Archive for the ‘College Street’ tag
Commenter Duane sends the first picture above of Caffe Espresso on College Street.
I remember going there several times, and like its successor Cool Beans it was in the foyer and upstairs of the old house at 1217, next to Nice & Natural. I guess I probably don't go to Cool Beans often enough to say for sure, but in retrospect, it seems to me that the biggest difference between the two operations was that Caffe Espresso had the upstairs windows open more often, as seen here. That, and WiFi..
(Thanks to Duane!)
Nice 'N Natural, located on College Street in between Main and Sumter Streets (and next to the former USC Burger King) shares an attractive old brick building with Cool Beans coffe shop. It's within easy walking distance from The Horseshoe, and in general, I have found parking in the area to be reasonably easy, at least in the evenings.
I mention evening, because I must admit that while I've been to Cool Beans numerous times over the years, I never made it to Nice 'N Natural. I was kind of vaguely aware it was there, but I was never in the area during its open hours, and had the tenuous impression from the name that it was a "healthy" place (ie: not something that would be high on my list). The Free Times brief description sort of re-inforces that impression, though "whole grain" attracts me more than "alfalfa sprouts".
I think I read in The State a week or so back that the owners reported that business fell off after 9-11 and never really recovered. If that be the case, then they've hung on for 10 bad years, which is certainly something to be proud of (and of course their 28 years is an extraordinary run for any restaurant).
This closing has been talked about long enough that I actually got these photos last year, knowing I would have to deploy them eventually. This Hardee's has been a fixture in the old Five Point's Sears parking lot for years. I think it may even date back to when Gene's Pig & Chick across College Street would have been its competition. (It certainly does not date back to Hardee's original space-age designs such as at Silver City or The Eggroll Station though).
This story from The State last year tells how the Hardee's is going to be replaced with a Chick-Fil-A, and how it will all be carefully landscaped in accordance to the new Five Points streetscaping guidelines. Color me unimpressed. You have only to compare US-17 as it passes through Mount Pleasant where everything is set-back so far and blends in so blandly that you can't even tell you are passing stores that want to sell you something with US-17 in the Myrtle Beach area where even failed and vacant storefronts are exuberant to see how guidelines can suck the life out of a road. Not to mention this quote:
"Chick-fil-A is a business of high quality and we anticipate this development will add great character to the already diverse and eclectic makeup of Five Points," she said.
Of really? Replacing one national fast-food chain (which is actually currently on the rebound) with another national fast-food chain will add character and diversity to Five Points? I guess character and diversity aren't what they once were..
(Hat tips to commenters Tom, Mike D, Larry & Jim)
Swensen's was a fairly popular restaurant chain in the 1980s. I'm not sure I ever went to the Columbia location (now The Hunter Gatherer) at the corner of Main & College Streets, but almost anywhere we went on a trip, there would be a Swensen's. I know for sure there was one on The Market in Charleston (now an Applebee's, I think) , and we ran into them on class trips to DC and Florida as well. The ad above from the 1985 Southern Bell phonebook has the logo I recall.
Swensen's started in San Francisco as an ice cream stand, but by the time it franchaised and locations hit the Southeast, they were casual dining restaurants (with ice cream, of course) and I think I had burgers there more often than anything frosty. Their fries were a bit unusual in that rather than being longer than they were wide, they were sort of square and waffle-hatched.
According to Wikipedia during the 1990s, the chain shrunk from 400 stores to about 200, and when it started to expand again, it was mostly overseas. I think the Columbia store closed during that wave of shrinkage. The current tenant in the building, The Hunter Gatherer brewpub has left the interior in a rather rough (if interesting) form. I suspect it was somewhat less distinctive as a Swensen's but I could be wrong. I would be interested if anyone can recall whether Swensen's had the main-floor and catwalk layout used by THG.
UPDATE 16 April 2010: Added Campus Club South and TW Muldoons to the post title and identified what year the ad is from. Added The Quarter Moon to title.