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Hardee's Dutch Square (96 North Arrowwood Road) / 120 Veterans Road: 2000s (playground changes)   31 comments

Posted at 11:02 pm in closing

In my mind, Hardee's has been going down hill since they got rid of Gilbert Giddyup & Speedy McGreedy, not to mention "charco" grilling. For years though, the real reason to stop at a Hardee's when you got off the Interstate rather than McDonalds or Burger King, was for the ice.

There are a number of different types of commercial ice makers for restaurants. Some make lenticular spherical sections, others make partially hollow cubes, and some make "chewy" ice. Honestly, I don't know why a restaurant would want anything but the last kind, but some do and did. Hardee's though could be counted on for the chewy ice for years and then in a fit of madness, they gave it up. Next they started emphasing chicken such that I couldn't even go into the stores any more because of the chicken smell. Finally they were bought out by Carl's Junior wandered aimlessly for years but of late seem to have grabbed onto a workable concept with the "thickburger" line (though I have yet to sample one).

Anyway, that's all besides the point to this pair of local playground changes sent in by commenter Melanie. The "before" shots come from her, and I took the "after" ones last weekend:

The tall metal man was the playground at the Hardees beside Dutch Square before they tore it down. I think this picture was taken 1995 give or take a year.


Hardees ditched another of their coolest playgrounds sometime in the new millenia. Here is a pic taken in 1995-6 of the Hardees playground from Garners Ferry where I77 goes over. They had this playground at least since I was born because I remember it always being there.

The metal man is indeed way cool. I can only speculate that either the insurance became too burdensome, or playgrounds don't really fit in with the Carl's Junior conception of Hardee's.

UPDATE 21 April 2009: Added "Dutch Square" to the post title.

UPDATE 18 December 2012: Changed the location for the "Garners Ferry" Hardees from 7942 Garners Ferry Road to 120 Veterans Road. (The Hardee's in question is not actually on Garners Ferry, but a side-street, and the Garners Ferry Address is another Hardee's entirely).

UPDATE 10 April 2019 -- This location has now closed, the closing is here. Also updated tags and added map icon.

31 Responses to 'Hardee's Dutch Square (96 North Arrowwood Road) / 120 Veterans Road: 2000s (playground changes)'

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  1. The title of this post might be better if it worked in "Dutch Square" somewhere...I doubt many readers are familiar with the actual address of this Hardee's.

    Anyway, I remember this playground as it was always our first choice for lunch on Columbia-area "field trips" as a kid going to school in Winnsboro.


    21 Apr 09 at 8:19 am

  2. This was another of my regular lunch stops about 35 years ago. I agree that when they started changing things it prompted me to try McD's for the first time. Back in the mid-70s their high end burger was called The Big Deluxe. They used something like miracle whip instead of mayo, good tomatoes, lettuce & a lite airy bun. For a kid who's only previous burgers were roadside greasy slabs smothered in rich mayo, mustard & maybe a couple of rubbery pickles; this was a welcome change.

    John R

    21 Apr 09 at 9:29 am

  3. Speaking of Hardee's. How about the one that was/is near Kmart on St. Andrews Rd.? Is it still there? Does anyone remember the skate board area where Grease Monkey is now? I think it was there in the late 70's to very early 80's before it became defunct, then filled in or torn up, then they built Grease Monkey. Remember too on Decker Blvd there was a BIG skate board park area, but I dont remember the name of it and where it was now (it's been a LONG time)..anyone remember the name of it also?


    21 Apr 09 at 10:26 am

  4. Del,the Skateboard park on Decker was Cosmic Wave. It sat kinda in front of target, to the right of the old Taco Cid I remember playing Death Race 2000 video game ( when I wasn't skateboarding) there until the parents made them take it out because they thought it was too violent. We would also go up the street to this ice cream shop "The Sweet Shop" and eat ice cream and play the Captain Fantastic Pinball flipper game. Who remember's Patrick Treadway's Ski Shop on Decker? (kinda where the KFC is now)


    21 Apr 09 at 2:51 pm

  5. Thanks.. Does anyone remember the name of the Skate Board place on St. Andrews where Grease Monkey sits now across from the old Hardees?


    21 Apr 09 at 6:35 pm

  6. 1) Thickburgers are teh Awesome. Try one. Seriously. I suggest the Monster Burger, but you might want to bring a friend.

    2) The pic of the playground at the Garners Ferry location was almost exactly the same as the playground at the St Andrews Rd location.

    3)The St Andrews Rd location building last time i checked was home of The Wild Hare Sports Cafe.


    21 Apr 09 at 7:23 pm

  7. As a child in the 1980's, I can vouch that the metal man at the Hardee's near Dutch Square was THE premier fast food playground. I used to beg my mom to take me to that thing. I love that there's a pic of it here.

    Now, according to my kids, there is no better place than any of the Chick-fil-A playgrounds.


    22 Apr 09 at 11:57 am

  8. I loved the Garners Ferry and Dutch Square playgrounds. I used to work in Irmo and was said to see the Hardees by k-mart close.

    Mr. Bill

    28 Apr 09 at 12:51 pm

  9. I remember a Hardees in the mid-1970s had cigarette machines. And (this is pre-Happy Meals): every kid that came to Hardees got a token with their food. The token could be used in a prize machine (like a gumball machine). You got a random prize--tatoos and plastic jewelry. I used to love the paper Hardees hats.


    29 Apr 09 at 6:56 pm

  10. Lisa

    If you remember cigarette are officially old (according to my daughter). I was telling her about having your option of 10 or 12 brands for 35 cents per pack and she thought I was making it up. She also doesn't believe my story about a party-line phone having different rings for different families.


