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King Arthur's Restaurant / Mother Truckers / Pizza Bistro, 725 Broad River Road + Heilig-Meyers Furniture Co, 100 Greystone Boulevard : 1970s/2001 etc   27 comments

Posted at 1:22 am in restaurants,stores

Wine And Dine In Elegance -- The ad is from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook, and continues the tradition of restaurants being generally open later in those days than now. King Arthur's also continues the theme started here a few weeks about Medieval English themed restaurants in Columbia. The ad doesn't give you much idea what to expect, but surely they must have had round tables and drinking grails..

I have to admit I have absolutely no memory of King Arthur's. That stretch of Broad River road was one we practically never took in the 1970s, and I would have had my nose in a book at any rate. The property is owned by Wray now though the don't seem to use the 725 street number. I'm not sure if they building is King Arthur's or if that was knocked down. The current building doesn't look much like a restaurant to me.

After King Arthur's, the place was at least two other restaurants. Mother Tuckers apparently ran from 1992 to 1995, and I have no information on Pizza Bistro other than one site believes it was a music venue.

UPDATE 6 April 2011 -- Well, from all the comments I found that the above pictures focus on the wrong Wray lot, and that King Arthur's was more on the other side of Riverhill Circle on the lot where the curvy white Wray building now is. The pictured building is 100 Greystone Boulevard and a former Heilig-Meyers furniture store until its closure in 2001. This ad is from the Feb 1997 Bellsouth phonebook:

UPDATE 9 April 2011 -- Commenter Dick sends this yearbook picture posed in front of King Arthur's:

Written by ted on April 6th, 2011

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27 Responses to 'King Arthur's Restaurant / Mother Truckers / Pizza Bistro, 725 Broad River Road + Heilig-Meyers Furniture Co, 100 Greystone Boulevard : 1970s/2001 etc'

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  1. Wasn't there a sort of English looking house that sat right beside Broad River? If I am not just making that up, I think that was the restaurant. It was a multi-story place.

    ChiefDanGeorge

    6 Apr 11 at 4:32 am

  2. I'm pretty sure that this was a Heilig-Meyers furniture store when I first moved to Columbia. They closed in 2000 when the chain went bankrupt.

    Matt

    6 Apr 11 at 7:08 am

  3. Was this that building that sat in the corner of the road if you're heading into Columbia? If it's the same one I'm thinking about, it was called "The Crow's Nest" in the early 1980s.

    badger

    6 Apr 11 at 8:12 am

  4. I remember the place well. It was a Tudor looking building with a sword in a stone in the front. Inside it was decorated like a British style pub.

    Tom

    6 Apr 11 at 9:45 am

  5. It's not the Heilig-Meyers/Wray building you have in the pictures. It would have been visible if you enlarge your third picture, at the corner of Broad River Road and Riverhill Circle. I lived in those apartments across the street from 92-95. They just extended the carlot. Pizza Bistro did not last long.

    Jonathan

    6 Apr 11 at 12:06 pm

  6. So it was where the *other* Wray building (the white curvy one) is?

    ted

    6 Apr 11 at 12:19 pm

  7. It was between the two. They razed the actual building and just extended the parking lot. You can get a better idea in this pic. I know the building was maybe 10 ft from the road, and the parking lot was behind the restaurant. Not sure it started out that way, though.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=725+broad+river+road,+columbia,+sc&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=725+Broad+River+Rd,+Columbia,+SC+29210&gl=us&ei=gKacTcT9Ncm2tweTzuHBBw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA

    Jonathan

    6 Apr 11 at 12:46 pm

  8. There was a Heilig-Meyers at the corner of Greystone and Broad River. Was there one here, too?

    badger

    6 Apr 11 at 12:51 pm

  9. This *is* the corner of Broad River & Greystone.

    I do think I remember the Heilg now. I had forgotten what it was, but when it went out of business, they sold all the fixtures, and I almost bought an office computer before sanity prevailed.

    ted

    6 Apr 11 at 1:27 pm

  10. OK. I thought this was the point of Riverhill and Broad River, which is really close to the point of Greystone and Broad River.

    badger

    6 Apr 11 at 2:09 pm

  11. Count me among those that remember this being a Heilig-Meyers furniture store. The chain disestablished itself ≈2000/01. Their wiki page shows they officially liquidated in 2000. Be that as it may, I found this from The State archives that tells me it closed in 2001:

    State - April 12, 2001 - B9 BUSINESS

    HEILIG-MEYERS TO CLOSE ALL ITS STORES
    RICHMOND, Va. -Furniture retailer Heilig-Meyers Co., which is under U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection, will close its remaining 375 stores and liquidate inventory. Across the country, between 3,000 and 3,500 employees will be affected. Heilig-Meyers will close two stores in Columbia and a total of 24 stores in South Carolina. The Columbia stores are on Forest Drive* and Greystone Boulevardª. The closings will affect about 240 employees, said Nancy Peck, spokeswoman for Heilig-Meyers.

    * I didn't know much about Forest Drive at the time so I am not sure where it used to be but if someone who was in the know by then does know, I'd appreciate you enlightening me.

    ª this location happens to be the intersection of Greystone Bolevard and Broad River Road.

    I can remember their gig "I love this store, Heilig Meyers" and they also used to have "later is greater" sales where it'd start ≈10-15% off at the opening then go to ≈20-25% in the afternoon and then the evening would come around and it would be like ≈30-40% off (or something along those lines).

