Archive for the ‘cafeteria’ tag
It can't have been great being located in-between two dead anchors, Penny's & Dillard's, but I don't think being near Macy's or Sears would have made any difference. I think cafeterias are kind of a dying breed, and you can't compound that by being in a dying mall.
(Hat tip to commenter Bobby G)
As I've mentioned somewhere or another on this site, the last time I ate in a cafeteria was sometime in the mid 1990s when I found myself at a "Picadilly" at Regency Mall in Augusta -- I was distinctly underwhelmed. Before that, it was probably the S&S on Gervais when my Aunt was visiting town.
Growing up, however we ate fairly frequently at Richland Mall's original cafeteria, The Redwood Cafeteria and sometimes its follow-up Morrison's.
My general opinion of cafeterias was not high. As a kid it seemed to me that they could even mess up rice & gravy -- cafeteria rice was not like "real" rice at all. Instead of sticking together properly, every grain was separate and discrete. (I suppose it was parboiled or "converted" as Uncle Ben called it ["Q: What's white and runs up your legs? A: Uncle Ben's perverted rice!"]). Furthermore, they didn't have hamburgers. My parents insisted that "hamburger steak" was the same thing, but I knew it wasn't. Still going through the line was interesting, and the little butter-pats on paper never failed to fascinate.
Upon hearing that the Richland Mall S&S was to close on Sunday (30 Jan 11), I decided I would eat lunch there one day to check it out and maybe get some pictures. Arriving at my usual lunch time of 3:00, I was a bit confused. The doors were open and people were at the tables (and, yes, they were mostly older folks, just as the stereotype goes -- that's OK, I plan to be one someday, and probably sooner than I expect). The way I expected to get to the serving line however seemed to be blocked. I saw a possible second serving line, but nobody seemed to be tending it.
An enquiry finally established that they had taken down the serving line sometime before I got there, and would not fire it up again until 4:30, and that the second line was for take-out only -- which is a shame because it looked pretty good, with black-eyed peas, and other nice vegetables, rather more Southern than I remember the old cafeterias being.
So anyway, I did not get to eat at S&S before it closed (unless I get there tomorrow or Sunday, which I consider highly unlikely), but I did get some pictures later in the week, and captured several of their billboards (the one across Forest Drive from the mall is already taken by a new advertiser now).
This will be the first time Richland Mall has had no cafeteria in it, and can't bode well for the future of the mall, but then what has lately?
UPDATE 30 Jan 2011: Added the first two pictures, take just after the doors closed.
UPDATE 7 September 2012: Added picture of the Two Notch Road billboard above.
Well, another original Dutch Square merchant bites the dust. This cafeteria started with the mall as a Morrison's back in 1970. At some point, Piccadilly bought the Morrison's chain, and the place stayed open with mearly a nameplate change, so I do consider it the same operation over the whole period. The place was on the north side of the mall, on the west entrance corridor, the one where Edkerd's used to be.
I don't believe I have eaten in a cafeteria since the early 1990s. In my mind, they were always associated with visits by elderly relatives, and involved liver, weird rice that didn't stick together like it should, and various carrot concoctions. I do believe the last one I ate in was, in fact, a PIccadilly. I had just started working in Augusta Georgia, and for some reason or other we needed some maps at the office to plan a trip (this was pre Mapquest), so a co-worker and I drove down to the ill-fated Regency Mall on the Gordon Highway to visit a bookstore and eat lunch. I could tell the minute we stepped inside the mall that it was on its way down (what can you expect when the anchor store was Montgomery Ward?), but nonetheless we got our maps and stepped into the Piccadilly. I saw enchiladas, and made the mistake of thinking that cafeteria enchiladas would be like mexican-restaurant enchiladas -- man, they were bad! (To go even further afield, I was probably the slowest guy this co-worker knew, and he was the fastest guy I ever knew. Not on this trip, but on one of our lunch trips, he locked me into his car and was already back into our building before I even realized the inside locks wouldn't work without a key..)
Anyway, with the closure of Piccadilly, I believe only Radio Shack and The Rogue remain from the original contingent of Dutch Square stores.
(Hat tips to commenters Andrew & Joe.)