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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 7550 Garners Ferry Road, 9 February 2009   14 comments

Posted at 12:05 am in restaurants

Well, you can't say they didn't make an effort at this Wal-Mart outparcel on Garners Ferry road. This building originally opened as a Fire Mountain Grill, which was explained to me once by a friend with contacts in the food industry as the brand Ryan's corporate used to move back into markets where they felt the Ryan's brand had been tarnished by the local franchisees.

I always felt that Fire Mountain was a bad name since it invoked images both of volcanic tropical islands like Hawaii and of heat and spiciness, none of which had anything to do with the food served. At any rate, they ran it as that for a few years, then transitioned it back into a Ryan's, which didn't last long at all.

The building looks quite impressive, especially when viewed end-on and from below, as when you walk in from Garners Ferry. Currently it's for sale. The sign doesn't mention that you get all the fixtures, but that seems to be the case -- they are still in there at any rate.

As an aside, and appropos to nothing, I parked in the lot at Aldi across the street from Ryan's while taking these pictures. I decided as long as I was parked there, I would go in -- What a weird and unpleasant place!

UPDATE 3 March 2010: It's now Hibachi Grill P&G Buffet:

UPDATE 21 Sep 2010 -- The Hibachi Grill is open:

Written by ted on June 19th, 2009

14 Responses to 'Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 7550 Garners Ferry Road, 9 February 2009'

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  1. haha Aldi is a very strange store. When they first opened they had great deals but then they eventually jacked their prices up. You have to bag your own stuff and put down a deposit on a shopping cart. These things are supposed to save money but their prices are about the same as everyone else.

    Mr. Bill

    19 Jun 09 at 8:41 am

  2. I used to live in SE Columbia. While I never would have eaten here, it seems sad that the area is getting full of empty storefronts... from Sears (and the entire strip mall next to it), the old Piggly Wiggly strip down the road... hopefully nothing else goes belly up.

    Alex

    19 Jun 09 at 12:14 pm

  3. I have to disagree with Mr Bill...i have a family of four and when my wife or i do grocery shopping at Aldi vs one of the other "Big" chain stores our bill is significantly less, probably 15-20% lower. They dont have everything you need, but alot of the basics and lots of frozen stuff.

    As for Fire Mountain, the place rocked when it first opened, a huge buffet overfilled with food that didnt taste mass-prepared. Now its back to being a Ryans again, and i think Mrs IrmoJeff summed it up the last time we ate there 9and i assure you it was the last time) when she said," Ryans always seems like a good idea, BEFORE youe eat. Afterwards, not so much."

    Im pretty sure it cost the four of us almost 50 bucks to eat there, and the food was meh.

    IrmoJeff

    21 Jun 09 at 8:16 pm

  4. Jeff I have to admit the frozen stuff is awesome. I don't dislike Aldi but I do think it was way better when it first opened. I have a hard time finding stuff I need. I used to love getting milk for under 2 bucks and eggs for about 39 cents but then they raised the prices on a lot of that stuff.

    Mr. Bill

    22 Jun 09 at 8:06 am

  5. Has anyone noticed the new sign up here? I had noticed people going in and out there and doing what looked like work on the place and now there is a yellow and red sign up now. It says Hibachi Grill P&G Buffet. It will be fun to see how it goes there!

    Mrs. SK

    10 Feb 10 at 2:32 pm

  6. I sort of wonder when the Hibatchi Grill/P&G buffet will open up. It'll be interesting to see what the competition does to the MushiMushi Hibatchi next door.

    I think the Pig will survive. You should see the parking lot every rush hour there. I remember the manager there grousing about the Sears opening up next door because they'd have a small food section. I don't think I was alone in knowing that Sears wouldn't last there with the Wal-Mart across the street.

    My disappointment was when Harris Teeter left. They had things there that you couldn't find anywhere else. (Like non-baby spinach. Big crinckly/crunchy leaves that soak up the dressing!)

    I went to Aldi's once. Wasn't impressed. Never went back.

    Just went through Southeastern salvage. (The store that took over the space where Sears was). Not many people in there, but VERY interesting stuff there. Hope they make it.

    mcj

    5 Mar 10 at 11:18 am

  7. On GF Road, business will come and go, but Walmart will ALWAYS be there. I dont see them closing that store at all due to location and to whom it caters to. All the other places will eventually close and move wheather or not another business will take over.

    Del

    5 Mar 10 at 12:59 pm

  8. There is a Hibachi Grill at the old Ryan's in Sumter and it stays packed! They opened a couple of months ago.

    Alicia

    5 Mar 10 at 2:18 pm

  9. OMG!

    They've broken ground on a new Bojangles on Hazelwood & Garner's Ferry Rd.

    Guess I'll have to schedule my heart attack a year and 1/2 from now!

    mcj

    12 Mar 10 at 10:08 am

  10. The former Blockbuster near this site appears to be undergoing a transformation of some sort but haven't heard any details...

    the NAPA auto parts caddy corner to this also appears to have closed

    Andrew

    10 Sep 10 at 8:12 pm

  11. That place habichi grill on garners ferry is not good at all !! I ve work there for Steve !! That food is nasty !

    Rona

    18 May 11 at 10:33 am

  12. I agree with Del. Some have described that side of town as the last frontier for Columbia to grow outwards, there is a reason it is the last side of town to grow. St. Andrews, Irmo, Two Notch Rd. near Spring Valley and Village at Sandhills, Lake Murray, Lexington, West Columbia, all sides of town have grown outward in the past 35 years except the east side. A High End Business or anything other than an Aldi, Famiy Dollar, Wal-Mart or McDonalds is going to have a hard time surviving on that side of town. Fire Mountain was a pretty good place but it was just to "High Flutin" for the East Side. Zaxby's will probably be next.

    Rick

    25 Jul 11 at 8:22 pm

  13. High end businesses require a high density population and once you travel past LR High School most of the homes are built on a minimum of 2 acres of land. A lot of people dream of living in a quiet rural setting with clean air and room to stretch. When a trip into town is necessary, almost any location can be reached within 20 minutes.

    Rick, I believe calling Fire Mountain (a buffet restaurant) highfalutin is a bit of a stretch. Just like anywhere else, as this website proves, businesses do not always offer the character or the services desired of the local patrons. Demographics usually determine the winners and the losers.

    Terry Edwards

    26 Jul 11 at 5:07 am

  14. We have a Hibachi Grill here in Sumter it opened in our old Ryans building as well. Likely the same owners.

    Nick

    3 Apr 12 at 4:18 pm

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