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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts / Greater Columbia Funeral Services, 2548 Main Street: 2000s   17 comments

Posted at 1:36 am in Uncategorized

I noticed this vacant funeral home driving down Main Street near River Drive the other day. I could weed the pictures down further, but I like the clouds in the long shots too much to lose them.

You can still see the label-scar for the business name on the front of the building, and on the turned-inside-out roadside sign if you look closely enough. I had no doubts what the building was even before seeing them however as the design is pretty unequivocal. That's not to say it's generic -- I really like the sharp points and slopes of the roof-line. The online property data says it was built in 1960, which I have no problem believing, and LoopNet says it sits on a 1 acre lot, which I would not have guessed.

Written by ted on November 30th, 2011

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17 Responses to 'Krispy Kreme Doughnuts / Greater Columbia Funeral Services, 2548 Main Street: 2000s'

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  1. This was originally a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop.


    30 Nov 11 at 6:12 am

  2. Cromartie's liquor store at one time.


    30 Nov 11 at 6:23 am

  3. I have nice memories of getting KK doughuts there a few times with my dad around 1964. It was on the other side of town from us, but he liked to go there and use Columbia's first coin operated automatic car wash, called Robo Wash or something like that, because it was so much less than a regular car wash. It was on Anthony Ave., in the triangle formed by River Drive and Main St.


    30 Nov 11 at 7:42 am

  4. Isn't it wonderful to see all the businesses flocking back to North Main because of the street scaping?



    30 Nov 11 at 8:10 am

  5. The original KK was on Taylor Street, then either they closed that one or moved into the one on North Main in the late 60's (1968 or 69) I think, but it wasnt a KK in 1964 from what I remember.


    30 Nov 11 at 2:07 pm

  6. Dennis, when I was in high school, my best friend and I were fascinated by the Robo car wash. We'd go out there sometimes and take her 1972(?) Pinto through. Feel kind of stupid admitting it now! :))


    30 Nov 11 at 4:01 pm

  7. Interesting! I never knew there was a Krispy Kreme on Main. I vaguely remember stopping at the Taylor one to get hot dougnuts to greet my Aunt with when her train pulled in down at the station, but I always figured it moved from there to Knox Abbott. Certainly Knox Abbott was the only store in the area for a long time. (It used to surprise me how many more KK stores both Augusta and Myrtle Beach had given their size and Columbia's size..)

    I'll add it to the post title.


    30 Nov 11 at 4:38 pm

  8. Don't recall the Robo Wash, but I was fascinated as a kid with *anything* like that.


    30 Nov 11 at 4:39 pm

  9. I grew up near the KK in the 80s and walking to get a doughnut with my grandfather was about the best treat possible :-) The slide from sweet childhood memory to liquor store and then funeral parlor was a small snapshot of the entire neighborhood sliding from respectable working class to drug-infested streets back to some semblance of livability but certainly not like the heyday of Main Street mentioned in previous comments.


    1 Dec 11 at 10:14 am

  10. I remember in the mid eighties when my mom told me that North Main was the place to see and be seen in the late fifties. I couldn't believe it, because it was a real dive by that time.


    1 Dec 11 at 2:24 pm

  11. FYI in the early 70s there was another of those stand-alone robo car washes on Beltline near Forest Dr. Where Subway is now. It did not stay open long but the dead husk of it lingered for many years.


    2 Dec 11 at 7:20 am

  12. I was a Paramedic in the late 70's and early 80's. The ONLY thing open at 3:00 am in Columbia in those years was the Seaboard Diner, Martins Diner on Devine St and the Krispy Kreme Donut Shops. We would get 2 dozen hot ones in the early morning hours and take them to the ER nurses to make them fall in love with us. It worked every time!


    26 Dec 11 at 7:36 pm

  13. Somewhere along the line, Krispy Kreme corporate figured out that the true KK afficianados were attracted to hot Krispy Kremes, hot off the line.

    But decades before that, the true afficionados knew when the line was running. On North Main, it ran around 3am. It was amazing, the parking lot would be deserted, then the line would start running and the place would fill up. All the night people would show up. EMTs, cops, drunks, and the lonely hearts who'd left their favorite hunting spot empty-handed that night. Somehow, everyone KNEW. Every darn one of us wanted doughnuts "hot off the line." The ladies who worked there indulged us and we'd gorge on that dissolve-in-your-mouth sweet delicacy.

    Once KK corporate figured that out (took 'em until the late '90s, right?), they put the red "Hot Doughnuts Now" neon in the windows of all the stores. Man, that red sign is like a tractor-beam for me. If it's on as I drive past an operating KK, my car's steering malfunctions and forces me into the lot.

    A couple of interesting side notes . .

    First, there's a poem recited by a Georgia musician called "Ode to a Krispy Kreme." It's all about those magnificent doughnuts and the effect of the "red sign."

    Second, a few years back, I was in the UK on business. First day, a Sunday, I was in Reading England, adjusting to jet lag, prepping for Monday's client meetings, and walking to explore the town. Along the river, I stumbled across -- ta-da! -- a Krispy Kreme! Inside the empty shop I was the only customer; I ordered a KK and examined the dormant doughnut machine. The bloke behind the counter said, oh a Yank, eh, where in The States are you from? I told him SC originally, but NC now. He got excited and told me "NC? THAT's where Krispy Kreme is headquartered" and gave me my doughnut (plus two) for free; he acted as if I was celebrity or a stockholder, you know? While I was eating, they started running the doughnut line, and turned on the red neon sign. Within five minutes, the shop was full, standing room only, a mob scene. Turns out, the Brits love hot Krispy Kremes as much as we do, and flocked in when the sign came on. I called my girlfriend back home (whom I'd turned on to hot KKs when she moved to the South) and, much to her delight, reported my cultural adventure. A few days later, I trained into London to meet another client and found a mobbed Krispy Kreme in Paddington Station. When the red neon sign advertised Hot Doughnuts NOW, they were busier than the nearby Starbucks. Gotta hand it to our Brit cousins, they have good taste.

    But without my '60s and '70s training on Taylor Street and North Main, I'd know no better.


    5 Feb 12 at 9:38 pm

  14. This is open once again as a funeral home.


    5 Mar 12 at 8:10 am

  15. Yep... It's a funeral home again!

    Does anyone remember that there was a Pizza Hut on North Main, Blackmon the day? Just down from the Krispy Kreme, and right across from the old Coca Cola Building... Side note, I loved riding by as a kid, and seeing the feaux cole bottle atop the corner of the warehouse.

    Anyways, the pizza hit had to have been there in the early to mid 80's...

    Dee Dee

    25 Jan 13 at 4:06 pm

  16. Yes, Dee Dee, that Pizza Hut had a basement with additional seating and local rock bands would play there on the weekends. They didn't pay the bands very much but free beer and pizza goes a long way to college guys.


    25 Jan 13 at 5:28 pm

  17. Met that KK's family owners' daughter few years ago outside Blue Marlin. Very nice family - still live here I believe.

    Is the old Pizza Hut building still there?


    9 Feb 13 at 12:01 pm

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