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Shakey's Pizza Parlor / Godfather's Pizza, 7101 Parklane Road: late 1990s   24 comments

Posted at 6:42 pm in closing

Godfather's was in a little strip mall off of Parklane on the one side, and the Columbia Mall perimeter road on the other side. My memory says that the same building (I'm unsure if it were the same suite) was at one time home to Shakey's Pizza Parlor, the first pizza restaurant I can remember in Columbia at all.. I think I recall going to Shakey's once or twice. They must have had pizza, but all I can remember is that they were showing silent-movie comedies in the rear of the store (and I'm not even 100% I remember that -- I may be remembering something I heard later -- it was a long time ago).

Pizza was a fairly exotic dish when I was a kid. My first experience with pizza, if you could call it that, came at Satchelford Elementary School, where from time to time, the cafeteria food line featured "pizza pie". This was a pie shell filled with gound beef and topped with melted cheddar cheese and it distorted my perceptions of pizza for years just as their "submarine sandwich" (a rectangular cut piece of bologna and a piece of pre-sliced American cheese cut into two rectangles all in a hotdog bun) turned me off on "subs" for years.

Later we discovered Chef Boyardee's frozen cheeze pizza and pizza mix (he must know pizza, he's French!) which was actually a step up as was Pizza Hut (though I feel they have cheapened their brand).

By the time I became aware of Godfather's, I was pretty much a Pizza Hut snob, and the few times I ate there, I didn't like the pizza much at all (I don't think this was all callow youth, I had the same opinion years later in Myrtle Beach). Furthermore, if I recall correctly, Godfather's was one of those order-at-the-counter places and I have always preferred ordering from a menu at the table. Be that as it may, I don't know exactly how Godfather's got into trouble, but suddenly it seemed there were a lot fewer of them. I think the one at the beach outlasted this one, but it's gone now too. I did a web search and there are actually a few left in SC, but not in places I go.

If you look at the second picture, you'll see lots of plastic bins inside the former Godfather's. The labels didn't come out well in the picture, but they all say things like "leak #8". I take that to mean that on some very small level at least, someone still cares what happens to the building though it's been vacant so many years now that I don't see much future for a business there.

Unless someone makes them an offer they can't refuse.

UPDATE 30 July 2010: Added Shakey's to the post title as well as the full street address.

UPDATE Friday 13 May 2016: Add *correct* street address.

Written by ted on April 4th, 2008

Tagged with , , , ,

24 Responses to 'Shakey's Pizza Parlor / Godfather's Pizza, 7101 Parklane Road: late 1990s'

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  1. This was THE pizza place that my family went to. It was always one of my favorite outings. I remember thinking how exotic pizza was when I was younger as well. I don't remember what else was in this place but I still frequent Sub Station a good bit.


    8 Apr 08 at 2:26 pm

  2. OK I cracked up at the last line there, that was good, and reasonably subtle. Well played.


    9 Apr 08 at 8:05 am

  3. I too remember when it was Shakey's. And yes, they did play silent movies there. When I was a kid we lived right behind the mall. However, there wasn't a mall there back then. My dad took us out to eat at Shakey's all the time as our treat. Not many people remember Shakey's. I believe there was one on Knox Abbott Drive also at some point in time.

    I loved Shakey's. I also spent lots of time at Godfather's Pizza. It was the place to be back in the day. Can't say I enjoyed the pizza terribly but it was fun!


    15 Apr 08 at 7:27 am

  4. Yeah, I described the location as a mall outparcel, but that's not really accurate since it predates the mall as do several of those Parklane lots.


    15 Apr 08 at 11:04 am

  5. I used to skip school at RNE and ride with a friend to shoot pool and smoke there. I had another friend that worked there and served anyone beer. Rumor was that he (he never has denied it, just not admitted it) served to some friends of his and their parents found out later that night. For a while there was a notice on the door that their beer license had been revoked and a vote was going to be held on whether they could get it back. This seemed to show some validity to the rumor.
    Also I remember this guy who worked there, his name was Bill or Bob. Something like that. He was a major major alcoholic and essentially worked for beer, cleaning tables and whatnot.
    I loved the dessert pizza the most. I had a lot of memories of that place. And if anyone is curious, I'M the one whole stole the good pool cue. Its in my living room right now.
    AHHH, memories.


    8 May 08 at 8:25 pm

  6. You became a Pizza Hut snob? I had to laugh-I too was a PH snob. The first pizza I ever had was at the PH in 1968 or 69; I was 14 and my dad told us we were going up to Columbia to look for a new house and have pizza. We stayed at the Forest Lake Motel-dont snicker; it was a very nice motel back then. Anyway, my brother and I didnt much care for pizza that first trip; we got over it, tho, and for decades, PH was the only pizza I liked.

    Havent been there in years. Chain pizza restaurants dont do well in Chicago, along with chain Italian. There are too many good alternatives.


