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The Chopping Block Steak & Spirits, 1021 Briargate Circle, 2000s   19 comments

Posted at 11:53 pm in Uncategorized

OK, yesterday's post on Peddler Steak House certainly seemed to get some fond memories, so I'll try another defunct steakery today: The Chopping Block.

I used to notice The Chopping Block driving I-20 west. The lot butts against the Interstate just after the Economy Inn, and there used to be some signage visible there. I'm afraid I never ate there though. In fact, I don't think I ever went onto Briargate Circle at all until I started eating at Delhi Palace and figured out I could circle around behind the motel and come out at the stop light if I needed to turn left onto Broad River Road. I didn't even know there was a post office back there.

The ad (from the 1976 Southern Bell Yellow Pages) makes it sound like a pretty happening place. I was unaware of the nightly "entertainment" and extended "blockbuster" happy-hour. It all sounds rather upscale, which is not the current profile of the area ("upscale" has migrated to Harbison..) The address is now occupied by a mortgage company, and the buildings all appear to be fairly new, so I'm guessing the original restaurant building was torn down at some point.

Written by ted on September 14th, 2009

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19 Responses to 'The Chopping Block Steak & Spirits, 1021 Briargate Circle, 2000s'

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  1. This place ROCKED!!!


    15 Sep 09 at 5:48 am

  2. My father was actually a partner in this place. Along with Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers and some others. My mom would help out as well. I use to hang out there in the day time and it was awesome. I beleive it was built around 1972. It was a very popular spot then. I would equate its clientel to that of Diannes on Devine. I think one of the popular music entertainers was "Sweet Thang".

    I think it fell victim, as other business, to that part of Broad River turning into a 3rd world country.


    15 Sep 09 at 6:39 am

  3. They alos had a singer there known as "King" Arthur Epps.

    In many ways they were a local variation of Steak and Ale only better and more reasonably priced.


    15 Sep 09 at 10:05 am

  4. The Chopping Block was always good and had some class. It was definitely on the list as a date destination if you were trying to impress. Great for lunch too if some sales rep was buying.

    I always thought the guy with cleavers in all their ads looked kind of threatening. Reminds me now of Daniel Day Lewis in "Gangs of New York."


    15 Sep 09 at 7:53 pm

  5. When we lived in Columbia, this was my dad's favorite place to eat. The Prime Rib was awesome. I seem to remember the bar having a disco floor, back in the late 70's/early 80's.

    Mike M.

    26 Nov 09 at 12:40 am

  6. My dad loved this place too. His favorite from the menu was the prime rib and baked onion. No one else does that baked onion.


    14 Aug 11 at 10:49 pm

  7. I worked there on and off for 10 years. Some of my best memories are from there!!!! I agree that they had the best prime rib . It is hard to find any to compare. I remember King Arthur Epps (Mentioned above) If you closed your eyes you would swear Nat King Cole was in the place. Still to this day I will run into someone who will remember me from those days and they always say the same thing. "It is a shame that it closed. One of the best restaurants ever". I agree.


    7 Mar 12 at 2:16 pm

  8. This place was awesome!!! Does ANYONE know what the marinade for the filets had in it? Their salad bar rocked!! Was a really sad day when The Chopping Block closed.


    14 Aug 12 at 11:29 pm

  9. I remember this place !! It was the best restaurant ever!
    After eating steak and lobster, we would go to the bar area.
    There was a fireplace always going in the winter and "King Arthur" would play and sing and we would dance until they closed. Wish it was still there!!


    9 May 13 at 8:45 am

  10. I was an employee at the Chopping Block. It was my first job ever at 15 years of age. I was a busboy, and kitchen helper. The owners were Jerry Richardson, Bill Kennedy, and Laurens "Brother" Pitts. My manager was Rod Tabor. I enjoyed the job, and l learned a lot. I did not get along well with a lot of my co-workers, but soon learned that is something everyone has to tolerate to some extent, no matter who they are, or where they go. To those of you who thought the salad bar rocked, thanks! That was one of my duties. As for what was in the marinade for the filets, I think it was made from a mix of some kind, but it was probably little more than glorified Worcestershire sauce. My favorite part of the shift was when we would take a dinner break before the place opened for business. I would sometimes order myself a "William the Conqueror" New York strip. Man they were great! I agree that we had Steak and Ale beat, as we were there long before they were. Sometimes we would see lots of local businessmen, dignitaries, and politicians come into the place. They had great entertainers too. MIke and Sherry, Columbine, Rainwater, "Big George" Collier, and far too many others to mention. It was fun hearing them as I worked, and it helped the night to go by fast. I worked there in 1974, and left Columbia in 1983, so I was not aware that it had closed. Sorry to see it go!


    6 Mar 14 at 2:13 am

  11. This was also my frist job i was a freshman in high school at Columbia High, "the Block" taught us well and had the best prim rib ever. Being a teenager and black i got to leatn to eat,differnt foods that most blacks don't. Love it!!!!
    Yea , almost forgot all you can eat beef rib Monday's by the bucket.

    Jermaine Walker

    15 May 14 at 1:54 am

  12. Best huge pot of Clam Chowder too!! We need another Chopping Block". In the are again. Miss the atmosphere and entertainment but all the food was amazing!!

    Thank you Bill Kennedy for Fudruckers also.

    Leslie C

    26 Aug 15 at 8:00 pm

  13. This was a great place to work while attending college. I worked there as the headwaiter for about 4 years. Made a lot of great friends.

    Scott O

    1 Oct 16 at 9:44 am

  14. I was a Bartender for two years around 79 and 80. Worked with some great folks like Buddy Hammett and the gang.
    Great atmosphere. I would occasionally sing "Proud Mary" on stage with Otis Goodwin and The Castanettes before we would close.

    Most fun job lots of phone numbers at that job.


    11 Oct 16 at 3:06 am

  15. Does anyone remember the cocktail waitress with blonde hair named Tina? I need her last name so I can look her up and down….

    Scott O

    16 Feb 17 at 9:12 pm

  16. Loved the Chopping Block. Ate there many times. Marinated mushrooms were awesome


    22 Oct 17 at 12:04 am

  17. My father Otis O Goodwin and the Rocking Castenets played great music there numerous nights. Really loved the restaurant atmosphere and its owners and people. Those were the days. Miss the Chopping Block!#

    Elaine Norwood

    14 Jan 18 at 12:44 pm

  18. So many memories! And I remember some of you guys. yall left out one of the best...…. Monday night Rib Night!! Oh my god! there was no money to be made on a Monday night, but the waiters got to take home the extra Prime Rib ribs..…..Ahhhhhh

    and so many after hours shaninigans.. hehe

    Lee Walker

    6 Jul 18 at 7:30 am

  19. A great place, superb food... my band, Silk and Steel, played there many nights in 1974 doing Eagles some country and current pop, and classics like “Too Late to Turn Back Now”’ “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” “Time in a Bottle”. So happy to see this site and the memories recalled. Still playing and writing with my band The Thunder Pigs out of Columbia.

    frank Fusco

    8 Feb 20 at 12:55 pm

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