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Smokey Bones, 410 Columbiana Drive: May 2007   26 comments

Posted at 12:34 am in Uncategorized

I was out in the rain today in the Harbison area, and noticed this place as I drove back to the Interstate. I guess I'd heard the name Smokey Bones somewhere or other, but given my low interest in barbecue, I had no real idea where the place was, or that it was gone. From the note left on the door, I'm guessing that the same owner runs the listed Red Lobster and Olive Garden locations.

The architecture of the place is interesting. The entrance looks vaguely asian, and I wonder if the building were some sort of asian restaurant before Smokey Bones.

UPDATE 16 November 2011: Updated the closing date based on commenter Andrew's research.

Written by ted on May 18th, 2009

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26 Responses to 'Smokey Bones, 410 Columbiana Drive: May 2007'

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  1. This was built as a Smokey Bones. We ate there occasionally. They had bison burgers, which were good. I don't think I had their ribs. Their entire chain went under, not just this location. They had a dessert entitled "Joey Bag of Donuts" which was good. They also had those Damon's type of tv boxes on the table where you could tune into audio of one of six or so different televisions placed throughout the restaurant. I am very surprised nothing has moved in there yet.


    18 May 09 at 9:01 am

  2. Heard that part of the chain's problem was that they used frozen instead of fresh meat and that hurt business.


    18 May 09 at 11:29 am

  3. Quite the contrary, their problem was that the cost of all that fresh meat was causing the chain to lose money hand over fist. Quality never seemed to be a problem, but it was a pricey place to go eat. Their brisket was better than any chain restaurant's had a right to be.

    Darden (the parent company of Smokey Bones as well as Red Lobster and The Olive Garden) closed a few of the restaurants and sold the rest to a different company and they remain open. There's one in Charleston and one in Concord almost across the interstate from LMS.

    As for the facade, that's how all the Smokey Bones looked. The concept was that of a hunting lodge, but you're right, it does look Asian. I'm a little surprised that the umpteenth Japanese steakhouse that's being built on the other side of the Hilton didn't move into this building instead.


    19 May 09 at 5:32 am

  4. I can see the Hunting Lodge inspiration - it's got that Arts-and-Crafts kind of look.


    19 May 09 at 6:22 am

  5. Smokey Bones has been closed for quite awhile. It seems like the place was only open for about 6 months. We ate there a couple of times. The food was good, but not spectacular.


    20 May 09 at 5:34 am

  6. It probably didn't help to have Sticky Fingers next door. Columbians are notoriously loyal to local restaurants, often at the expense of national chains.


    22 May 09 at 7:42 am

  7. The Japanese steakhouse just moved from Columbiana Centre to beside Hilton. There are Smokey Bones in Atlanta(Conyers?) and Chattanooga, doing quite well. The Sticky Fingers in Harbison is the only one I have ever heard of closing, and it was packed until they locked the doors the last time. What happened?


    1 Jul 10 at 3:33 am

  8. There also was a Sticky Fingers at Columbia Place (formerly Columbia) Mall out on the corner of Parklane and Two Notch which closed about a year before the Harbison operation.


    1 Jul 10 at 5:02 am

  9. Was the Two Notch Sticky Fingers doing apparently big business when they closed, also?


    1 Jul 10 at 4:23 pm

  10. i love your website ted


    26 Sep 10 at 8:37 pm

  11. Thanks!


    26 Sep 10 at 10:00 pm

  12. this place opened in 2004 and folded in May 2007


    21 Jul 11 at 7:45 pm

  13. btw I must confess I was wondering when you'd do this one but apparently you already had it...I wonder how much longer it's going to have to sit vacant...


    21 Jul 11 at 7:50 pm

  14. Ok so here's what happen per Smokey Bones's Wiki page

    In May 2007, Darden Resturants sold Smokey Bones off to Sun Capital Partners (which owns Fazoli's (mmm) and Captain D's).

    During that time, they've managed to overhaul their remaining restuarants

    When the sale from Darden to Sun Capital Partners was brokered, many Smokey Bones didn't make the cut (see article I linked earlier) and this restuarant was regrettably one of them...

    The closest surviving location is at 7250 Rivers Ave in N Charleston (per their location finder)


    22 Jul 11 at 10:49 pm

  15. Any word on anything going in the building yet


    2 Aug 11 at 3:46 pm

  16. This still remains vacant over 4.5 years after it closed in May 2007

    This restaurant is listed in the list of 54 that they closed in the article I linked above...


    15 Nov 11 at 11:29 am

  17. Also the nearby Steak and Shake which closed around the same time remians vaccant as well. The one thatl baffles me the most is that the old New Orleans restaurant, which has one of the best views of the city, still remains empty.

    I suspect we will need a big turn around in the economy before those places are reoccupied.


    15 Nov 11 at 1:49 pm

  18. I ate at Steak and Shake one time, and it did not do much for me. I believe 5 Guys was the nail in the coffin for this particular store, but the whole chain might have been in trouble.


    16 Nov 11 at 8:47 am

  19. I don't know when Steak & Shake closed but I heard it became a magnet for drug deals at one point...

    I don't think Ted ever did a post on it, either, and part of me is wondering if he plans so...and when he'll read the article I linked to indicate this place closed May 2007...


    16 Nov 11 at 8:00 pm

  20. There is no master plan :-)

    I haven't done Steak&Shake because it rarely crosses my mind as I never ate there or at any other one and never remember to get any pictures. I'm sure I'll do it eventually.

    As for the closing date here.. fixed.


    16 Nov 11 at 11:49 pm

  21. I ate at Steak and Shake twice. Once to try it out. Found the service slow and poor and the food average. The second time was several months later and I only went because someone had given me a gift card and I did not want it to go to waste. Discovered that all the concerns I had the first time, were still there. (On both occassions I heard patrons complained to the manager.)

    I later heard some rumors about people who worked there embelzelling funds and doing drugs which supposidly is why it was closed.


    17 Nov 11 at 11:22 am

  22. Was going by this place on 26 yesterday and it has been tagged heavily, like billboard sized letters.


    14 May 12 at 10:18 am

  23. I noticed two construction dumpsters outside this building making me wonder if something is about to move in


    23 Jan 13 at 1:04 am

  24. I hear Rioz is opening up here. It's a Brazilian steakhouse owned by the same company that owns Liberty Tap Room.


    29 Jan 13 at 1:55 pm

  25. Yep. Looks like Rioz. They have put the address in the linked brochure already.


    12 Feb 13 at 5:01 pm

  26. Folks, Rioz is now open at 4 PM in this spot...


    18 Jul 13 at 7:08 pm

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