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Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, 380 Columbiana Drive: 27 May 2009   35 comments

Posted at 11:48 pm in restaurants

This one is a bit of a surprise. Since this location outlasted the Columbia Mall location by several years, I figured it was safe. On the other hand, Columbiana Drive has lost both a D's and a Smokey Bones recently, so there may be some stress on the area I'm not aware of -- the only thing I can think of is that it's a pain to get to either from Harbison (two lights from I-26, I think) or Lake Murray Boulevard (a left turn if coming from I-26).

Not being a great rib fan, I never visited this location, but it looks to have been a nice building. The left side appears to have a second story -- was there seating up there or just office space?

(Hat tip, um, just about everybody, but I think Tom was first).

Written by ted on June 1st, 2009

35 Responses to 'Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, 380 Columbiana Drive: 27 May 2009'

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  1. Yep, even though it was much earlier, you can add "steak and shake" to your list...the area is definitely hurting. For that reason, I still shake my head at yet another japanese steakhouse opening on that strip...3 or 4 doors down from the existing yamato's...plus a smaller scale one (tokyo grill?) next to Bruester's Ice Cream, and I believe there is still one in the Columbiana Mall across from where Spinnaker's used to be. Something's gotta give there.

    Brian

    2 Jun 09 at 6:48 am

  2. It is intersting to note that even though Spinnakers has been closed for at least 5 years, if not longer, the space is still empty.

    Tom

    2 Jun 09 at 8:13 am

  3. That is interesting. I'm curious as to how long Spinnaker's has been closed too.

    Brian

    2 Jun 09 at 9:31 am

  4. I have never liked Sticky Fingers but I can't exactly say why.

    Taste is okay but a little too sweet and "gloppy" for me.

    I guess when I think of a great barbecue place, it's always old and unadorned, in some out of the way area you never go to, and there's a fat old farmer in overalls who smells like sweat and smoke in charge. Sticky Fingers was too clean and homogenized for me. New, tidy buildings right in between other new chain restaurants, perfect air conditioning and clean cut perky college student servers just go against the picture in my head of a great bbq joint.

    Dennis

    2 Jun 09 at 10:01 am

  5. New owners took over Spinnaker's in 2001. It closed permanently in early 2006.

    badger

    2 Jun 09 at 10:46 am

  6. I was in this Sticky Fingers the middle of May on a Sunday at lunch time and we had to wait about 30 mins for a seat. I wonder if something else isn't going on?

    Matt

    2 Jun 09 at 12:45 pm

  7. Middle of May? Sunday Lunch? Mother's Day, perhaps? If that was the case, that is a busy, busy time in restaurants. That might not have been a good representation of their business.

    badger

    2 Jun 09 at 2:04 pm

  8. Thanks, badger...it had been much longer than that since I last ate at Spinnakers. At one time, I really liked their "cajun popcorn shrimp" and of course their signature flower-pot bread...but they discontinued the shrimp and I later became a little disappointed in their pricing...seems like they charged a little too much to add a simple salad to a meal.

    Brian

    2 Jun 09 at 2:06 pm

  9. I put in a seach on TheState.com for Sticky Fingers, and the N. Charleston location closed on May 27th as well. Leads me to believe that it wasn't necessarily the "location." I've always loved Sticky Fingers, but did not frequent as much as I should have, I guess. It used to be a "privilege" to eat at the ones in Charleston and Mt. Pleasant. Something I really looked forward to. Once they became local, I did not eat there as much. Their Habanero Hot and Tennessee Whiskey sauce are outstanding, in my opinion. They do an incredible amount of shipping/catering and what not. I am so glad their sauces are available pretty much anywhere. Their pulled chicken was great, but probably can be accomplished w/ a Publix rotisserie and a bottle of their sauce. They also contributed much to the community. When I rode to Charleston for the Tour de Cure, they donated the Saturday evening meal. I guess it's gotten to be like a music store for them now. No need to run a brick and mortar, when they can do so much online.

