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Archive for the ‘Diamond Lane’ tag

Hook 'n Needle, 28 Diamond Lane: 2011 (moved)   12 comments

Posted at 10:59 pm in stores

Sewing & crochet shop Hook 'n Needle was a long-time retail stalwart at Intersection Center. In fact, I'm pretty sure they were the last shop there to either go under or move. Happily, the latter applies here, and at some point this year, Hook 'n Needle moved to the North-West corner of Boozer Shopping Center.

The first three pictures of the old location are from 29 August 2008, the fourth is from 4 September 2010 and the last three are from 24 September 2011.

The church rebuilding Intersection Center continues to make good progress, and hopefully I'll have some pictures of the repurposed Service Merchandise and the new fountain up soon.

Groucho's Deli, 2009 Broad River Road: December 2010   2 comments

Posted at 1:11 am in restaurants

I eat at Groucho's from time to time -- most often at the Forest Drive or Pawleys Island locations. (Curiously, I've never been to the Five Points original store). I never made it to this location, on Broad River Road at Intersection Center.

This particular strip of Broad River, with easy access from the Diamond Lane in the back, used to have quite a number of fast food joints. Some like Sandy's and Church's are hanging on. Others like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have moved. Others like Taco Cid have simply closed.

The care someone took to line the old signs up with the checks on the floor is rather touching.

(Hat tip to commenter Thomas)

UPDATE 22 November 2011 -- It's now an Indian grocery as shown in this not very good pic:

Written by ted on December 15th, 2010

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Something's Happening Here (Intersection Center)   11 comments

Posted at 11:34 pm in commentary,historic,stores

What it is ain't exactly clear..

I'm kind of bummed over the Chung King remodel. I took lots of pictures of that figurine, and half promised myself I'd pry it off some night.

The whole Intersection Center complex has been for sale for years. I didn't see those signs on 4 Sept 2010 when I took the "new" pictures here, so perhaps it finally did sell. I would have expected in that case however that the new owner would have bulldozed the whole place, not started renovations on 40 year old buildings that were in poor repair to begin with. I wonder what will happen to the stalwarts like Hook 'n Needle that have remained open on Diamond Lane against all odds?

UPDATE 30 Sep 2010 -- Well, they're also (possibly without meaning to) got the Service Merchandise sign turned on for the first time in 8 years!

More changes:

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UPDATE 21 Jan 2011: Intersection Center is to be the new campus for Word of God Church Ministries, and the old Sam Solomon/Service Merchandise building will be a 3000 seat Sanctuary. I'm glad to see this place rehabilitated!

UPDATE 28 June 2011: Added complete 4 September 2010 photoset.

UPDATE 22 September 2012: Added pictures above of the conversion of the Service Merchandise store into the chapel, and the two Intersection Center signs being converted into church signs. Added 23 October 2011 photoset.

UPDATE 24 September 2012: Added third picture of (finished) Broad River Road sign. Added 30 August 2008 photoset.

UPDATE 26 September 2012: Added 27 June 2009 photoset.

Photoset 30 August 2008

Photoset 27 June 2009

Photoset 4 September 2010

Photoset 23 October 2011

Written by ted on September 7th, 2010

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All Breed Dog Grooming Shop, 19 Diamond Lane: 2000s   7 comments

Posted at 11:13 pm in business,historic

I continue to have a bit of a fascination with Intersection Center. The whole property has been up for sale several years now, but (rather unsurprisingly) it has yet to sell. Fairly recently, the owner (I assume) went as far as to blank out the "Intersection Center" sign on the Broad River Road entrance to the complex, though it is still up on the Dutch Square side.

Despite the rapidly increasing decrepitude of all the buildings in the area, a few stores (or storefronts anyway, I think one may be some sort of church) do hold on. All Breed Dog Grooming Shop is not one of those. I do know it was open as recently as 1998, so I've simply listed the closing date as 2000s.

We used to get our dogs sheared evey summer, but we never had one groomed. It sounds like kind of a poodle thing to me (not that there's anything wrong with that..)

Written by ted on May 15th, 2010

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Asian Market (Hong Chang Hang) 18 Diamond Lane: late 2000s (moved)   1 comment

Posted at 1:47 am in stores

OK, I'll admit that I'm not 100% sure that the Asian Market on Diamond Lane is the same one that opened recently across from Dutch Square at 1221 Bakersfield Road, but given the timing and the same marquee description, I think it's a pretty good bet (and I'm sure someone will set me straight otherwise).