    24 Jun 08 at 8:12 pm

  7. One of the few times I've been to Chicago, I just walked into a hole-in-the-wall bar & grill at random and had killer deep-dish! (Though I don't like Chicago deep dish as my day-in-and-out pizza).


    24 Jun 08 at 11:34 pm

  8. Interesting story Geoff. I used to do the same thing. When did you graduate from Northeast? I finished in 95.

    I remember Godfathers on Knox abbott and one on Forest Drive also. The one on Forest is where the san Jose is now. Don't recall where on Knox Abbott the other one was.

    Mr Bill

    26 Jun 08 at 4:21 pm

  9. I worked at the Shakey's on Parklane in the 1970's during high school. I was there when it first opened. It was built before Columbia Mall. Close by, up Parklane a little was Dunkers Bait Shop.

    Shakey's was owned by George Parthemos, who also owned the store on Knox Abbot Drive. George was a very good man that I have fond memories of.

    The store had old time rag time music, which was a banjo player (Mr. Corley Crout) and a piano player, whose name I can no longer remember. They also played old time silent movies.

    One of my favorite menu items was the lunch buffet of broasted chicken, potatoes and salad bar.



    31 Jul 10 at 9:48 am

  10. There was a Godfather's on Two Notch next to the old Bi-Lo that became the Pizza Factory. That was the best pizza in town.


    10 Aug 10 at 5:15 am

  11. Actually, Shakeys Pizza was in the part of the building that Sub Station II is in now. They had a window where, as a kid you could watch them fling the dough in the air, and they usually had a live band when we went. They'd play anything.

    Miz T

    11 Aug 11 at 3:20 pm

  12. The Godfather's on Knox Abbot was located in the strip mall that's 2 doors down towards Piggy Park from the Taco Cid. It was in the storefront that's closest to the highway behind the bar that used to be a Quincy's--it's now occupied by a speed shop.


    11 Aug 11 at 5:25 pm

  13. I loved Shakey's! I was young and really only remember the silent movies and the fireplace, which was totally cool! My neighbor worked there.


    27 Aug 11 at 9:04 am

  14. Hi there,
    We're doing a piece at The Daily Meal about Godfather's Pizza. I was wondering if we could use this image for the piece. Of course we will give credit, and we'd be happy to link back to your site if you'd like. Please email me at Thanks so much!

    Jane Bruce
    Photo Editor
    The Daily Meal

    Jane Bruce

    10 Nov 11 at 9:21 am

  15. Actually worked at Godfathers Pizza during my teenaged years, there was a Quincys next door and sometimes we would trade food with them. I remember we had a Ms Pac Man and one othee video game and red checkered vinyl tableclothes. Did a LOT of business with soldiers and studentsboth of whom were lousy tippers. I remember a very large hill to the left of the store by Quincys and across the street was a McDonalds and a Kmart. It did a VERY brisk business back in the day this was in the late 80's


    30 Jun 12 at 11:36 pm

  16. Hmm. Well, there was a Quincy's on Two Notch not far from here, but I wouldn't call it next door. Kmart is across the street though, and McDonalds is a few doors down.


    30 Jun 12 at 11:43 pm

  17. It sounds like Autumn-Skye is talking about Garners Ferry Rd. There was a Quincy's on Rosewood that was torn down to build the large credit union. There is also the McDonald's and KMart (now closed) in the area. Not sure where the Godfather's was.


    1 Jul 12 at 8:23 pm

  18. David is right, not sure whats there now havent been home in awhile I live in VA now. The building sat way back drom the road though and I think there was a Putt Putt near us


    1 Jul 12 at 8:28 pm

  19. Oh yeah, I had forgotten the Quincy's on Rosewood. The putt-putt area is now the Bi-Lo plaza, I believe


    2 Jul 12 at 12:09 am

  20. There use to be a Shakey's Pizza parlor past Piggy Park like heading to the Air Port. It latter changed names to Showtime Pizza and now there is a car parts store there. The owner was named Dub Grooms.


    14 Mar 13 at 9:41 am

  21. I remember Shakey's Pizza on Parklane Rd. Think it was next to Hardee's across from K-mart. They used to have a great lunch buffet of fried chicken a salad bar and of course pizza. This was around 1972, 1973 & 1974 when I was at Spring Valley. We loved it and it was crowded as hell on Friday nights after a football game. Back then SVHS was out in the boonies and there was nothing around or close to the school so everybody would hang in Dentsville. There wasn't much in Dentsville either back then. I used to live right down off of Parklane in Springwood Lake so we were always hanging out around the Parklane/Two Notch Rd/Decker/Trenholm Rd area.

    Michael C. Jones

    15 Jun 16 at 7:12 pm

  22. Need to reopen Shakey back in West Columbia SC miss the pizza

    Terry Johnson

    24 Nov 19 at 10:06 am

  23. XD was just randomly watching some Mike Tyson videos and saw this image was used!!!!

    It's at the 0:12 mark.


    1 Mar 24 at 6:21 pm

  24. Ha! Whadda ya know!


    2 Mar 24 at 12:56 am

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