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Steak 'n Shake, 340 Columbiana Drive: 2009   23 comments

Posted at 11:37 pm in closing

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Although this Steak 'n Shake was open well past the time I moved back to Columbiana, I can't recall seeing it open at all. Indeed, I didn't even realize until it came up recently in Have Your Say that this building was the former location.

Steak 'n Shake is one of those chains I've always been meaning to try but somehow never get around to. I guess I've been closest once in LA when I used Yahoo Travel to book myself a hotel for a Van Morrison concert and found myself in an almost totally non-english speaking part of Koreatown (the hotel room phonebooks were in Korean [though the staff couldn't have been nicer!]) and it looked like a place I could understand. Somehow that didn't quite happen, and somehow I've never connected in Florida (where they have a big presence) either.

At any rate this store listed in the Feb 2008 phonebook, but not in the Feb 2010 one, so I'm saying they shut down in 2009. The building has really delapidated quickly since then, and it looks like it would take major work to get a standard second-use restaurant (Asian buffett, Lizard's Thicket etc) into there.

UPDATE 2 May 2013 -- Some of the boards have now been prised off the windows, and we can take a bit of a look inside:

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UPDATE 14 March 2016 -- Somewhere I have some pictures of this lot as vacant after the tear-down, and will post them, but as of now, it is rebuilt and open as M Kitchen (and has been for a while):

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Written by ted on March 14th, 2013

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23 Responses to 'Steak 'n Shake, 340 Columbiana Drive: 2009'

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  1. Tried it twice. Medicore food and lousy service. I even once heard a customer complain loudly to the manager on duty as to how bad it was. (To be fair, I have friends who have eaten at ones elsewhere who told me how great their experiences were.)

    I was told by a former employee that the reason they closed was due to some financial shenanigans by a manager.

    Tom

    15 Mar 13 at 8:04 am

  2. When I first moved to Columbia I was living in the hotel right next door, so I ate here a lot. The food was always...I don't want to say good because Steak n' Shake food is never quite good, but it tasted like it was supposed to which is a weird way to pay a compliment but it's appropriate for a chain.

    Eating there was as much, or more, about the 50's diner atmosphere than the actual food. Still, a fresh burger, chili fries, and a thick real-ice-cream milkshake are not easy to find at the same place. But being literally across the street from Five Guys probably didn't help matters.

    Jason

    15 Mar 13 at 9:11 am

  3. I ate at that location a few times. I was never impressed. The food is average at best and I thought it was over priced. I wish whoever owns the building would tear it down. It is an eyesore. Maybe since the economy is coming back a little bit they will be able to get someone to buy that place.

    William

    15 Mar 13 at 9:25 am

  4. I agree with the other commenters. This location never lived up to the Steak n Shake quality. The one in Charlotte is terrific (not far from airport).

    That said, I don't think that either Lizard's Thicket or a Buffet would be interested here. First, there was a Chinese Buffet right across the street between Five Guys and Casa Linda and it closed. Second, there's a Lizard's Thicket a few miles away in the heart of Irmo near the post office.

    This location is (I think) destined to be torn down and turned into a self-standing retail store (like an AT&T store, although I know there's one of those recently build on Harbison, but you get the drift). This particular location is troubled by little parking and the hotel guests.

    Mike

    15 Mar 13 at 10:41 am

  5. I know this is off topic but Mike said something about the Chinese buffet that was across the street. Did anyone eat there? I know I tried it and it was crap. I was glad to see it went under. Best buffet of any kind is the Chinese one on Two Notch and I-20. Best I have ever had. The name is Jasmine Buffet. Try it you will enjoy it. As for Steak and Shake. The building should be torn down. It looks so bad. Does anyone know who owns it? Maybe we could write them ask them to at least tear it down.

    William

    16 Mar 13 at 9:29 am

  6. I understand that Steak and Shake is looking for a new location in the Columbia area. Keep your eyes open.

    Russ

    16 Mar 13 at 12:11 pm

  7. @William, here is a bit of the history of the Jasmine Buffet.

    ted

    16 Mar 13 at 10:39 pm

  8. Noticed today that there was a large rolloff dumpster out front and a couple of work trucks in the parking lot of this Steak & Shake. Maybe they are just beginning to prepare it for a second-use business? Or maybe Steak & Shake is going to reopen here. I noticed Russ' post on the company looking for a new location in Columbia.

    James

    6 Apr 13 at 2:38 am

  9. I went by the old Steak and Shake today and noticed a portable potty but I did not see the dumpster that James spoke of. I did notice that one of the boards has been removed from a window in the front. If someone could get some pictures of the inside that would be really cool!

    William

    8 Apr 13 at 5:24 pm

  10. Next door to this is a McCallister's that has suffered an electrical fire (according to WIS)

    Andrew

    24 Apr 13 at 4:22 pm

  11. Thanks Andrew I had not heard about that fire at McCallister's I hope they will come back. I know they were always busy most of the time. We don't need another empty building in that area. If you notice the shopping center next door is almost empty.

    William

    24 Apr 13 at 6:55 pm

  12. I drove by McCallister's this afternoon and noticed the building is undergoing renovation and signage exists for the company that is doing renovation work on it so it appears that McCallister's won't stay closed for long

    Andrew

    26 Apr 13 at 2:15 pm

  13. I just looked at the WIS article I linked earlier and it states that McCallister's intends to reopen by August 1.

    Andrew

    27 Apr 13 at 11:36 pm

  14. I liked this place and am sorry they closed this location. However they are in Augusta. Where I live now.

    Mike F

    3 May 13 at 12:37 pm

  15. I ate here a couple of times early in the decade (like 2003-04ish) and it wasn't that great. It could have been better, and there were other late-night dining options that were better nearby (the Denny's on Harbison, Waffle House, etc.)

    Lyndsey

    5 May 13 at 11:59 pm

  16. I ate at the Miyo's on Bower Parkway last weekend and overheard the hostess tell another customer that they are moving in February 2014. We asked our server where they are moving to and he told us the old Steak & Shake on Columbiana.

    Jackie

    9 Nov 13 at 7:57 pm

  17. Jackie that's what I've read...the lease with the Bower Parkway location is up in February so owner Michelle Wang decided to move from Bower Parkway to this old Steak and Shake location and rebrand her restaurant M Kitchen or M Grille (one of those two, keep forgetting which)

    Andrew

    9 Nov 13 at 9:22 pm

  18. I can understand why they would move... That cigar place next door has been stinking up Miyo's. Sitting in that back room (if you have a group) is torture.

    Eddie In Irmo

    10 Nov 13 at 7:16 am

  19. The Steak and Shake is now gone. I have not seen anything going on at the property. If they are going to open by February 2014 then they will need to get going soon.

    William

    10 Nov 13 at 3:06 pm

  20. That's been my thoughts as well...I know restaurants tend to not to take as long as stores to get built but the clock is ticking and construction needs to commence soon...

    Andrew

    10 Nov 13 at 3:44 pm

  21. SOON! It's 2014!

    Jackson

    23 Jan 14 at 8:23 am

  22. The steel frame on the building for what will be M Grille/Kitchen (can't remember which of the two) is now being assembled...

    Andrew

    10 Jun 14 at 6:51 pm

  23. ted

    8 Feb 18 at 11:32 am

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