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Quincy's Family Steakhouse / Stiletto's Strip Club, 7375 Two Notch Rd: 1990s, February 2008   22 comments

Posted at 5:16 pm in historic,restaurants

Well this was a bit unexpected. I had been planning for a while to do a closing on Quncy's, but when I went there today to take the picture, I found the successor business, Stiletto's strip club had just closed down as well.

Quincy's Family Steakhouse was part of the second or third wave of steakhouses to hit Columbia, and at its peak, the best of breed in my opinion. The first wave consisted of places like Ponderosa Steak Barn about which I mean to do a post someday, while the second wave (or late first, I haven't decided) was places like Western Steer & Western Sizzling.

Quincy's was a very appealing operation for family Sunday lunches, and we ate there almost exclusively on Sunday for a number of years. You would go in, get in line, pick out your silverware and make your order which would be brought out with reasonable promptness. I thought they had a very good burger (which fewer places do well than you would expect), and their salad bar was unquestionably the best in Columbia. The waitresses were all friendly, and came to know and greet "the regulars". The only fly in the ointment was that whatever mechanism they used to wash the silverware wasn't very efficient, and you always ended up having to go through several knives and forks before coming up with unspotted ones.

I liked Quincy's well enough that when my employer started sending me to various cities around the South East, I would take the little list of "Our Other Locations" that used to be in a stand by your way out, to have somewhere familiar to eat when I travelled. (In practice, it would usually work out that either I didn't get to pick where we ate, or we would end up working so late that it was Denny's or nowhere..). I started noticing too that all Quincy's were not alike. The one on Two Notch was definitely the best one in Columbia, much better than the one on Forest Drive, and a bit better than the one off I-26 & US-378. The one in Surfside Beach was very good, the one in Florence, not so much.

Naturally like any chain with a generally winning concept, they started to tinker with it. First, the salad bar started to decline. They took the large wedges of chedder and pepper-jack cheese off, and would start skipping very basic things, like onions, more and more often. Then they decided that the "honor system" had to go. The initial concept was you got your ticket and paid on your way out. The new system was that you had to pay at the end of the ordering line. I suppose it reduced shrinkage some, and obviated the need for another employee and register stand at the door, but it also slowed up the line, and made it seem that you weren't quite trusted to pay for your food. Real decline set in after this, and the chain obviously realized it with their somewhat desperate ad campaigns for The Big, Fat Yeast Roll. The rolls were actually pretty good, but you want to think several times before launching a restaurant ad campaign in which the words "big" and "fat" play prominent roles.

I think the Forest Drive location was the first in Columbia to go, with Two Notch being the last. I believe the chain is still in business and has a few stores left, but I haven't seen one in several years.

I forget what moved into the Two Notch building after Quincy's, but it didn't last too long, and I think the building sat vacant a while before becoming Stiletto's. That brief-lived operation had a sign with a very shapely set of legs, the feet adorned with the aforementioned footware. I'm pretty sure I saw the sign as recently as last week, but I can't say for certain. The sign also mentioned that, like Quincy's, they had steaks on the menu, but I suspect "the sizzle" was more their stock in trade.

UPDATE 9 May 2008: New construction is going on at the old Quincy's/Stiletto's

Looks like it will be a "Harbor Inn", which either means that there will be two Harbor Inns within a mile or so of each other on Two Notch, or that the one in front of Bi-Lo (in the old Ryan's building) will be moving here.

UPDATE 22 March 2010: Added full street address (and some tags)

Written by ted on February 11th, 2008

Tagged with , , , ,

22 Responses to 'Quincy's Family Steakhouse / Stiletto's Strip Club, 7375 Two Notch Rd: 1990s, February 2008'

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  1. Went to Quiznos with my family when I was a youngster all the time. I could eat a whole basket of those yeast rolls.

    Will

    2 Mar 08 at 4:03 pm

  2. Yeah, I meant that Quincy's.

    Will

    2 Mar 08 at 4:05 pm

  3. I barely remember eating there when it was a Western Sizzlin, but my mom always got our Easter/Christmas/Thanksgiving rolls from the Quincys. Interesting story about Stilletos. I work for a car rental place, and one of my customers danced there, well her sister worked there as well and one weekend she went with one of the girls to Miami to make some quick money. Well the girls sister that went down there was killed execution style and was possibly set up by her friend.

    geoff

    8 May 08 at 9:21 pm

  4. Good Heavens!

    ted

    8 May 08 at 10:43 pm

  5. I work near there so I have driven by there quite a bit and it seems like the strip club that used that space was only open for a month or so. Hard to believe that kind of business didn't have any staying power in the captial city. ;)

    Eison

    18 May 08 at 6:57 pm

  6. I thought it was originally a Western Siz, too. We went to both regularly when I was growing up-first WS then Quincy's.

    Anna

    24 Jun 08 at 8:37 pm

  7. My whole life I have lived in the Northeast area, I use to frequent this Quincys all the time, I actually preffered it to Ryans.

