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German Gasthaus, 2404 Decker Park Road: mid 2000s   12 comments

Posted at 11:28 pm in restaurants

Decker Park Road connects Decker Boulevard with the unpaved Kneece Road (which itself connects Brookfield Road and O'Neil Court).

There's not a whole lot on Decker Park: side access to the Food Lion plaza, a U-Haul self-storage operation, a small recording studio, and a hair salon.

For many years however, this was the home of the German Gasthaus restaurant. Aside from maybe Mr. Dunderbanks in the mall, this was the only German restaurant in Columbia that I knew of. I'm afraid my only trip to Germany didn't lead me to seek out German food at home (we were working something like 19/7 and all I recall is limp bacon, almost as if it had been boiled, at the hotel buffet), and I never made it here. I believe the place burned down in the mid 2000s, and was never re-opened .

Written by ted on April 22nd, 2011

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12 Responses to 'German Gasthaus, 2404 Decker Park Road: mid 2000s'

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  1. I believe one of the ladies who ran the Gasthaus now runs Julia's German Stammtisch on Jackson Blvd.

    Mike

    23 Apr 11 at 12:05 am

  2. There was a very popular gasthaus restaurant in Irmo in the 80s for years (or are you not counting Irmo as Columbia?) complete with live oompah music and chicken dancing. It also had a bad fire. I think it was called The Golden Crown.

    Dennis

    23 Apr 11 at 8:37 am

  3. I think you're right about the Julia's connection. I had asked her a while back if she had known Max Egloff, who had run the Black Forest German restaurant (formerly Western Steer and Ed's Steak Barn) at the corner of Trenholm and Decker. She said she had known him, and that she herself had been involved with another German restaurant farther up Decker.

    badger

    23 Apr 11 at 9:26 am

  4. Ted, the German restaurant in the mall was Mr. Dunderbak's, without the second "n," and I believe that there was a German restaurant, possibly also called the German Gasthaus, on Leesburg Road, too.

    Dennis, you are correct about The Golden Crown. If memory serves, it was near the intersection of St. Andrews Road and Old Bush River Road.

    Jim

    23 Apr 11 at 7:07 pm

  5. The Golden Crown was in front of Seven Oaks Shopping Center, near Dino's, at the entrance closest to the former Food Lion. I only went once, at a dinner for German language students from Irmo High School. I recall the food being pretty good.

    59 Ford Wheelman

    24 Apr 11 at 10:20 am

  6. I recall there being a restaurant in a location similar to where 59 Ford Wheelman is talking about that burned after a fire and never rebuilt. Read below:

    State - November 8, 1997 - B3 METRO/REGION

    FIRE STIRS TENANTS FROM SLUMBER
    The smoke looked more like a pre-dawn blanket of fog rolling into Seven Oaks Shopping Center, but it carried danger for the tenants of an apartment building there. The thick haze was from a fire that consumed the building that once housed the Golden Crown German restaurant and drove 15 people into temporary housing and clothing provided by the American Red Cross. "I smelled smoke about 20 minutes to 4," said, tenant Duane Everhart.

    July 29, 1997 - B6 BUSINESS

    IRMO'S GOLDEN CROWN CALLS IT QUITS
    With the turn of a key this Saturday, Klaus Heinz will walk away from 15 fulfilling and recently frustrating - years running the Golden Crown German Gasthaus Restaurant & Beer Garden in Irmo. The restaurant's planned closing comes within weeks of other major Columbia restaurants selling out, as in the case of the Capitol Cafe, or closing, as the Elite Epicurean recently decided to do. Heinz, a big, balding man with sweat-streaked curls ringing his head.

    * These are from The State archives (that's the most I could do without buying the articles).

    The place was eventually torn down and a self-serve car wash now sits where it once was.

    This is on St. Andrews Road (Seven Oaks Shopping Center) between Kleen Care (dry cleaners) and Bob Andrews Motors.

    I was in 4th grade at the time and remembering the mom of my friend Tay talking about how bad it was.

    Andrew

    24 Apr 11 at 9:43 pm

  7. I also might add that the charcoaled remnants of the Golden Brown stayed for several months after:

    State - October 21, 1998 - B3 METRO

    BURNED-OUT BUSINESS LEAVING LEGACY GOLDEN CROWN RUINS SPUR CLEANUP LAW
    The charcoaled timbers that once supported the roof now support only air. A nasty mop still stands sentinel at the door. A charred baseball glove outside a back window hints at the danger that has been lurking at 6175 St. Andrews Boulevard since a fire destroyed the former Golden Crown restaurant and apartment building on Nov. 7, 1997. The blackened shell of a building serves as a reminder of Lexington County's governmental impotence in this case and the gridlock*

    * this gridlock and region leaders not working together was a key factor (From what I read) in why Southwest Airlines decided not to start service to CAE...

    and here's a writeup from the restaurant's happier times:

    State - September 25, 1991 - 1D LIVING

    GERMAN? YES. FANCY? NO. KLAUS AND HEIDI COOKFOR MEAT, POTATO CROWD
    Klaus and Heidi Heinz believe the best food in the world is old-fashioned home cooking, just like their mamas' -- in Frankfurt, Germany. The husband-wife team are the owner/chefs of Irmo's Golden Crown German Restaurant and Beer Garden at 6175 St. Andrews Road. She is in charge of the kitchen and he manages the business and from time to time produces a special dish. "I'm a hobby chef," Klaus said.

    I never ate there but I do remember it burning down and staying charcoaled for a while (I was a 4th grader then) but now a car wash is in its place...

    Andrew

    24 Apr 11 at 9:52 pm

  8. Wasn't there a German restaurant in the old food court at Richland Mall? The food court that became a Verizon call center?

    tonkatoy

    25 Apr 11 at 6:43 am

  9. coupla comments:

    tonkatoy -- Yes. Mr. Dunderbak's tried branching out and very briefly had a place in the RM food court.

    The thing I remember about Irmo's Golden Crown is that the oompah band consisted of a guy playing a clarinet through a synthesizer. Sounded exactly like a tuba. Weird but effective. You'd never know if didn't see him.

    Dennis

    26 Apr 11 at 4:50 am

  10. The german restaurant in the Richland Mall food court was Hofbrauhaus. There was one in Columbia Mall too,
    in the early to mid 90s.

    Cameron

    29 Apr 11 at 2:14 pm

  11. My wife and I went to this place a number of times after I returned from a summer in Germany and was hooked on the food. I found it to be pretty authentic when compared to the food I ate at the host family I was staying with in Wittenberg. I'm sad to hear its gone. I heard there was a fire but didn't realize it was closed for good. The only complaint I have of the place is that they didn't serve alcohol.

    Justin

    23 Jul 12 at 9:46 pm

  12. The German Gasthaus was the place. If you were a kid who lived in Northeast, went to Dent and had to walk home to the apartments across from RNE, you remember the Gasthaus as a landmark that meant you were almost home.

    Many a time I remember walking up Decker (if I didn't take the shortcut behind the old Kroger) and passing the Gasthaus on the dirt road because it was a shortcut that meant not having to go up to the light at Brookfield Road and Decker.

    The folks who owned it were nice and always waved and said hello to us when we managed to get to that point. I actually went in once, just to see what it was like. It was 1993 or 94 and I remember it like it was yesterday. I wish I had been more adventurous then.

    Lyndsey

    25 Jul 12 at 11:30 pm

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