I used to notice this place when I would cut through the mostly dead Intersection Center to see what remained and marvel that it was still in business. I guess part of that is that it's a destination -- if you need something that's historically exotic to SC and that you can't just hop-to-the-pig for, it doesn't matter if the store is off the beaten track. Still, I was glad to see them move to a better location. (Though believe it or not, a few stores are still have their doors open on Diamond Lane!). I got the Hong Chang Hang part of the name from here, as Chinese is Greek to me :-)

I was a bit surprised to see the address of the new store as Bakersfield Road -- if you had asked me I would have said the street was Dutch Square Boulevard all the way from Broad River Road to Bush River Road.

Written by ted on July 19th, 2009

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Touch of India, 14 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center) / 1321 Garner Lane: 2008 (moved) / 14 March 2010   5 comments

Posted at 12:38 am in restaurants

At one time, the side of the lower Intersection Center strip mall that faced Service Merchandise was something of an Indian complex, with a grocery, a clothing store and the Touch of India restaurant. I'm guessing that there was probably common ownership involved, but I don't really know.

Touch of India is the one Indian restaurant in Columbia that I haven't eaten at yet (though the one across form the Bush River Wal-Mart has changed ownership at least twice since I stopped there, so perhaps I shouldn't count it anymore). I always meant to stop, but the place was tucked away out of sight and mind and I never got around to it. They re-located last year out of the dying Intersection Center and onto Garner Lane, the hotel access road at the I-20 on-ramp off of Broad River Road. I've driven by the location a few times, and actually stopped by once when it happened not to be open. The new location looks a lot better, but they've traded an unattractive location for one that's hard to get to, at least if you're coming from Forest Acres. Still I'm going to make it eventually.

UPDATE 13 September 2009: Finally got some pictures of their new location at 1321 Garner Lane, #C:

UPDATE 15 March 2010:

Well, I finally did make it to Touch of India a few months ago. The menu was quite a bit different from The Delhi Palace where I usually go (or did before they moved). I thought the dosa (if I have that right -- the pancake-like things) were pretty good.

Unfortunately, they closed shop on Sunday the 14th. Eva's story in the Free-Times says business was down, and in my opinion, the location can not have helped there -- As I said in my original post above, Garner Lane is just hard to get to, and some people simply aren't going to "go against" Interstate on-ramp traffic.

UPDATE 16 May 2010: Added the full street address for the original location, tags.

UPDATE 20 May 2011 -- The place is now a strip club. More pictures later, but here is the start of the facade change:

Written by ted on February 20th, 2009

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Intersection Vacuum Center, 12 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1990s   3 comments

Posted at 12:16 am in historic,stores

OK, this one makes me doubt my memories. (I'm sure more of these closings should do that..)

This is the store where I bought my sister a vacuum cleaner back in the 1980s. I can't remember what kind it was -- some sort of off-brand canister model that seemed fairly solid, I think. It lasted more than ten years for her, and if that's not Electrolux longevity, it's not bad.

The thing is that I was dead certain the place was called Intersection Vacuum Center, which made sense because it was located at Intersection Center. However, clearly at the time this place moved to Lake Murray Boulevard (where it still is), it was called Vacuum Mart. Further, there is an Intersection Vacuum Center in Columbia, but it's apparently on Two Notch near Columbia Mall.

The only sequence of events that would make my recollection correct is if this building was Intersection Vacuum Center which at some point moved out and was replaced by another vacuum store. Anyone have a better memory about this?

UPDATE 16 May 2010: Added full street address, tags.

Written by ted on December 16th, 2008

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Real Estate School of South Carolina, 10 Diamond Lane: 2007 (moved)   no comments

Posted at 7:36 pm in business,historic

Here's another now empty store-front in Intersection Center. In this case, the business is still around and appears to have a nicer, free-standing facility now.

According to their sign, they've been moved for almost two years at this point, and I believe Intersection Center itself has been on the market for at least that long. I'm sure that wanting to present a more upscale image than a run-down strip mall allowed was a big factor in the move, but I wonder if they also expected that the place would sell and be demolished long before now. I'm a little surprised it hasn't, but I guess nobody is going to bet on redeveloping a struggling retail corridor in this economic climate. The few places still hanging on there are probably safe until the buildings are actually condemned.

Wonder how the Yard Sale turned out?