    30 Apr 09 at 5:15 am

  11. How true Terry. We had 3 families on our party-line.


    30 Apr 09 at 4:01 pm

  12. Cosmic Wave skatebark was on Garner's Ferry. I recall a smaller skatepark out in Irmo, something Oaks? Think that is the "st andrews" park. Basically a bowl and three "moguls" no "runs" per se which was so big at the time. Northeast by the mall, that was Mach 1 skatepark. Rode them all.


    7 May 09 at 9:50 am

  13. Another fun trip down memory lane - spent plenty of summer days at both playgrounds!

    Rob (from Atlanta)

    3 Jun 09 at 3:06 pm

  14. I remember going to the Garner's Ferry location as a kid and dang near burning the skin off my legs on the metal slides in the summers of the 80's. The metal tube you had to climb up into to get to the slides always seemed to have cat poop in the sand at the bottom. I loved it all the same.

    Brent Carter

    4 Mar 11 at 10:43 pm

  15. In the 70's and in High School, I would sometimes take dates to the Garners Ferry Hardees. We would have a blast in the playground. As teenagers this was good cheap fun. I still live near the Hardees and go by sometimes, I forgot they even had a playground until I saw it here. It was a long time ago and memories fade. Thanks for bringing back memories of some really great times.


    21 Jul 11 at 7:57 pm

  16. A local diner here (formerly A&W) still had a cigarette machine into the 1990s.

    Bobby P.

    17 Sep 11 at 7:12 pm

  17. I remember both of the Hardees on st andrews and bush river. I used to play on both playgrounds when i was a kid. Those are great memories.


    7 May 12 at 10:40 pm

  18. Oh man, that used to be THE playground to go to in St. Andrews. I remember stopping by that Hardee's for a roast beef sandwich, playing on the giant robot, and then going to see Ghostbusters at the movie theater in Dutch Square's parking lot - good times! I do remember you had to kind of hop over the rusty shards of metal where the "arms" attached to the "body" of the robot if you wanted to slide down!


    10 May 12 at 3:54 pm

  19. I remember the St. Andrews Hardees David mentioned. It closed sometime in the late 90s and was Bush River Bistro for a few years before Wild Hare arrived and still is there today...


    10 May 12 at 11:35 pm

  20. i just wanted to no if it is possible for me to purchase an old metal burger guy play ground thing with the slides it brings back great memories from my childhood and i would realy love to buy thanks look forword to the reply


    13 Dec 12 at 10:40 am

  21. tonkatoy

    13 Dec 12 at 12:56 pm

  22. I worked at an Applebee's in the mid 1990s, and they still had a cigarette machine. It was removed in 1997, because they were basically obsolete by then, and because some of the employees had figured out how to get free cigarettes out of the machine. The trick was to put your money in, pull one of the handles out about halfway (until you could see the notch on the rod), and then release the handle. It would drop packs of cigarettes and not take the money. After you got all the packs you wanted, you could push coin return and it would give you your money back. I, of course, never did this, someone just told me about it.


    16 Dec 12 at 4:46 pm

  23. I spent a lot of time on the playground at the Hardee's right off of Garner's Ferry Road when I was a kid. If it was still there, I don't know if I would let my kids on it, because that monstrosity was an accident waiting to happen.


    16 Dec 12 at 4:52 pm

  24. The current picture of the Garners Ferry Hardees location looks to have the I-77 bridge and the Landmark Square Wendy's in the background.

    The post title address of 7942 Garners Ferry Road references a Hardee's location that is at the intersection of Garners Ferry Road and Universal Drive.

    The Hardees that is off of Garners Ferry near I-77 (and I believe I see the I-77 bridge over Garners Ferry in the background) is actually addressed 120 Veterans Road.

    So either I don't understand Universal Drive well enough (it's on the edge of my radar) or the pictured Hardees and the post address aren't a match.


    16 Dec 12 at 11:04 pm

  25. Right you are. I probably just googled "Hardee's Garners Ferry" rather than thinking it through. The correct address appears to be "120 Veterans Road". I'll change it.


    18 Dec 12 at 12:49 am

  26. Wow! I remember playing in the rocket/tower? at the one on Garner's Ferry and it smelled like pee! Didn't care, had fun anyway! Love the old playground stuff-less complicated than what children have now.


    28 Dec 12 at 11:16 pm

  27. Having moved from Columbia in 1983, is Capital Newsstand or Leaphart Elementary still around? I was a comkc junkie in the 70s and early 80s. Did my comic and Starlog shopping at CN.

    Eric Guest

    9 Oct 17 at 12:56 pm

  28. Leaphart Elementary is still around but has undergone a significant renovation in the last 10 years and the dynamics of that school have also undergone many changes in that time...but I don't think Capital Newsstand is still around...


    9 Oct 17 at 1:28 pm

  29. Capitol News Stand on Main, and all the branches, are gone. You can see that here.

    You can also see an alphabetical list of places that are gone here


    9 Oct 17 at 2:59 pm

  30. My dad use to take my brother and I to this Hardee's to play, near Dutch Square, as well as the other picture of the one near the VA Hospital, off of Garners Ferry. This brings back such wonderful memories! Thanks for posting all of this stuff. I've not lived in Columbia for 20 years, but this and many other old sites are what I remember.

    Richard H

    2 Jan 19 at 9:42 pm

  31. I remember going to the Hardee's on St. Andrew's Road as a kid in the late 70's and early 80's. I had my 6th Birthday party there. And yes, it looked almost exactly like the one in the 3rd picture. But I seem to remember the curly slides being closed all the time, especially during summers. This was back in the day when they still had the metal tops and sliding down them would usually give you second or third degree burns on your butt and/or legs if you were wearing shorts.

    Mike M.

    6 Mar 21 at 1:29 am

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