Archive for the ‘Columbia Mall’ 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)
Well, let's see if I can manage to do a closing on a place that actually is closed today!
Schlotzsky's Deli on the corner of Parklane Road and O'Neil Court has been an off and on stop of mine for the last year or so. I like their sourdough buns and its a nice sunlit location to watch the traffic pass.
Last time I was there, they said they would be moving soon though they weren't sure yet to where other than the Dentsville area. In the meantime, it appears this space will become Kaboto Express.
This smallish building on a Two Notch side Columbia Mall outparcel was obviously once a bank. I really like the design, especially the endpiece which sits closest to Two Notch, and which looks like a grooved VHS cassette stood up against the rest of the building. It's just a nice little grace note that gives the building a certain retro aesthetic (it was supposedly built in 1967 which would predate the mall itself by around ten years).
WIllis Chiro Med was in the building for a number of years, something I would vaguely notice driving by. I'm not exactly sure when they closed, but given that they are listed in the current 2011 phonebook, it must have been well into 2010.
Here's another Columbia Mall closing. This is the first time I've been in the mall since Tumbleweeds and it actually felt a little livelier this time though I still see about the same number of shuttered shops. I guess this one, apparently a custom gift and embroidery shop, will be one more.
(Hat tip to commenter Dustin)
This building, on a Columbia Mall outparcel facing Two Notch Road, was built as a Don Pablo's Mexican restaurant. By the time I did a closing for Don Pablo's, in March of 2008, the building had been a Charleston Crab House (they list in the phonebook as "Charleston Crabhouse" for some reason) for a couple of years already.
Like lobsters and shrimp, I consider crabs "sea bugs" and don't want anything to do with them so I never checked the place out. I do know that they used to have another Columbia store somewhere out by Columbiana Mall and they still have three locations in the Charleston area. Interestingly The State quoted the owners in a story about business taxes back in Jan 2011:
Charleston Crab House owner John Keener is fuming.
“We’re getting taxed on future growth of our business,” said Keener, whose three Lowcountry restaurants employ about 220 workers during the busiest time of year.
Keener said the tax increase, which will cost him more than $4,000 this year, caught him off guard. He warned his colleagues of the increase in an e-mail blast he sent out earlier this week.
That text suggests that the Columbia store was already closed on 15 Jan 2011, so I am putting the closing date as "late 2010". At any rate I don't think it could have been too long given the equipment still inside the place.
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National Tire & Battery (now a Tire Kingdom) was in this Columbia Mall outbuilding more or less behind the old Penny's location. I actually did go there once a few years ago when my car started really thinking about things before turning the starter over. I usually put Die Hards in my cars but for some reason or another I was not able to get served by Sears that day. I'm not building up to anything here -- it was perfectly acceptable service and a battery that lasted several years. (I've actually had much worse luck with alternators than batteries anyway). I guess I would have been hosed if I had needed to take advantage of the battery warranty as they closed fairly shortly thereafter, but in the event it wasn't an issue.
I don't believe the building was vacant long at all as Tire Kingdom moved in shortly thereafter. I find it a little amusing that this large, freestanding building has only a suite number, while all the little suites at The Shoppes at Meeting Place have full street numbers.
I've written about this building before since it was once "that building that looks like a car radio" and make the "Sounds Real Good!" commercial.
I'm not sure if Cash-N-Dash was the immediate next tenant in the building after Continental Sound, but I think they were. Sadly, they un-radioized the building though you can still see signs of the old design (the stars were the knobs, and the windows were the radio tuner readouts, I think).
I'm not exactly sure when this place closed shop, but I'm pretty sure they dashed sometime this summer.
I went to Sears at Columbia Mall on Wednesday to look for something and decided to take the closing-cam and walk the mall afterwards. There are so many vacant storefronts that the place almost feels like Inlet Square Mall now. I thought about taking pictures, but then decided there was no point because I didn't even know what these places had been. In high school, I probably went several times a week, but now it's once every six months or so. Is the mall in trouble? Let me put it to you this way -- the Dollar Store is gone, and there are kiosks selling flea-market type merchandise...
I did take a few pictures, and I really like the first one. It is almost an Edward Hopper-esque scene of isolation.
Speaking of Rich's, as we were a few weeks ago, I've held on to this ad since the 1980s hoping that someone else would be as amused by it as I was. To date this has failed to happen, though I still get a chuckle from it.
Here's the key question: Exactly what guarantee is being made here?
Dillard's started out as a Belk's when Columbia Mall opened in the 1970s and was one of the original anchor stores (along with Sears, Penny's and RIch's).
Since I considered Belk's mainly a "clothes store" and I hated shopping for clothes, in the usual course of events, I would not have gone there often. However in one of those odd little bits of department-store whimsey (nut counters, lunch rooms, hair salons..) that were common in pre-mall days and had yet to be abandoned, they had an area on the second floor near the kitchen-ware which was leased out to a local record store. I knew the name of it before I started this post, but I find it has completely escaped me at the moment. At any rate, it was a small area and the selection of regular LPs was not deep by any means, but they frequently had incredible finds for anyone willing to root through the cut-out bins. Being broke and somewhat obsessive, that was me. I know I still have a number of LPs from there, with the standout being a two disc Jan & Dean collection which had all the hits (which were otherwise pretty unavailable at the time) and a number of the tracks cut by Dean after Jan's accident under the names Laughing Gravy (a fun cover of The Beach Boys' "Vegetables") and The Legendary Masked Surfers (the infectious "Sunshine Music"). The liner notes promised that all the tracks were in "quasi-moto monaural" and if you experienced any problems to "take a shower with a friend".
Aside from browsing the record cut-outs (and kitchen gadgets from time to time) my other favorite thing to do in the store was to ride the small capsule-like elevator. This managed to look both futuristic and a bit art-deco at the same time, and allowed you to look out over the whole store as you ascended or fell.
I forget all the details, but at some point in the late 70s or 80s, Belk left the Columbia market for a while. I think it might have been a family inheritance struggle over management of the chain, but it's very fuzzy. At any rate, after the store space closed as a Belks, it reopened as a Dillards.
I can't say very much about Dillards -- it had no music section so I think I only went in there a few times and found nothing that struck my fancy. I'm pretty sure I never purchased an item there. The chain has been hurting in recent years, and though I don't find any news suggesting the chain itself is in danger, they have been closing underperforming stores, one of which was apparently the Columbia Mall store.
I recall a story in The State mentioning the (then) upcoming closing and interviewing the mall owners who allowed that you (approx) "seldom had the opportunity to replace two anchor stores" (Steve & Barry is also leaving). I was reminded of the old Pogo quote:
We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities!
I took these pictures in October. I would have taken more, but one of the floorwalkers politely inquired as to what I was doing, and it always sounds pretty lame when I try to explain it. Jan & Dean in "Submarine Races" mode would have been much more persuasive!