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Carquest Auto Parts, 912 South Lake Drive: January 2017   no comments

Posted at 12:29 am in closing

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I made the mistake of driving out to get some shots of former parts shop around 5pm on a Friday, and traffic was pretty bad then. However, the building which sits on the corner of South Lake & Industrial Drives does have stoplight access for the turn, and I imagine that the next tenant, a Vape shop which is outfitting now, will probably do more of an evening business.

Google Streetview has a good shot of the place in operation here

(Hat tip to commenter IrmoJeff)

Written by ted on January 21st, 2017

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Mr. D's Steaks and Seafood, 938 North Lake Drive: mid January 2017   no comments

Posted at 12:24 am in closing

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Mr. D's was the followup operation in this location to Gilligan's and as of Mid August 2016 was bought by Steve MacDougall, the mayor of Lexington who had already been general manager.

The restaurant's Facebook page indicates that it was in operation as late as 17 December 2016, but commenter Brian noticed it closed on 16 January 2016. As you can see, a note on the front door indicates that they planned to re-open on 1 February 2017, but the real-estate sign outside suggests that plan has been overtaken by events.

(Hat tip to commenter Brian)

Written by ted on January 20th, 2017

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The Lost Cajun, 5086 Sunset Boulevard: 23 December 2016   no comments

Posted at 12:12 am in closing

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The Lost Cajun was the follow-on operation to Yumilicious in this Lexington strip mall.

The State article on the closing mentions that there is another SC location in Greenville, and as far as I can tell, that location is still open, and the chain's site lists a number of restaurants in other states.

As you can see, the signage is already up for this storefront to become a Palmetto Subs location.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Written by ted on January 19th, 2017

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Hmm: The Legislature Must Be in Session   no comments

Posted at 11:49 pm in commentary

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Written by ted on January 17th, 2017

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Atlanta Bread Company, 1307 Main Street: December 2016   9 comments

Posted at 12:50 am in closing

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When I heard about this closing, I did a google search for ABC troubles at the corporate level, and surprisingly to me did not turn up anything. Usually when a chain starts closing lots of locations, there will be a story in Forbes or Bloomberg or *somewhere* trying to explain the situation, and the prospects for turnaround.

Since I started this blog, Atlanta Bread Company has closed the locations at Sandhill, Lake Murray Boulevard, Socastee, Charleston and North Myrtle Beach. Now they seem to be leaving the Columbia market entirely with the closing of this store and upcoming closure of the Sunset location. Although there may be something in the Upstate, the Aiken Whiskey Road location is the only SC store left that I know of.

Absent any hard news of what's going on, I can only speculate that Panera took their formula and executed it just a little bit better, and indeed this store closed shortly after the Gervais Panera location opened just a few blocks away.

Written by ted on January 17th, 2017

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Kmart, Inlet Square (Murrells Inlet): April 2014   6 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in closing

What with all the chatter lately about Sears and Kmart I thought I would *finally* get up these shots of the former Kmart at Inlet Square in Murrells Inlet. Part of the delay was I thought I had some other shots with the closing signage up somewhere, but if I did, I can't find them.

Anyway, this store opened, in the 80s as I recall, with great fanfare as it was the first Kmart anywhere to be attached to a mall, all the others up until that point being freestanding. That meant it was a bit of a square peg in a round hole in some ways: for instance, you could not take your shopping carts from Kmart into the rest of the mall (other than directly to and from the entrances).

The experiment apparently worked (for a while) as a similar attached store later opened at Briarcliff Mall (now Myrtle Beach Mall) though it too is now gone.

Here is a contemporary WBTW story on the store closing. It's particularly interesting as it gives the viewpoint of another merchant in the mall, who is saying essentially "Well, it's hurting me, but at least we still have Penny's, Belk and the theaters", the first and last of which have both now also closed..

I believe there is now a Planet Fitness in this space, I will try to get some shots next time I drive by (hopefully in the daytime).

Written by ted on January 11th, 2017

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You'd Have to be a Venomous Invertebrate..   no comments

Posted at 10:03 pm in commentary

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To have not bought a new 2017 Pawleys Island wall calender by now.

But if you do, you still have half a month to look at *this* non-calendar buyer.

See how that worked out for him?

Written by ted on January 8th, 2017

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Cafe Risque, 17301 NE US Highway 301 Waldo Florida: 2014   2 comments

Posted at 10:03 pm in closing

Where's Waldo?

As it turns out, the answer to this perennial question is "On US-301 just south of Starke". In fact, when I found this closed Cafe Risque this summer, I believed I was in Starke, and not this particular Alachua County metropolis of 1015 souls.

In the event, I had driven by the vacant building on the east side of the road, when the partial sign I had seen percolated to the front of my brain, and I turned around to get some pictures.

I had written about Cafe Risque before, when I noticed I was no longer seeing the I-95 billboards around Darien Georgia. Doing a little more googling this time, I see that the Cafe Risque story is a bit stranger than I might have thought: the whole chain grew out of a family restaurant empire called "Skeeter's Breakfast House". Apparently that legacy led to Cafe Risque's key insight: You could run strip clubs without alcohol if you put them in out of the way places and had decent food. Certainly, the regulatory hurdles are lower that way. Of course, it's questionable if that model still works as most of the places have closed in recent years (apparently one both opened and closed in Dunn after I left the Fayetteville area) though some of that may be due to the death of the man who was the chain's driving force as referenced at the first link above. As of this posting, it appears that the location on I-75 in Micanopy Florida is the only one left as described in this (somewhat NSFW) article in Gainesville Scene.

Written by ted on January 8th, 2017

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Truth In Advertising   no comments

Posted at 10:04 pm in commentary

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Written by ted on January 5th, 2017

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Eric's San Jose, 6118 Garners Ferry Road: 22 December 2016   3 comments

Posted at 10:54 pm in closing

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Well, this has already been discussed extensively on Have Your Say, but Eric's San Jose on Garners Ferry closed on Thursday 22 December 2016.

I believe I may have eaten in the building a few times when it was a steakhouse, but can only recall eating at Eric's once, when I found it of a piece with the Columbia Mexican restaurant scene: perfectly acceptable, but nothing special.

According to The Free Times:

Owner Eric Leon has sold the property to some developers who plan to build a cellular store and other retail shops...

UPDATE 8 February 2017 -- As mentioned in the comments, this building has been razed:

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Written by ted on January 4th, 2017

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