    Jonathan

    3 Jun 09 at 9:19 am

  10. I walked past the one on Meeting Street in Charleston last night -- Still open!

    ted

    3 Jun 09 at 1:18 pm

  11. They closed 3 under performing stores. If you grew up eating Shealy's or Maurice's BBQ here in the Midlands, their food was crap. Their product does well where it had a customer base that liked their type of BBQ. Catering and mail order saves their concept. They will probably go the way of Chi Chi's and you will see their product in grocery stores rather than free standing units.

    Like so many places, they kept prices the same and gave smaller portions.

    O'Reilly

    4 Jun 09 at 6:35 am

  12. BTW, upstairs was dry storage, offices, and where they ran thier catering out of.

    O'Reilly

    4 Jun 09 at 6:36 am

  13. The problem is probably that the leases on these pieces of property (or mortgages) is just too high. It seems that everyone with commercial property thinks it is a Golden Ticket and too many businesses are willing to pay the high prices. When judged against much higher volume areas I bet the prices along this road are way out of proportion.

    Larry

    11 Jun 09 at 10:19 am

  14. Who owns Sticky Fingers Rib House? I heard the origional owners are no longer with the company.

    Bill

    22 Jun 09 at 2:59 pm

  15. The original guys still own it. An investment group called Quad C bought in back in 2006. Quad C is famous for "investing" in companies, building them up, and then selling them. They actually did turn around the Red Robin and Huddle House concepts. Their goal was to build the concept to 50 stores in 5 years and then take the company public. The company resturctured then. They tried building the concept, but locals just did not embrace the concept. Food portions and quality went down. Quad C pulled out at the end of 2008 and it is back to the original owners. Their catering, mail orders, and grocery store sales is carrying the concept now.

    O'Reilly

    23 Jun 09 at 8:27 am

  16. Looks like the Greenville SC location is planning to close also.

    David

    25 Sep 09 at 12:32 pm

  17. I came across your site while trying to figure out why every time I called the number for this place, I got a stupid automated message that wouldn't take me to anyone *in* the actual restaurant (options like "For catering press 2, for marketing, press 3, etc.). This location is still on the Sticky Fingers website (http://www.stickyfingers.com/columbia-sc-w92c47.aspx), and according to their website, was voted "Best Ribs" (though it doesn't state which year), as well as "Best New Restaurant" (which must be an old award, if they have been around 7 years). I am actually really sad to see this place go. I lived in Greenville for a couple of years, and ate at their downtown location VERY frequently. I loved their sauces (being from what true Southerners refer to as the north - which would be Northern Virginia, I grew up on tomato-based barbecue sauces, not mustard-based), and am glad that grocery stores carry them, but I will really miss the restaurant.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Little Pigs barbecue, too, that is probably more along the lines of what Dennis was referring to, but I really loved Sticky Fingers as well.

    Amanda

    9 Oct 09 at 10:02 pm

  18. Actually David, the Greenville stores are doing just fine and remain open.

    Coop

    1 Nov 09 at 10:49 pm

  19. I enjoyed Sticky Fingers. For a while they were doing a Sunday buffet and they did a good business. I went in one day with a friend, planning on getting the buffet, and discovered they had discontinued that. It seemed to go downhill from there.

    Brian, it was a surprise to me that the Steak N Shake lasted as long as it did. When it first opened, the food was excellent! They had a startup crew from corporate HQ in Florida running things and doing a lot of the food preparation and such. As the startup crew gradually departed for other assignments and turned it over to the "local" employees, the quality of the food plummeted. The last couple of years it was in business, it was a cover for a lot of drug deals and the employees were frequently dealers, themselves. The cops in that area were glad to see it go.

    Ray Price

    5 May 10 at 2:39 am

  20. ok folks a German American restaurant called Huller's is coming soon to this location and is on facebook

    Andrew

    17 Dec 10 at 2:33 pm

  21. That place should do excellent business, especially in the "Deustche Fork"! Wonder if they'll have an oompah band like the one that burned in Seven Oaks?

