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Archive for the ‘7201 Two Notch Road’ tag

Chick-fil-A, 7201 Two Notch Road Suite FC5 (Columbia Mall): Early 2013   23 comments

Posted at 10:13 pm in closing




Well, it took me quite a long time to get the interior shot here, largely because every time I would come in the door of the food court, a sample tray holder from the Asian restaurant would make a beeline on me. I really appreciate that kind of hustle, but it makes it difficult to inconspicuously take a picture when you are the sole focus of someone's attention! I finally recently got a bit of a zoom from the back end of the court. You can see the boarded up section where Chick-Fil-A used to be just to the right of China Max.

I was actually in the place to look at lawnmowers at Sears, and I note that they seem to be giving up on the mall. The mall stays open until 9PM, but Sears turns out the lights at 8PM, at least during the week. It certainly surprised me.

UPDATE 13 August 2013: Forgot the hat tip to commenter Trina.

UPDATE 28 January 2021: Adding full address, tags and map icon.

Toys 'R' Us, 7201 Two Notch Road: 1990s   47 comments

Posted at 11:12 pm in closing

For a while, the Dentsville area had two big-box toy stores as well as a couple of smaller storefronts inside Columbia mall. I can't remember the name of the first of the big ones to go, but it was in the same little plaza on Decker Boulevard and Trenholm Road Extension that Winn Dixie was in and that The Comedy House is in now. As I recall, the closing caused a lot of brouhaha and local ill-will because the place timed their closing to be after Christmas shopping and before Christmas returns. It seems to me there was another way in which they did customers dirty in addition to that, but the details escape me at this remove.

At any rate, you might have expected that with the entire "destination toy store" market in the area now ceded to it, Toys 'R' Us would have prospered and have had some incentive to stay put, but that proved not to be the case. Since I wasn't really a toy shopper at the time, I didn't pay much attention to where the store went. I just figured it had joined the general flight from Dentsville and the Decker Corridor to somewhere down Two Notch. However, doing a quick online Yellow Pages search, the only location I see in the Columbia area is near Columbiana Center. I know I'm certainly not driving out there for toys -- not when there's Amazon.

The building has never had another tenant since Toys 'R' Us departed. It appears to be in fairly good shape (some minor tagging, but only on glass) though the architecture now looks a little dated. Unfortunately, with the upcoming closing of Dillards, I can't see that any first tier replacement will be willing to locate at Columbia Mall any time soon.

Update 27 Jan 2010: Well something is happening at the old Toys 'R' Us building. From the work going on, it would appear that something will be going in there:

UPDATE 1 April 2010 -- Looks like the Virginia College Career Center is ready to open:

UPDATE 13 February 2021: Changing "Columbia Mall outparcel" in the post title to the full street address, updating tags and adding map icon.

Written by ted on October 30th, 2008

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Sears Gas, 7201 Two Notch Road (Columbia Mall outparcel): 1970s   11 comments

Posted at 12:36 am in closing

By the time Sears moved from Harden Street to Columbia Mall, it was long past the catalog glory days of being the company you could by anything from, but it hadn't yet been so bloodied in the retail wars that it would reject odd ideas out of hand.

This concrete slab in the Columbia Mall parking lot by the Charleston Crab House (and still actually owned by Sears to judge from the tow-away signs) was one of them. Over this slab was a canopy, and under the canopy was an island with a number of Sears-branded gas pumps. I don't remember a whole lot about the place as we only filled up one of two times there. I'm pretty sure it was self-serve, but since there was no such thing as electronic credit card reading pumps at the time, there certainly would have been a cashiers shed with an attendant. You could pay with cash, or, of-course, with your Sears Card.

My memory is that the place was an experiment that didn't last too long. I don't know exactly what happened, but I can hazard some guesses. First, the location was not convenient unless you were already at the mall. Getting in and out of the mall parking lot was (and is) much more time consuming than stoping at a corner station. Second, in the 70s people actually had some brand loyalty to different gas chains, and felt that name-brand gas was a better product than generic. Now we tend to think it's like sugar, and there's no problem buying Domino's if Dixie Crystals is more expensive. Third, at some point in the 70s (I believe) there was a major scandal about Sears's auto repair operation ripping people off (that's why about all they will do nowadays is change tires or batteries). The opprobrium from that may have tainted their gas business in people's minds. Fourth, it is simply the fact that selling gas was not in the core retail market Sears was (is..) trying to serve. As their fortunes declined, they may have decided that selling gas was a distraction and brand-dillution. (Though I have seen Wal-Mart trying the concept recently..).

At any rate, the place closed after not too many years. The canopy stood for several years after that, but was itself finally torn down. I don't remember the tanks being torn out, and there are still some access points, so perhaps they are still there (though that seems like an enviromental cleanup bill waiting to happen if it really is the case).

UPDATE 20 February 2020: Add tags, address, map icon.

Written by ted on October 13th, 2008

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