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Pier 1 Imports, 6420 Garners Ferry Road: 1970s   10 comments

Posted at 1:08 am in historic,stores

The original location of Pier 1 Imports, or at least the first one that I recall was in the back of the Cedar Terrace shopping center on Garner's Ferry Road, in the space now occupied by a Fred's.

My mother was into "quirky", and interested in other cultures, so we often stopped at Pier 1 if we were in the area. The way I recall it, the store ran heavily to wicker, rattan, and exotic umbrella baskets. As a kid, I cared vary little for the furnishing aspects of the place, but was fascinated by the offbeat food items and cheap import toys. I remember in particular some sort of (Japanese?) candy squares that were wrapped in rice paper, and you ate them paper and all(!). We actually got some of those, but my I could only look in horrid fascination at the chocolate covered ants, which we never did get. I don't remember most of the toys, but I did get a harmonica there once, which was made in China (an actual communist country!) and seemed impossibly exotic with a colorful embossed box, and instructions printed on transparent paper in characters that weren't even in the alphabet, much less in English. I've still got the harmonica and box though the instructions seem to have vanished at some point -- I never did learn to play it..

I think Pier 1 moved to Two Notch in front of Columbia Mall after that, though for some reason we never went there. I think I read somewhere that the chain had fallen on hard times and rethought their concept. I don't believe there's one in town at all now, though I'm sure you could find chocolate covered ants somewhere.

UPDATE 19 May 2009:

OK, the consensus in the comments is that I had the Cedar Terrace location of Pier 1 wrong, and rather than being in what is now Fred's, it was in what is now Sub Station II & Steve-O's, so here's a picture of that storefront:

And as long as I'm posting a picture of it, I'll give you my Sub Station II story, even though it hasn't closed. At some point in the 80s or 90s, I went to lunch with my sister, and as she lived fairly near to Garner's Ferry at the time, we ended up in Cedar Terrace at Sub Station II. As it happened, I wasn't really in the mood for a cold sub, and I saw on their behind-the-counter menu board "Italian Sausage Sandwich with Peppers & Onions". I thought Hey! I love those at the State Fair, and I never get to have one anywhere else., so I ordered it.

I should perhaps have been apprehensive as there was no indication of a griddle anywhere, but we went to our table and chit-chatted a bit. I noticed though that the counter person seemed to be dipping something out of a pot behind the counter. A few minutes later our order was called and I found my sandwich to be two soggy boiled links placed in a bun with no condiments of any kind. Great. Well, the sausage was obviously going to be what it was, but Hey, I asked the counter person, where are my peppers & onions?

Oh, that's just what's written on the sign. We haven't had those in years

While I'm updating the post, I should also note I was wrong about there being no Pier 1s in town. There is actually one quite close to the old Garners ferry location at the Woodhill Target complex:

Written by ted on May 13th, 2009

10 Responses to 'Pier 1 Imports, 6420 Garners Ferry Road: 1970s'

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  1. There's a Pier 1 on Harbison Blvd, next to Outback.

    Brian

    13 May 09 at 7:46 am

  2. And there's also a Pier 1 at Woodhill.

    Dave

    13 May 09 at 8:56 am

  3. Hippie decor! Pier 1 was where you bought the papasan chair for your first apartment, which broke and you threw out 2 years later when you were moving.

    I never went there much. It never changed and seemed like an entire store full of stuff nobody really needs.

    I think what's killing them now is that 90% of what they have you can get cheaper at WalMart.

    For a few years there was a small independent furniture store in Roebuck (near Spartanburg) called Pier 2. Cracked me up every time I saw it.

    Dennis

    13 May 09 at 8:57 am

  4. There is (or was) a Pier One on Two Notch by Columbia Mall. The whole company is now in deep trouble and may not last much longer.

    Tom

    13 May 09 at 10:06 am

  5. Never cared much for the store. It always smelled funny. That's probably why I don't like wicker and rattan furniture to this day.

    Matthew

    14 May 09 at 7:52 am

  6. The Pier One at Cedar Terrace was in the building where Sub-Station II is,There was a Piggly Wiggly on the right of that building demo'd somtime around '70-'71 & the New Piggly Wiggly/Dodd's Dime store was built in the rear of Cedar Terrace (Fred's in your photo)Pier one moved in when Dodds moved to the rear location,Sub Station II has been there since Pier One closed, with several small rest. to the left side of them including Leo's etc.

    Nathan

    17 May 09 at 6:34 pm

  7. Speaking of old Cedar Terrace, anyone remember Cates Cottage? Fred Cates ran this bicycle shop for the hard core bicycle crowd loong before Lance Armstong was a household name.

    Dennis

    18 May 09 at 12:32 pm

  8. The Diamond Arcade was in the space (circa '82) to the right of Fred's after Dodd's closed. A friend tells me for a time before that it was the Diamond Disco!

    Midnight Rambler

    18 May 09 at 12:37 pm

  9. Was the Diamond Disco the one that Woody and Leo ran? I know they had a disco for some years.

    badger

    18 May 09 at 1:19 pm

  10. I still have a light weight racing bike I bought from Fred at Cates Cottage back in the mid '70s. He was hardcore. I remember watching him drill out frames to cut the weight back. I think my bike weighs 22# and he was constantly achieving weights in the teens. It always seemed unsafe structurally to me to have a frame held together with holes.

    Fred had an old VW Bug parked in the front of the store so long there was a hardwood tree growing up thru the center of it. Some days he would not open the shop until 10 PM and then work all night. That's one way to not be bothered by customers.

    Terry

    19 May 09 at 1:03 am

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