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Birds On A Wire, 2901-A Devine Street: late 2008   21 comments

Posted at 11:50 pm in Uncategorized

There's been some back-and-forth on Have Your Say as to whether Birds On A Wire on Devine Street is closed. It is.

I didn't get any close shots of the interior since some people were in and out and the guy from the gourmet shop was giving me the evil eye, but all the fixtures are still intact. However, the "for lease" sign pretty well settles it for me. It's kind of funny since I was there just last week looking for the Ben & Jerry's I had been told by my sister and a couple of commenters had simply moved from its original location. Not only didn't I find B&J, I thought to myself that Birds looked pretty quiet for a restaurant that, if it wasn't usually open for lunch, must have a dinner opening coming up shortly..

As for the restaurant itself, I can't say much about it. I believe it started off on Green Street in Five Points, just down from Group Therapy then moved to its current (now former..) location in the late 90s. Since the name involved birds and I don't do birds, I never inquired further into its claim to fame, but by osmosis got the idea it was a rotisserie chicken operation. I guess the wire is now bare.

UPDATE 17 Feb 2010: A new restaurant is now in the Birds On A Wire space, Cantina 76:

Also I updated the post title to include the full street address.

Written by ted on January 20th, 2009

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21 Responses to 'Birds On A Wire, 2901-A Devine Street: late 2008'

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  1. The Ben & Jerry's was on the end where the gourmet shop is now. About a yr ago or so, it was moved the the small space on the Devine St side of the bldg between Birds and the wine & cheese store. It was really odd the couple of times we went in because they had crammed all the furnishings from the old store into the much smaller space. They had 4 tables, but no more than 2 could be used at a time because you had to move the other tables to get to the chairs.

    I think that the owner sold all of his restaurants around the same time and these included Birds on a Wire and Ben & Jerry's.


    21 Jan 09 at 2:49 am

  2. I believe Birds On A Wire was originally located at 2631 Devine Street, just a few blocks away from the current location. If I remember right, they moved in 2002. 2631 Devine is now Yo Burrito.

    Birds was purchased a couple of years ago by 2 guys that had a number of years in the restaurant business, but economic times are tough and the Devine Street corridor will miss Birds.

    Terry Edwards

    21 Jan 09 at 5:58 am

  3. Birds and Ben & Jerry's were owned by Daniel Rickmann before Birds got sold in Feb 2008. Birds original location was where yo-burrito currently is located and the new birds location was a resteraunt called the filling station which Daniel rickmann also owned. Daniel was planning on franchising both the fill station and birds on a wire. The one on devine street was his protype store which had a retial area and ben & jerry's inside. Birds also had a location in Lexington which closed prior to Rickmann selling the business and a location in the Meridian Building that has also closed. The only restuaraunt of Rickmanns that is still open is MoMos Bistro on Devine Street.


    21 Jan 09 at 1:18 pm

  4. So it was never near Group Therapy? Man I'm getting senile!


    21 Jan 09 at 1:31 pm

  5. no heres some articles about birds from the state.
    and i didnt have a link for this one but heres the article

    COPYRIGHT 2000 Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

    Jun. 14--Birds on a Wire is flying the coop. And the flock might get bigger.

    Owner Daniel Rickermann plans to move the popular Devine Street restaurant across Holly Street to a new $900,000 building on the site of The Filling Station, a restaurant he also owns.

    The Filling Station will move into the old Birds location to make room for the new 6,000-square-foot restaurant and retail building that also will house a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop.

    The location swap and new building are the first steps in a venture that could expand the two restaurants into several locations around Columbia.

    Rickermann calls his new restaurant organization Food Works and hopes to link the Birds on a Wire restaurants with Ben & Jerry's franchises.

    "This building with Ben & Jerry's is a prototype," he said. "We hope we can duplicate it in the northeast, Harbison and other places."

    The new restaurant will feature seating inside for 80 and outside for 40.

    It also will have room for a small retail shop, as well as the Ben & Jerry's.

    Food Works is developing the prototype in partnership with JDH Development of Charlotte.

    Rickermann also is planning to open other Filling Stations elsewhere in the city.

    "We've kind of been tossing around ideas on where to put the new ones," he said, "but we haven't made a decision yet."

    Demolition of the old Filling Station, a converted gas station, and construction of the new Birds On a Wire should begin this fall. It should be completed in the spring.

    To see more of The State, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

    (c) 2000, The State, Columbia, S.C. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


    21 Jan 09 at 1:36 pm

  6. When Birds on a wire moved from its old location (where Yo Burrito) now is, it was a big push forward for the restaurant. The foods was excellent, they had somewhat of a night life with a decent bar scene. I ate there a number of times and the food was good. This was around 2001-2002.