    A friend of my brother's had a band called Siler's Bald and they actually bought a truck of theirs at one point. The funny thing is that they were in the midst of their going out of business sale by then and I remember after my brother mentioned how thy bought it thinking "they aren't going to need it for too much longer anyway. We passed one of their concerts as we were headed out on an unrelated errand...

    Andrew

    6 Apr 11 at 5:56 pm

  12. IIRC, this place was on the triangular piece of land where Riverhill Circle meets Broad River Rd; what's now the Wray Mazda lot.

    E.J.

    6 Apr 11 at 6:45 pm

  13. Yes - King Arthur's was really an address that does not exist anymore after they tore down the building and changed and widened the road and intersection.

    It had a British pub look about it. I remember it fondly as a little bar called The Crow's Nest in the 80s that had live music at night and really terrific Southern homestyle food at lunch.

    Dennis

    6 Apr 11 at 8:23 pm

  14. The Pizza Bistro was indeed a live (mostly local) music venue...i watched my brother in law play in a band there on a couple of occasions. As i recall the pizza was quite good also. The restaurant had sort of a Village Idiot vibe inside.

    IrmoJeff

    6 Apr 11 at 10:26 pm

  15. After checking the Ad Ted posted, I determined that the 4721 Forest Drive Location apperas to be a building that houses Groucho's Deli and something else I am not sure of (if it's even open). This is noting more than a hypothesis but if anyone knows/remembers anything further, I'm all ears

    The 2437 Charleston Highway location in Cayce appears to somewhere around Edenwood Shopping Center but while I know it's in that general area, I am unable to place it with 100% certainty.

    Andrew

    7 Apr 11 at 12:40 am

  16. The Heilig-Meyers on Forest Dr. was located in the building that Strobler Furniture is currently occupying. This is next to the Groucho's.

    David

    7 Apr 11 at 7:50 am

  17. I think before it was King Arthur's it was either an Esso or American (Amoco) gas station, or it sat in front of what became King Arthurs..but I'm not 100% sure about the gas station..or maybe I'm thinkin' of somewhere else past that area.

    Del Bazemore

    7 Apr 11 at 1:38 pm

  18. @ Del. As I recall the building was built to be King Arthurs's and before that it was all woods.

    Tom

    7 Apr 11 at 3:55 pm

  19. I thought there was a gas station there closer to the road back in the late 60's to early 70's before they built the building for King Arthur's...but as said, I may be wrong. I never really did pay attention to that area..but I do know and remember Dees School of Dance across the street on broad river road.

    Del Bazemore

    7 Apr 11 at 10:53 pm

  20. Ok, being an "Old Timer" I'll tell you about the location. The property was originally an AMOCO Station run by O.Y. Bouknight. He later moved to the corner of Broad River Road & Bush River Road where the Rite Aide Pharmacy is now located. King Arthurs was built on the location of the former gas station. It was the only building on this property at the top of the hill. Wray took over the Helig Myers property and expanded their operations there. The "round building" you described was originally built by Gibbes Volkswagen after they moved from downtown across from the Carolina Coliseum. Gibbes sold out to the Wrays and that is where the dealership originated. I think I might have a picture from my old Columbia High School Annual from 1972 that has a picture of the building. If you'd like me to send it to you, drop me an e-mail @ raaddy@nuvox.net.

    Dick

    8 Apr 11 at 7:54 pm

  21. Ok, being an "Old Timer" I'll tell you about the location. The property was originally an AMOCO Station run by O.Y. Bouknight. He later moved to the corner of Broad River Road & Bush River Road where the Rite Aide Pharmacy is now located. King Arthurs was built on the location of the former gas station. It was the only building on this property at the top of the hill. Wray took over the Helig Myers property and expanded their operations there. The "round building" you described was originally built by Gibbes Volkswagen after they moved from downtown across from the Carolina Coliseum. Gibbes sold out to the Wrays and that is where the dealership originated. I think I might have a picture from my old Columbia High School Annual from 1972 that has a picture of the building. If you'd like me to send it to you, drop me an e-mail.

    Dick

    8 Apr 11 at 7:55 pm

  22. Back in those days, wasn't there a "Fred Astaire" dance studio across the street / kitty corner? I think it later became a Chinese restaurant, which I think it still is.

    Or I could be dreaming all that.

    E.J.

    9 Apr 11 at 6:34 pm

  23. You're not dreaming. There was a dance studio across Broad River Road.

    Jim

    9 Apr 11 at 7:36 pm

  24. The Dance School was Dee Crunp's School of Dance. Many of the girls I went to school with took dance lessons there.

    Dick

    9 Apr 11 at 11:15 pm

  25. tonkatoy

    6 May 11 at 12:23 pm

  26. Great photo links tonkatoy! On this one, I'd be almost willing to bet that somehow or another a photo of an actual pub in the U.K. got mixed in with the Winter photo collection of scenes around Columbia. There are a few things that give me this impression: if you examine the brickwork in the building, it's definitely more of an English-style "wandering" bond. The building style for both buildings is certainly more British than American. Also, the yellow pole with the red box on top is the classic English call-box, something we don't have in the States. And not that we don't have overcast days in Columbia, but this is your typical day in the U.K.. It's almost like a scene from one of the Britcoms that airs on PBS every Saturday night ("Last of the Summer Wine" comes to mind - great show by the way).

    Michael Taylor

    7 May 11 at 3:27 am

  27. I worked at King Arthers in 1970,it was a high class resturant featuring live entertainment(the owners brother-in-law)with prices to match,excellant food and drink.

    David

    10 Jan 14 at 5:22 pm

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