UPDATE 21 July 2011 -- Here are the school's new digs off Sunset Boulevard:

Written by ted on October 31st, 2008

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Chung King Restaurant, 20 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1990s   6 comments

Posted at 11:38 pm in historic,restaurants

I like to take pictures in the afternoon, because it seems to me the light is best then (leaving aside the fact that I rarely get my act together before 1 or 2pm anyway if I don't have to..), and so since I happened to be out in the Intersection Center area one Saturday afternoon recently, I decided to walk the whole place and take a bunch of pictures. I think I've already used some, and others will show up from time to time.

This former Chinese restaurant really caught my eye because of the life-sized cut-out figure still affixed to the front wall. I wouldn't call it fine art, but someone put a good bit of work into it once upon a time and it's a shame that it will probably go under the wrecking ball sooner or later. I was going to get a lot closer to the building and do my standard trying to look into the doors etc, but as I turned the corner, I saw a Highway Patrol car sitting beside the next defunct business. I believe there was a major drunk driving crackdown on at the time, and I suppose they were watching Broad River for people they could pull. I know I wasn't doing anything wrong, and I know the Highway Patrol could care less about most non-car related shenanigans, but it made me a bit nervous, so I made sure to flourish the camera very ostentatiously, and tried to look very much like I was not "casing the joint"...

I don't know what happened to Chung King. I think a lot of Chinese restaurants are family run and operate on a shoestring. Perhaps the place put the kids through college and it was time for mom & pop to retire. Perhaps being in a dying strip mall meant there was too little drive by traffic. To me it seems like the place has been closed forever, so I'm saying 1990s in the tag line, but apparently it was open recently enough that one of the online restaurant sites thought it was worth entering in their database -- something that does not give me a great deal of confidence in the rest of their listings!

Written by ted on September 29th, 2008

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Sam Solomon / Service Merchandise, 3 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1982 / 2002   33 comments

Posted at 7:08 pm in historic,stores

During the 1970s, Dutch Square was a major retail hub for Columbia. Columbia Mall in Dentsville had not yet been built, and Columbiana Center in Harbison was not even on the radar. While Dutch Square thrived, the surrounding area thrived as well. Cookesbury Books did a good business across the street, Boozer Shooping Center was at its peak, and Sam Solomon dominated nearby Intersection Center.

At the time, I always assumed that Sam Solomon was a national chain, but I have since found out that it was a Charleston based outfit. As I recall, it had something of a hybrid floor-concept. There were a few "catalog" stores which had only sample items on the floors as opposed to the current nearly universal "all our merchandise is on the floor" sales model. In these stores, you would look at items, and take coupons to the checkout at which point your items would be brought from the warehouse and rung up. At Sam Solomon's, larger items were displayed as samples while smaller iterms were taken by the shoppers themselves to the checkout. Sam Solmon had a little bit of everything, though my memory is that it skewed away from clothes and towards jewelry. I didn't care much about either. Whenever I came, invariably in the company of my cousins making a power-shopping trip to Columbia, I would concentrate on the electronics and gadgets (which I couldn't afford) and the paperback books (which I could -- sometimes). I remember in particularly getting a copy of Asimov's The Stars, Like Dust and a number of "Kenneth Robeson"'s Avenger books.

I don't know the story of Sam Solomon's demise, but have found a New York Times story dating its bankruptcy and takeover by Service Merchandise to 1982. By that time, the Dutch Square area was already losing its luster, and Intersection Center was particularly badly hit. Apart from the vacuum cleaner store at its entrance and Service Merchandise, the anchor, I think every store there turned over or went empty. By that time, I was driving and had a little money, but Service Merchandise never really had anything to interest me. For a while they billed themselves as "America's Leading Jewler", but they were already in decline when they lost that title to Wal-Mart. The last time I went in, it was rather sad. Most of the store was empty except for the central part where they were running a retail operation no bigger than a typical drugstore. I was a little surprised, googling later, to find that they had lasted until 9/11 when the retail crash took them out for good.

Intersection Center never even came close to recovering. I believe about the only operation left there is an ethnic grocery of some sort, and currently the whole tract is up for sale.

UPDATE 5 March 2010: Finally remember to add Service Merchandise to the post title.

UPDATE 16 May 2010: Added full street address, tags.

UPDATE 30 Sep 2010 -- Well, with the ongoing work at Intersection Center someone has (possibly unintentionally) got the Service Merchandise sign illuminated for the first time in 8 years:

Written by ted on February 12th, 2008

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