    Fast forward to 2008. I had lunch there on a weekday around august, and I thought the place was a bit quiet, and things seemed to be old. The food was OK but you could tell it wasn't quite as a good as before.

    I always thought their hours were a bit funky, but the food was good.


    21 Jan 09 at 2:05 pm

  7. My wife and I ate at the Bird's on Main Street once, and it was clearly almost not even the same restaurant, if that makes any sense. The portions were VERY small, and not as tasty. I absolutely loved the chicken nachos. I will definitely miss it (along with Congaree Grill), but it was a "special" place for us to eat lunch, not an everyday sort of meal. On a side note, there is a Filling Station in Myrtle Beach, but it appeared to be a chain in itself, and not affiliated with the one in Columbia.


    21 Jan 09 at 2:07 pm

  8. To be honest Congaree Grill never really took off. They adjusted their menu a couple times but that didn't fix things. Hopefully the new incarnation will get it right.

    Larry T

    21 Jan 09 at 5:44 pm

  9. WLTX reported last night that the owners of Birds had filed for bankruptcy citing the economy.


    23 Jan 09 at 7:11 am

  10. I thought Rickermann minted his own money. As far as Mo-Mo's, my wife and I went there, and were blown away by how good it was. I had an ostrich filet that was exceptional. Probably one of the best meals I've had in my life, and I've had a few. Unfortunately, we will not be able to return often, because that place eats $100 bills. Incredible meal, though. I'm sure the target demographic in Shandon has no troubles.


    23 Jan 09 at 10:39 am

  11. The Congaree Grill reopened Friday the 23rd as Pawley's Front Porch. Complete remodel of the dining room, which opened the room up and makes it seem much larger. Menu of some of the Congaree Grill appetizers, a few salads, hug burgers, and a selection of fish tacos.


    23 Jan 09 at 10:12 pm

  12. If the Congaree Grill/Front Porch wants to stay open, they need a better chef.


    24 Jan 09 at 5:57 am

  13. Yeah, I doubt birds closed because of the economy how about they closed for the reason all businesses close bad ownership and management. Lets face it the new owners ruined a Columbia Tradition, and then arent man enough to say its our fault but blame it on the economy. I mean from what i saw the raised there prices twice in less than a year and there food was sub-par under the new ownership, and they didnt advertise, and it was just bad all the way around. Yes the economy is bad but lets all take some responsiblities for our actions. I was just at Carabas On Saturday night and it was pack with a 30 minute wait. I dont see dianes On devine going bankrupt they are still busy as ever at dinner. Sure people are not buying appitzer and bottles of wine like we have in the past but people are still spending money. The economy didn't stop we all need to eat so resturaunts can still make money if they are good enough.


    27 Jan 09 at 12:55 am

  14. What about the Birds on a Wire downtown? I just went there a couple of months ago for lunch and it was good. A nice location. Thanks Ted for the interest in my site, I love your blog! :)


    29 Jan 09 at 8:27 am

  15. All the birds are now closed the owners filed for chapter 7.


    29 Jan 09 at 9:32 am

  16. This might be sacrilege in Colatown, but I never cared for the food at Birds. It was all very bland, lacking in flavor, character, or anything else that unique.


    4 Feb 09 at 4:45 pm

  17. Jeff, I am with you. I thought the chicken was dry and basically tasted like nothing special.


    5 Feb 09 at 6:23 am

  18. I only recently discovered that Birds on a Wire was closed. That was one huge let down for me. I felt they had everything needed to make a good restaurant.... good food, reasonable prices, and very fast service. I could get some good chicken, very good mashed potatoes, and marinated cukes for under $10. I swear there has been times the food came out within 30 seconds of placing the order.

    By me, the place will be missed.


    1 May 09 at 5:41 pm

  19. Whoever has the recipe for the honey tabasco dressing used on the chicken pasta needs to post it ASAP. Pulled chicken, farfalle pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper rings in red and green, with an orange wedge and honey tabasco dressing on the side...AMAZING.

    I also miss the chicken nachos, which had a good jalapeno heat in the cheese sauce. They were better when they used the red/blue/yellow chips, though. The plain tortilla chips knocked it down a notch.


    24 Jun 09 at 10:38 am

  20. [...] Rickenmann, it involves two now-defunct Birds On A Wire restaurants he started, one of which was outside the Zone. The loan was $179,000 to the two [...]

  21. Honey tobascco sauce......would kill too have the recipe(:


    14 Jun 12 at 6:13 pm

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