Archive for the ‘Columbia Mall’ tag
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!
O'Charley's / Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, 7001 Parklane Road (Columbia Mall Outparcel): mid 2000s 12 comments
Sticky Fingers was yet another victim of the declining fortunes of the Dentsville area. I believe that they were the second tenant in this building, which was built for O'Charleys before that operation followed The Olive Garden, Lizard's Thicket, Circuit City, Target, Office Depot, JC Penny and Kroger Sav-On to the new developments further out on Two Notch or at Sandhill. The closing sign says they lasted five years, though I woudn't have guessed that long.
I can't comment on their ribs as I'm not a rib guy. I believe I ate there only twice and had a burger both times. It was fine, though not spectacular. I'm a little curious about what's going on with the building. It appears to have been kept in pretty good shape, and to have not been cleaned out (notice the gum machines still in there). Furthermore, I didn't see a for-sale or for-lease sign anywhere. I wonder if Sticky Fingers is holding on to it for some reason.
UPDATE 16 May 2010 -- It's now a "brazillian-style" restaurant, Caprioska:
Their web site is here
This building, not technically a Columbia Mall outparcel since it is not reachable from the mall perimeter road, has had several tenants. Right now it is a Verizion store, but at some point in the 1990s, it was Coconuts Music.
Coconuts was a fairly generic CD store, and really the only reason to have gone at all was the location, which was fairly close to my parents' house (I was living out of Columbia by then). On the other hand, Sounds Familar on Parklane was not that much farther, and when I was in town, I was just as likely to end up on the Manifest side of town anyway. So, what i'm leading up to saying is that my own personal boycott of Coconuts did not cause me any great hassle or inconvenience.
The way it happened, as I recall now, is that I had heard some great song on the radio by a band I had never heard of. When I got to Coconuts, I found that this band had in fact been around for a while and had five or six albums out. No problem, I thought, I'll just read the track lists and I remember enough of the lyrics to figure it out. So I pulled out one CD and flipped it over. Huh. There was one of those metal spiral anti-theft, ring-the-buzzer, stickers on back. A big one. Right on the track listings. Well, OK, there's three of this CD, try another. Same thing. Try one of the other albums. Same thing. Every darn CD I looked at had a huge sticker all over the track listings.
I brought this to the attention of the manager, and the response was basically That's the way we do things here.
I decided that wasn't the way places I shopped did things, started a boycott, and a few years later they were gone.
Nowdays, of course, I can just google as much of the lyric as I can rember, find the track and artist and have it from Amazon Prime in two days without leaving my house. (Yes, I could just order the MP3 from Amazon and have it immediately, but I still like having the CDs for backup purposes).
Annabelle's was a casual dining restaurant something like a Friday's or Bennigan's which seemed to speciaize in mall locations. I'm not sure if the chain is still around, but the two that were in Columbia are long gone and I'm responsible.
OK, not really, but I did have a one-man boycott going in the mid to late 1980s. I had always enjoyed eating at Annabelle's. I wasn't too interesting when they started a "Chicken Around The World" promotion because I don't eat chicken, but as I was dining there one day, I came across a promotional display on my table. It was a cardboard rectangle with a chicken dish on each of the four sides. As I recall, there was a French dish, and Italian dish, a Mexican dish and a Chinese dish. Each dish was "presented" by a cartoon Chicken designed to represent each country. The French, Italian and Mexican chickens were fine -- they were dressed in costumes meant to invoke each country, but were good looking cartoon chickens. The Chinese chicken had buck teeth and glasses. Perhaps I was over-sensitive since I had just started working in the software field, and a lot of my new friends and co-workers had Asian ancestry, but it seemed to me that the 1980s were way too late for something like that, and that it should be possible to do a Chinese chicken character that was innocuous as the others. I wrote a letter to the company and never heard anything back, and the next time I went in, the table displays were still there, so I took Annabelle's off my list. In retrospect, I'm sure the chain honcos never got my "crank" letter, and that probably the art approval didn't even go up that high in the first place, but there were plenty of other places to eat and I did.
These pictures are of the downstairs of the Columbia Mall location. This location of Annabelle's was interesting in that that it occupied two floors, though only the bottom floor had an entrance. As I recall, there were stairs inside -- I'm unsure if there were an elevator or not. The Dutch Square location was only one floor and was on the main corridor across from the record store coming in from a Dutch Square Boulevard side entrance.
UPDATE 15 August 2009: It is going to read a bit awkwardly, but I am combining the separate post I did (for some reason..) on the Dutch Square Anabelle's by itself with this one. I'll also move those comments here as well. Also, I'm putting the Anabelle's logo as found by commenter Melanie at the top of this post. So here goes:
I've written about Annabelle's before, but I was in Dutch Square recently, and saw the old door, so I decided to give the Dutch Square location its own post. I don't have much to add to what I said initially, but for some reason or other, I think I had more meals with friends at this location than at Columbia Mall. Perhaps it had to do with seeing movies at the original Dutch Square Theater. At any rate, I always thought this copper-sheet doorway was a classy touch!
As far as I know, nothing ever followed Annabelle's into this space.
UPDATE 2 November 2009: Well, the old Annabelle's space at Dutch Square will be getting a new tenant: Burger Time Chargrill & Bar. Good!
UPDATE 18 November 2009: Added two more photos of Burger Time