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Rally's / The Goldmine / North American Title Loans / Autogym / but not Krystal, 7120 Parklane Road: 1990s / 2000s   17 comments

Posted at 11:42 pm in business,historic,restaurants

In the 1990s, the restaurant chain Krystal started to make a push in to the Southeast. They had been around for a good while by then, but were new to the Columbia market. I think that originally their niche had been as the Whitecastle-like store operating in regions where there was no Whitecastle, and they had a small burger similar to Whitecastle's "slider".

However during their big expansion push, they came up with the selling point that they had menu items not usually found at fast food joints. I think these were mostly vegetables, but the only actuall one I can recall right now is "fried mushrooms", because I like fried mushrooms. (The State Fair is usually the only time I get them though). Anyway, they did a big build-out and opened lots of new stores, but for whatever reason, it didn't work out for them, and the stores all closed. I'm pretty sure the chain is still around, but they've exited Columbia, and I believe the whole state. I only went to Krystal a few times and never to this store. I'm pretty sure that this particular location was a "mini" store with drive-through and takeout only.

I don't know anything about Autogym. I don't recall hearing the name anywhere else, so I'm assuming that it was a one-off local carwash operation, and I don't think it lasted too long. I'm not sure why you would bring your car to a building not fitted out with carwash equipment, especially when there was a carwash, built as a carwash, just across Two Notch on Decker, and perhaps that was a problem for them.

UPDATE 27 April 2009:

Well, it appears I was mistaken when I tagged this building as a former Krystal. I've changed the post title to reflect that, but I'm going to leave all the verbiage I wrote about Krystal since the comments won't make sense otherwise -- I reserve the right to cut-and-paste it into a post about a real Krystal sometime!

Commenter Badger identifies the initial tenant as a Rally's. I never ate at (or got takeout from) a Rally's, but it seems to me that sometime in the early 90s, the idea for a very small takeout burger place took off, and suddenly there were about half a dozen different chains working the concept. There were Rally and Checker as mentioned in the comments, but there was also Central Park, and several others that I am completely blanking on right now. In general they didn't last long though I'm not sure why -- personally I hate to do take-out but plenty of people seem to like it.

UPDATE 12 September 2009: Well, it's open again, this time as a Chinese take-out operation, China Garden.

Written by ted on April 26th, 2009

17 Responses to 'Rally's / The Goldmine / North American Title Loans / Autogym / but not Krystal, 7120 Parklane Road: 1990s / 2000s'

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  1. I remember Krystal being in the parking lot of the Two Notch Rd. K-Mart near the Wachovia branch.


    27 Apr 09 at 5:30 am

  2. Yep Krystal was in the parking lot of Kmart - There were 2 others Knox Abbott Dr and the corner of Assembly and Elmwood -- From what I remember the guy who had the franchise had $$ problems and lost the franchise. There is a Krystal at 3120 S. Highway 17 Murrells Inlet SC and in Greenville and Gaffney as well as North Augusta SC .. Love them square burgers!!


    27 Apr 09 at 6:06 am

  3. Krystal closed in '98. Its official address was 7038 Parklane. This Autogym place was previously a title loan office, and before that something (@1999) called "The Goldmine," possibly a video poker joint?


    27 Apr 09 at 9:54 am

  4. So this wasn't ever a Krystal? I'm sure I remember it that way. At the very least, it was certainly a restaurant once...


    27 Apr 09 at 10:26 am

  5. I believe this was a Rally's or a Checker's.


    27 Apr 09 at 10:32 am

  6. Yes. This location was a Rally's until '96.


    27 Apr 09 at 10:43 am

  7. Well shoot!


    27 Apr 09 at 10:58 am

  8. No need to shoot Ted!! Lol


    27 Apr 09 at 3:49 pm

  9. Rally's was pretty good. Anyone remember Cruisers they were a similar operation. I remember going to the one in Spartanburg a few times. It eventually became a Rally's. They had a Cruisers in front of the Bi-Lo on Charelston highway too.

    Mr. Bill

    28 Apr 09 at 12:17 pm

  10. Yeah, this was a Rally's though that didn't last long either. The Krystal was at the corner of Parklane & Two Notch, next to where the Wachovia is, in front of the K-Mart. I think it's a payday loan place now, though it was a Lenscrafters (? or some other eyeglass store...) for a long time.


    6 May 09 at 2:22 pm

  11. I'm sure I could Snopes it, but wasn't there a conspiracy theory regarding Rally's owned by the KKK? As foolish as that may sound, it seemed to coincide with their downfall. I remember a Rally's on Harden Street near Gervais, and also on Sunset near where the McDonald's was, by Sam's. I remember a Cruisers in Sumter by USC-Sumter. I think their downfall might have been tied to Sonic.


    6 May 09 at 3:06 pm

  12. I remember eating at Rally's when I was younger. It was really good. The last time I checked there were still Rally's around the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. But most of the Rally's I saw became Checker's.

    James Greek

    11 Jul 09 at 6:42 pm

  13. "I’m sure I could Snopes it, but wasn’t there a conspiracy theory regarding Rally’s owned by the KKK? As foolish as that may sound, it seemed to coincide with their downfall."

    The chain was owned by Burt Sugarman, the TV producer who brought us the Midnight Special, among other shows. He also held a significant interest in Giant Cement Co., in Harleyville for a number of years.

    Lou B

    10 Oct 09 at 1:30 pm

  14. Badger is right about this being a Rallys and Tom got it right on the Krystal being in the K-Mart lot. I remember going to the Krystal on Elmwood a lot because they were open 24-7. The problem was, they were so slow getting an order out. You could be the only customer in there, and it would take 20 minutes to get your little burgers and drink to you. I remember thinking on more than one occasion that no one could ever accuse that particular store of being "fast food".

    Ray Price

    5 May 10 at 1:29 am

  15. A Rally's got built and torn down very quickly around the intersection of sunset and main street. Then an Eckerds was built. Then they abandoned the building, so now it's family dollar.


    7 Jul 10 at 9:37 am

  16. Wasn't there a Rally's on the SE corner of Gervais and Harden? Didn't last very long and they tore it down.


    5 Oct 11 at 12:46 pm

  17. There was a Rally's in North Columbia, back in the mid-90's... I was in 9th or 10th grade then... It was on North Main St... directly across from the Burger King.
    One of my neighbors' worked there... I think she was a senior, the summer it opened.

    Dee Dee

    27 Jan 13 at 1:44 am

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