God Church & Ministries (which is taking over the former Service Merchandise) has a campus there now but their is a Family Dollar as well.

    Andrew

    5 Mar 11 at 1:53 am

  11. And just for the record on this thread, I was wrong about this Pizza Hut being on Garners Ferry. I always used to think that Garners Ferry started at Fort Jackson Boulevard, but actually, it's Devine Street all the way to Wildcat Road, and this Pizza Hut was on Devine. I'll find the exact address later, but for now I'm just changing the post title to use "Devine Street".

    ted

    5 Mar 11 at 2:00 am

  12. The Columbia East Theaters were maybe a part of the Irvin-Fuller chain. (Although as Ted has pointed out before we don't always remember things as they were). They transformed into $1.00 showings before the end. One evening in the '80s a popcorn machine in the lobby caught fire and the smell of burned popcorn lingered in the area for a couple of days.

    Located next door was an Otasco store, which was sort of like Western Auto with service bays and car parts.

    Terry Edwards

    5 Mar 11 at 8:43 am

  13. Andrew,
    I enjoyed looking at the East Pointe Plaza lease plan in an earlier post. Only CVS, Soapy Suds, Big T's BBQ and Subway still exist from the original lineup. Where do you find access to this type of data?

    Terry Edwards

    5 Mar 11 at 11:02 am

  14. @Terry, Most commercial real esate firms have a sign on their shopping center with their name and contact info for leasing info. If you look on said sites, they have access to the shopping center demographics, location, store sizes and even what it looks like from the air. Some firms are better than others about which details they do & don't provide but you can learn a lot about different property sizes and who leases what and what size some of these stores are.

    Andrew

    5 Mar 11 at 12:37 pm

  15. Columbia East Theaters started out with two good sized screens, then added two smaller ones at some point. I saw Star Wars there in 77, and in the eighties it became a 99 cent movie theater showing second run movies. Spent many a weekend there, until the clientel got too loud and boisterous, sometime in the late eighties.

    There was an Eckerd's or Revco in the strip mall that became a night club in the nineties, with the prerequisite shootings and, I think, murder.

    tonkatoy

    7 Mar 11 at 7:52 am

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