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Sunshine Cleaners / Martha's Era Antiques & Collectibles, 2737 River Drive: 1990s   7 comments

Posted at 2:23 am in Uncategorized

I don't drive down River Drive all that often, but when I do, I always note this building. It seems to me that it is a close twin to the Mediterranean Tea Room building on Devine Street, although the Tea Room building has had a lot more work done to it, especially in the last few years.

I had it in the back of my mind that it hadn't been vacant all that long, but when I finally stopped to look and take these pictures, it was obvious from the state of the interior that it had been empty a good while.

Googling the address turned up an interesting story, which apparently did not play out as planned. These three PDFs of 2008 zoning board minutes here, here and here tell the story.

Many years ago, the place was a cleaner (they never mention the name) and then Martha's Era (they never explicitly give that name either, but it seems pretty clear that there was only one antique business ever there). By 2008, they were talking about the building having been vacant for 20 years, and indeed, I cannot find Martha's in the 1998 phonebook.

At any rate, a new tenant wanted to lease the building (still owned by the Martha's proprietor) to open a largely take-out pizza business, apparently to be called Neighboorhood Pie. The big stumbling block was parking, of which the site has very little. There was a lot of back and forth on that issue, and the board suggested he make some new plans and come back later, which he did, rounding up a parking lease arrangement with a nearby church (which had no issues since the restaurant would not be open Sunday, and would not sell alcohol). There were a few minor issues with neighboring residents, but those were all ironed out, and the board gave the goahead in Sept 2008.

For whatever reason however, the restaurant never happened, and from the appearance of the interior, never even got to the "starting refit" stage. The property is currently up for lease once again, and apparently the owner is willing for the building to come down if necessary. That would be a shame as it is rather distinctive with its street-side pillar and vintage canopy.

UPDATE 20 Nov 2010: Commenter Mike identifies the place as originally a Sunshine Cleaners which makes sense given its resemblance to the one on Covenant. I've upadated the post title.

Written by ted on November 20th, 2010

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Attic Treasures, 1516 Augusta Road: Summer 2010   2 comments

Posted at 10:35 pm in Uncategorized

Here's a little antique store in West Columbia that I'm afraid I never got around to visiting. Here's what commenter Larry had to say about it:

Small but missed is the Attic Treasures on Meeting Street (I think). It was a typical antique mall with lots of booths offering things from lots of people. It was in this odd building and a bit smaller than most but still a great place to find neat things like an old manual typewriter for $15.

It sounds like the kind of place I would find interesting. I really don't like high-end shops with a lot of antique furniture, I like places with a lot of "old stuff" -- the warehouse antique mall on State Street being a prime example (as was the lamented Dixie Used Furniture in the Vista.

In fact, I bought the first Closing-Cam at an "antique mall" in Fernandina Beach, making it the first "antique" digital camera I'm aware of..

("Hats Off To Larry")

UPDATE 21 January 2012 -- It's now Perkins Jewelry & More as seen in this not very good drive-by picture:

Written by ted on August 25th, 2010

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Lucas Machinery / Carolina Bedrooms / Fletcher's Antiques / Southeast Presbyterian Church / Blooms Nursery Garden Shoppe, 710 Cross Hill Road: late 2000s   11 comments

Posted at 1:14 am in Uncategorized

This much retailed (and once churched) spot on Cross Hill Road next to the former Kroger Sav-On has never seemed to catch fire for any of its many tenants, most of which I have only a vague recollection of. Aside from all those listed above on the post title, I'm pretty sure it was a menswear shop also at one point, and I either got or thought about getting a suit there. (Something I hate like posion).

This PDF at the City of Columbia website suggests that the city was thinking about buying the building back in the 2006 timeframe and wondering what the absestos and lead paint implications would be, but apparently nothing came of that. The document describes the building as being "used as a former antiques store" -- that's certainly an odd turn-of-phrase, but implies that the building was vacant at that point, with Fletcher's having been the most recent tenant.

Cross Hill Road is an odd little stretch whose name I never could remember. For years growing up, I thought that Beltline Boulevard ran all the way to Garners Ferry Road instead of turning off towards Rosewood. I can only think that at some point a lot of road work must have been done to make the setup so illogical. (Of course it didn't help either that until last year, I thought that Garners Ferry started where Cross Hill runs into Devine Street and Fort Jackson Boulevard -- I never realized that Devine Street runs all the way to Wildcat).

At any rate, whatever you call it, this lot, along with the Kroger lot, is now Interstate feeder property (which neither was in the beginning), and I expect that eventually a hotel or national chain restaurants will take the real estate.

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