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Ole Town Antique Mall, 2956 Broad River Road: December 2013   10 comments

Posted at 1:01 am in Uncategorized




I still have not verified that this building was once a 'Brown Sign With The Sewing Machine In The Corner' Factory Outlet", though I will try to remember to check at the library sometime soon. At any rate, Ole Town Antique Mall was definitely what I knew the place as, seemingly forever.

Through no particular intention of mine, (especially as I do like the State Street one), this has turned out to be the only antique mall in Columbia I've visited in the last several years. Over the years, I've bought a good few books and magazines here, including old Sandlapper magazines which have provided ad scans for a number of my posts. The last time I was here, back in early December as I recall, I picked up several WWII era Columbia newspapers, with an eye to using ads from them eventually.

The place had a rather interesting layout which essentially abuted two buildings together with two large sets of doors connecting them. The larger of the two buildings was the one on the North side, and it seemed to be the preferred location, with more furniture and more elaborate booth setups. The rear (South) building had only one main corridor and was more devoted to miscellany.

In recent years, miscellany had spilled out into the parking lot, which was festooned with tables of, well, junk which stayed out 24/7 but, which, as the signs helpfully reminded you, was not, in fact, free.

The whole lot has been posted for sale for many years, and I suppose the owners were content to wait for their asking price and run the business until they got it. When that finally did happen, things proceded apace, and the mall was gone before I actually heard that it had been sold.

According to this notice, the final auction of the remaining merchandise was held on 5 January 2014, and apparently everything is now cleaned out.

As of yet, there is no indication of what the new owners will do with the property.




















Written by ted on February 1st, 2014

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10 Responses to 'Ole Town Antique Mall, 2956 Broad River Road: December 2013'

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  1. Sad to see this place go. All these years I have driven by and just gave it a passing glance. Since my Dad passed away last year I have taken up his hobby of woodworking and antique restoration. I could have probably found a treasure trove of stuff I could restore or re-purpose here.

    I just hope the new owners don't turn it into something that will further degrade that area of Broad River Rd. or that it doesn't end up as just another vacant building along that stretch.


    1 Feb 14 at 4:03 am

  2. This used to be Kut Rate Fashions. I don't remember if it was a brown sign with the sewing machine place after that or not but it's possible. I remember going here with my mom aunt back in the 80s when it was Kut Rate. Anyone else remember them? They had what was considered at the time to be name brand clothing cheaper. Kind of like a TJ Maxx but organized more warehouse style with the clothes in bins, etc. I remember digging through a big bin of Jordache jeans looking for my size as a kid....LOL.


    1 Feb 14 at 5:04 am

  3. Here's an old commercial for the Kut Rate in Charlotte:


    1 Feb 14 at 5:06 am

  4. It's really sad to see this place go. This was probably the best used furniture store (I won't call it antiques) in the Columbia area. You had to look hard but you could find some really good, quality pieces for good prices. My wife and I have probably picked up 10 pieces from there over the last 10 years. When we first started going there, they had a basement that was open to the public and stocked with larger pieces. That closed maybe 5+ years or so ago. Around that time too, you used to be able to enter on either the North or South side and the cash register booth on the South side was manned then. That changed too and they locked those doors down and filled the cash register station with old vacuums. The North, larger building that Ted mentions, was the only way in and out for the last few years.


    1 Feb 14 at 9:34 am

  5. OH HAPPY DAYS, I'm glad to see them close. My wife has worn my bank account out many times buying, no kidding, truck loads of stuff we did not need from there. Everyone new her by her first name. And I'm serious, truck loads at a time. I still have stuff piled up from that place we can't get rid of. OH HAPPY DAYS.


    1 Feb 14 at 3:20 pm

  6. I tried to post about this in January, but it never went through. This was the Brown Sign with the Sewing Machine in the Corner. I always had mixed feelings about going in there. They really seemed like they could care less whether you shopoed in there or not. I do love thrifting/antiquing/picking, but never felt welcome. Three days before they closed, I saw some wrought iron chairs sitting by the sidewalk. I turned around and went back in there, and inquired abou the price. $25/each he said!! I went out there and they were completely rusted. I guess he did not want to sell them. Three days later, they were still there (after they closed) when I went by there in the morning. That evening, they were gone. Also, I went in there around 5:45 one afternoon. Arriving, I was told they closed in 15 minutes. At 5:55, they actually turned the lights out on me in the store and I as went to leave, the older man was holding the door open for me to leave. Neither one of us said a word to each other. I say good riddance. The antique mall on State Street is a gem.


    7 Apr 14 at 2:40 pm

  7. My mom and I went here a few times and I always felt it was cluttered...I still wonder how much work it was to totally close the place down...some of the stuff they had outside looked too beat up to sell...I had recollections of there being tables whose tops were bent and I was turned off by that...


    9 Oct 14 at 12:39 am

  8. Thanks for confirming the suspicion I had about it being closed. (Guess I'll be trying the one on State St now). I loved this place and am super sad to see it be closed. It was a thrifting/antiquing dream, and the prices were so budget friendly. Alas.


    11 Nov 14 at 2:11 pm

  9. I went there a week before their unannounced closing and inquired about two dirty white wing back chairs. The asking price was crazy but tge thing that made me know I was not buying anything there was the nasty almost uncaring attitude of the gentleman in the store. Another empty building on Broad River

    Sonya L

    12 Nov 16 at 5:56 am

  10. I went in here once, several years ago. I don't recall the counter help paying much mind to me, which suited me okay (especially given some things I've read here).

    What I remember most, though, is that for me an antique store - especially an older one, where it's like going through an attic full of this and that - should feel like a time machine, where you can get lost in the past. That's what makes me want to browse and occasionally buy. It wasn't possible here because the radio at the counter was tuned to talk radio and it was impossible to get out of earshot. I can't get in the mood to browse and buy old stuff if my reverie is being jostled by hot/incendiary takes on present-day issues. Instead, it makes me want to get out as quickly as possible, because most talk radio is to me an aural migraine.

    As I've heard said more than once, what you play in a store or a restaurant during business hours isn't for *your* entertainment - it sets a mood for your customers, and what you choose to play in your shop tells them more than you may realize.

    Jodie Peeler

    8 Jul 20 at 8:24 am

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