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Pier 1 Imports, 6420 Garners Ferry Road: 1970s   13 comments

Posted at 1:08 am in closing

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:

UPDATE 30 June 2020: Updating tags, adding map icon.

Written by ted on May 13th, 2009

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13 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.


    13 May 09 at 7:46 am

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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    19 May 09 at 1:03 am

  11. The original Cedar Terrace Piggly Wiggly was in the Sub Station/Sports Bar building which move down the hill sometime around 1965-67 to where Fred's is, both were managed by Mr. Adams then Roy Harman, Roy was the best grocery manager in Columbia and probably the entire USA. Dodd's Dime Store was located to the right of the "new" Piggly Wiggly (Fred's). Cedar Terrace Drug store served the best hamburgers in the world, you could eat, have an ice cream, and stare at the hundreds of arrowheads mounted in frames along the entire ceiling of the store while Mr. Watson filled your prescription. I'd give a million dollars to have those places and people back, what a wonderful country we had back then.


    26 Aug 16 at 8:12 pm

  12. @Dennis, Terry and Clive
    My family moved into the neighborhood next to Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in 1961 when I was four years old. I was born at the Providence Hospital and I have continued to live on that side of town until this day.
    I am happy to hear someone remembers some of the same places I remember. When I mention Cates Cottage, the old Piggly Wiggly and Pier One, people that can't remember look at me like I'm hallucinating.

    In 1972 I broke my leg on a mini bike and after I got out of the cast, the Doctor told my Dad to get a bike for me to ride and help strengthen the muscles in my leg. My dad bought me a French made bike by Gitane from Cates Cottage.
    The bike cost about $200.00. That equates to around $900.00 today.
    When we went to pick the bike up, Fred Cates was not happy with how true the wheels rotated and he would not let us have the bike until he spent over an hour truing the wheels on a fixture. I remember that being one bad ass bike. I could pick it up with my pinkie finger and could wheelie it all the way down my street.
    After my leg strength improved I sold the bike to my girlfriends brother for 100.00. Someone stole it from his yard shortly afterwards. I didn't even know what I had, if so, I would have kept it. Cates Cottage was in a small building just to the right of Fred's.

    The Piggly Wiggly was in a building connected to, and just to the right of where the Sub Station II is now. Back in the early 60's that is where my family bought groceries. Really the only place out there. That part of the building has since been demolished. Piggly Wiggly went from there to where Fred's was to the shopping center where Rush's is on Garners Ferry Road and eventually to across the street next to Allsouth Federal Credit Union. There was also an A&P Grocery Store in the shopping center where Rush's is before Piggly Wiggly moved there.

    Anyone that lived in that area in the 60's and 70's would surely remember Cedar Terrace Pharmacy and the arrow heads or 'Points' as some call them. The lunch counter was right out of the 50's and served a great cheeseburger among other things.

    Does anyone remember Trues Motor Mart? I'm not talking about the little house they sold rebuilt alternators and starters out of, that house was approximately where Sonic is now. Trues Motor Mart was a full fledged auto junk yard that took up the entire shopping center property where Big Lots and Goodwill is located now across from the Veterans Hospital. There was a Purina Feed store on Leesburg Road just behind the junk yard, and Leesburg used to intersect with Garners Ferry between the Jiffy Lube and Michaels Cleaners, anyone remember that? There was an old Chevron gas station where Jiffy Lube is now. Just up Garners Ferry under the I-77 bridge was a Dairy Queen which eventually became Lower Richland Motors before they moved to where Ruby Tuesday is now next to Wal-Mart. Do you remember the Payless Gas Station across from the Veterans Hospital? I worked there in the Mid 70's. We called ourselves 'Pump Jocks'. It was similar to a Hess Gas Station before self serve came along. We checked one's oil, cleaned windshields and would put air in your tires if needed. I drove a 1970 Mach 1 then and loved it.

    There was nothing really to speak of after one passed by Marion Burnside Chrysler -Plymouth. The property on that side of the road was just one big field all the way to where Zaxbys is now. Just about where Zaxbys is was a cool little drive up food joint called the Chicken Coupe. I broke my leg riding my mini bike in that field next to Marion Burnsides dealership which led to my purchase at Cates Cottage.
    After Marion Burnside, the next point of interest was Lower Richland High School. I graduated from Lower Richland. Went to Annie B Burnside Elementary then Caughman Road Middle School then Hopkins Junior High, Hopkins Jr High SUCKED. That was about the time segregation was ending here and I passed 3 schools on the bus just to get there, how stupid was that? Again IT SUCKED. Finally made it to LR in 1972. Great times, fast cars, best music, good looking 1970's girls. The 70's were great. Worked at McDonalds next to K-Mart, then at Square D that was built in 1972, married my high school sweat heart in 1978 and bought my first house in Quail Creek about one mile behind LR high school. I still live off Caughman Road.

    Fond memories. Much has changed, people have moved away, and I'm glad some still remember what I do. I guess the saying "The nut doesn't fall far from the tree' is true. In some cases, I'm that nut.


    27 Aug 16 at 10:36 am

  13. I think my wife would be pissed if I did not correct from sweat heart to sweet heart in my previous post.


    27 Aug 16 at 11:27 am

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