A flawed man, but no Chuck Berry -- no Rock & Roll. Go Johnny Go.
I think the my problem with O'Charley's is that I have never been quite sure what it is. I mean, it's not a fine restaurant, it's not an Italian, Mexican, seafood or hamburger restaurant; it's not homecooking or a diner -- there's a lot of things it isn't but no hook to hang its hat on. In that way, it is rather like Ruby Tuesday (hmm, even the lyric is appropriate..).
That said, I did used to go to O'Charley's from time to time when I was working in Augusta. There was (perhaps still is) one just off the Bobby Jones Expressway in what is Augusta's "Harbison" area. They had a chips & salsa appetizer with in-store-made salsa that was quite good, and the burgers were decent. When this store opened at Columbia Mall and I was in town for the weekend, my sister, father and I would eat Sunday lunch there from time to time. After the store moved to Sparkleberry, I only stopped by once, and found that the chips & salsa appetizer was off the menu, and furthermore, they were out of burgers -- I left without eating anything, and didn't go back.
According to The State the chain closed this store because it was underperforming, and near the end of its lease. If the concept couldn't perform here, or or in Harbison, it's hard to think where it could, although so far the Lexington store is still with us.
The first picture was taken several years ago. I was admiring the way the sign looked at night and stopped to take some pictures, but in the event they didn't turn out well because the lighting made the sign over-exposed and the rest under-exposed, and I didn't want to set up a tripod and try for bracketed exposures for HDR as I would be a highly visible person doing something very questionable looking on a busy road. The rest of the pictures were taken after the closing, although I will need to go back eventually and get out of the car for some closer looks.
(Hat tip to commenter JB)
UPDATE 27 March 2017 -- A few more and closer:
Well, this place never seems to stick. I noticed driving I-26 the other week that it seemed to be dark during a time you would expect a nightclub to be in full operation. A stop by a few days later confirmed it. You'll notice the phonebook by the door, which is a prime indicator, and one I have seen many times over the years. That dates the closure to prior to February 2017, but not any more precisely.
I will say one problem this place has never had is parking -- the lot comprises huge tracts of land.
Well, this one surprises me!
I have been to this Bruegger's location a good many times during the past year or so. On weekends, I like to start my day (way after you start yours..) sitting with a cup of coffee and a good bagel while I surf the net on my laptop. During the initial stages of recovery from the great 2015 October flood, the Forest Acres Bruegger's was without potable water due to the Columbia waterworks imbroglio so I could not get coffee there (though they did drive in bagels from this and the Lake Murray store), and I spent a number of weekend mornings here. Last October or so when Forest Drive started having wifi problems, I would come back to this store or Lake Murray for my weekend routine if I had the time (or go to Panera if I did not, although their bagels are not very good at all -- I don't think they boil them).
Anyway, whenever I was here, it seemed to be doing a good business, and since I come later than the morning crowd, I always assumed they did even better earlier in the day. Commenter Brian, who reported the closing, heard second hand that it was an issue with the unexpectedly high price for renewing the lease. I don't know anything about that, but I will say that while the strip mall is perfectly fine, it is certainly not upscale, at least to my eyes.
(Hat tip to commenter Brian)
The only Mongolian food item I can ever remember heaing of is Kumis: fermented mare's milk, something I've never had the slightest interesting in trying, and interestinly apparently *not* available at HuHot. Apparently was *was* on the menu is that you picked out a bowl of noodles, vegetables & meats, took it to a central grill where it was cooked in the sauce you selected and you could repeat that for as many times as you liked for one price. I think the closest I've ever come to that was a place in Seoul, except you had your own little grill and could cook your items yourself there.
The Yelp reviews are all over the map. Apparently the folks who liked it really liked it, and those who didn't *really* didn't.
Looking in Alphabetical Closings, I see this is the former site of Za's, Loco Bandito's, CW's Taproom and Naughty Macs.
(Hat tip to commenter Sandra>
This is the former site of Vegas Sports Bar & Grill and numerous other nightclubs over the years. Looking at the pictures for that closing, it appears that the only change was to put of a new name on the sign.
I have to admit it's a clever name though.
I think I've mentioned my aversion to feathered fare several times here, so it should be no surprise that I never darkened the door at this Church's Chicken more or less accross from the old Shoney's. I suppose for different reasons, not enough other people did either.
(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)
UPDATE 10 March 2017: Changed the closing date from "Late 2016" to early "2017" based on the comments.
I was unaware of this place, and indeed that Sparkleberry actually had a north-of-two-notch section until commenter JohnBom mentioned it. It appears that at this point, the Sparkleberry Big T location is closed and well on the way to becoming Spring Valley Convenience Store. Indeed, the non-perishables are already being moved in.
Big T has a second location on Garners Ferry, which is still in operation.
As an aside, I note that sometime in the 80s, a really good sign salesman must have worked the Northeast: You see this style of sign up and down Two Notch from east of Rabon to Pontiac..
(Hat tip to commenter JohnBom)