    PS: To whoever made this site, thanks its bringing back memories from my childhood

    Arthur

    20 Jul 08 at 4:07 pm

  8. You're welcome!

    ted

    20 Jul 08 at 4:08 pm

  9. I don't know if Quincy's was the first thing there but I know it was Western Sizzlin after it was Quincy's. Can't remember when it closed.

    Mr Bill

    21 Jul 08 at 9:59 am

  10. We still miss the Quincy's that was on Rosewood Dr. Extension.

    Funny that it became a strip club. You could probably start a whole chapter on the history of Columbia's strip joints. The Carriage House looms large in the history of Forest Acres, and Chippendolls was a happnin' place for quite a few years.

    Does ANYbody remember the Hi Hat Club on Forest Drive, not too far from Beltline? I asked William Price Fox about it, because he is a wealth of info on stuff like this, but he cannot recall it. I swear I'm not making it up, though. It was a white wooden building. Had a neon sign shaped like a top hat.

    FirstDennis

    25 Aug 08 at 12:59 pm

  11. Before it became Stiletto's it was called "American Ale House" or something like that for the first few months of its operation. Pretty sure it was the same management.

    badger

    26 Dec 08 at 3:09 pm

  12. They used to got Quincy's.They closed up.They moved.Quincy's went out of business.

  13. I read a State paper article about the 'dancers' who worked at Chippendolls and the other clubs in town. After reading the article, the appeal in seeing them in action sort of declined. Most of them are single moms with a litany of personal problems. The clubs would essentially rip the dancers off out of their tips. I ended up feeling sorry for them.

    joec

    15 Apr 09 at 1:10 am

  14. Before it was Stilletto's and before it was American Ale House (but after it was Quincy's) it was a FANTASTIC chinese buffet.

    We would go there often, they had buffet food, plus sushi and a mongolian grill. It was by far the best buffet in the area. Then it closed, and reopened. It wasn't reopened long before we went down and someone had padlocked and chained (with a BIG CHAIN) the doors. There was an eviction notice for unpaid rent, if I recall. It then was VERY briefly the Ale House, then Stiletto's for a few months... before becoming Harbor Inn.

    Brian

    6 May 09 at 11:51 am

  15. At one point, Quincy's was owned by Hardees

    doc

    30 Oct 09 at 9:08 pm

  16. Quincy's was bought out by Western Sizzlin. That changeover at this location was basically just a name change. Most of the other Quincy's have been closed or renamed, but there are 2 left (ironically the one in Florence the webmaster didn't care for is one of them).

    This building now houses a seafood restaurant, I believe.

    Bobby

    22 Jan 10 at 4:23 pm

  17. Quincy's was an awesome restaurant. I worked at Quincy's in Surfside Beach from 96' to 02' and was a manager there the last 3 years before it closed. Had some good times back then. When Quincys went bankrupt, the owner sold the company to Western Sizzlin. They changed most of the Quincy's the banks didn't take into Western Sizzlins, but a few remained Quincy's. Mine was a Western Sizzlin for a while but the owners decided to back out and close it. Bummer.

    Stuart

    4 Apr 10 at 9:20 pm

  18. I remember thinking the Surfside one was the friendliest one. They would always greet you as you came in, even before you got in the line. Unless it's changed again, it's a Chinese buffett now.

    ted

    5 Apr 10 at 12:38 am

  19. Believe or not I use to work at Quincy's back in the day and I still have an authentic, unopened Quincy's 25th Anniversary limited edition glass coke bottle "with" the coca cola still in it....
    I kept it as a reminder of the good old days and good friends I worked with...when ever I came back in the kitchen, My manager would say Darryl' here!...Luuuuets get rrrrready to rummble!!!..lol..yes, its was a fun place to work..great steaks too. very fast pace job working in the kitchen but we worked like a team...and got those steaks out the window...

    Darryl

    8 Oct 10 at 12:55 am

  20. i believe their used to be one on um devine street where wachovia and that collegiate bank is now. Then after that i believe their used to be a chinese restaurant that was unsuccessful i first tried sushi there, and i looooooooove the mac + cheese from quincy's. They remind me of Ryan's, Fire mountain + Golden Corral's. Of course in my opinion Quincy's was the best bump the other 3, and Ryan's i suppose was my 3rd, i got tired of the buffet food to me it wasn't nutten to get exceited over..i guess coz of the greasy food or whatever, head hunger and i wasnt' as hungry as i thought i was.

    Aliina J.

    4 Feb 11 at 3:49 pm

  21. There was a Quincy's in North Myrtle Beach when I was growing up and we ate there all the time. I loved that place and was sad to see it close. There was also one in MB that we didn't eat at much but is now also closed. Interestingly, there's still one off of 95 in Florence.

    Justin

    18 Aug 12 at 8:34 am

  22. I used to eat at Quincy's and you're right. It was the best of breed of all the chain of budget priced steak-houses. The steaks were always good.

    Western Sillzlen's steaks always managed to taste like they cooked the steak in the same place where they just fried up a liver fillet.

    MrBO

    15 Jul 13 at 8:44 am

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