    JBL

    17 Dec 10 at 11:16 pm

  22. I loved the Sticky Finger's sauces as well (I have a bottle of "Carolina Sweet" in my fridge right now) and their wings were fantastic, but their ribs must have been from starving cows because there was hardly any meat on them. They were really expensive, too, so for that money I expected something more along the lines of Fatt Matt's in Atlanta.

    I hardly ever return food, but I actually complained once or twice that there was more meat on one chicken wing than on the entire full slab of ribs, and told them they had to take them back.

    Because of this recurring issue, I stopped going -and I wonder if a lot of other people did, too, because the two that were closest to me in Jacksonville, FL closed down over the past couple of years as well.

    OverMachoGrande

    21 Jul 11 at 7:31 pm

  23. They peaked at 22 locations, but now it looks like 15-16, maybe.

    badger

    21 Jul 11 at 9:35 pm

  24. This became Huller's Black Forest, German restaurant that features a full menu of German fare, or for a dollar less, a buffet to try out many different types of German food.

    Huller's Black Forest has since moved down Saint Andrews Road, where a Lizard's Thicket used to in, in the wooden strip mall area (or so I'm told).

    Matt

    30 Jan 13 at 12:32 pm

  25. folks, I saw an ABL application on the door but didn't make it close enough to see it.

    So I finally consulted bing! search and it lead me to a posting revealing that Krish Kilt, Inc. DBA Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery is the applicant and so Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery is the name of the eating place this is to become...

    Andrew

    10 Oct 13 at 3:54 pm

  26. That's a "breastaurant" like Hooters, but with short plaid kilts rather than hot pants. I believe Broadway At The Beach is their only current SC location.

    ted

    10 Oct 13 at 6:30 pm

  27. Ted, I just checked their location page and it shows that their only SC location is at 1317 Celebrity Circle in Myrtle Beach...they also have locations in Buford, GA as well as NC locations in Charlotte, Matthews and Raleigh...

    Andrew

    10 Oct 13 at 6:52 pm

  28. Just checked out their menu. They have cheese fries (TK Irish Nachos). I'm sold!

    badger

    10 Oct 13 at 7:48 pm

  29. Where the Hullers is now (7713 St Andrews Rd) is maybe where Lizards Thicket used to be a long time ago, but the most recent Lizard's Thicket to close in that area was down at the intersection with Thames Valley Rd., in front of Carolina Wings. Does anyone know what is in there now?

    JBL

    28 Mar 14 at 1:49 pm

  30. JBL, the Huller's at 7713 St. Andrews Road closed a while back. The signage is still on the building which I think is liable to be a turnoff for any prospective tenants...same thing is true for the former Carolina Wings in Irmo and West Columbia...

    Andrew

    28 Mar 14 at 5:16 pm

  31. Maybe Ted needs a Hullers closing post. But what is in the Lizard's Thicket building at Thames Valley Rd?

    JBL

    29 Mar 14 at 10:12 pm

  32. Sorry, I see Ted did do a Huller's moving and a later Huller's closing post. But I didn't find the Thames valley Rd Lizard's Thicket. What's in there?

    JBL

    29 Mar 14 at 10:18 pm

  33. JBL, Ted does have Huller's closing posts that can be found if you check the Alphabetical Closings list (linked at the top)

    Andrew

    29 Mar 14 at 10:18 pm

  34. I think the Lizard's Thicket is still going at St. Andrews and Thames Valley Road in Irmo...in fact I recall Homer mentioning that it supposedly is one of the busiest locations in the Lizard's Thicket system (when they were where Huller's moved it was a slow business but when they moved it became one of the busiest in the chain)...Be that as it may, Carolina Wings closed up shop during their bankruptcy...

    Andrew

    29 Mar 14 at 11:55 pm

  35. @Andrew @ JBL - The Lizard's Thicket is still going strong @ Thames Valley is still going strong. The parking lot is practically full every day for lunch and dinner. The statement about it being was the busiest in the chain came from an article I read during during their 35th anniversary.

    Homer

    30 Mar 14 at 1:41 am

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