Archive for the ‘Fort Jackson Boulevard’ tag
I was cutting through the Fort Jackson Boulevard Kmart parking lot the other month, from Wildcat Road to Crowson Road, and noticed something I thought a bit odd: The store's former auto service bays were up for rent. I guess it makes sense from an economic standpoint (though to date there have been no takers), but it's kind of depressing, like the Dutch Square Belk closing off most of the third floor. It says not only weren't we doing well with our auto business, but we don't think we'll ever in the future revamp and give it another go -- in fact, we don't think we'll even need this part of the building again.
I drove up in the parking lot of the Kroger on Fort Jackons Boulevard because I had noticed some activity there and wanted to see what was going on. In the event I'm still not sure about that, though it appears to be water utility work, but while I was there, I noticed that this Goodyear car repair place on the Kroger outparcel was gone.
There's no date on the note they left on the door, but I believe it's fairly recent. I've used the one on Forest Drive, and they seem pretty decent, so I'm not sure what the issue here was. From this real estate report it appears that the property was built in 1974. I guess that would be not long after the Starlite Drive In there went out of business -- I know it was still there in 1973.
UPDATE 5 April 2009: I see in a comment about the Garners Ferry Kroger that I had forgotten that this place closed in April of 2008 -- I've updated the post title to reflect that.
UPDATE 29 February 2012 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew below, this building has now been razed:
I wrote at some length about Robo's on Main Street some time ago, and that's the location I overwhelmingly went to to hone my Galaga skills (and by hone, I mean, I was "ok"). That made sense as I lived across the street from there, but when I was home and had access to a car, I would come to this location from time to time. I recently parked near there to get some pictures of the Advance Auto Parts demolition, and decided to take this shot.
At this remove, I'm not entirely sure which storefront Robo's was, but I think it was the one to the left of the blue dumpster. My memory also says that this location was something of a poor stepchild in the Robo's family -- I recall it as being smaller, less busy, and having a smaller variety of games. Unlike the University location, it didn't have a clear constituency (ie: college kids), though I suppose there are plenty of residences in the general area. I'm not sure if it outlasted the Main Street or Dutch Square locations -- it did have the advantage of not having its building torn down, but I think Main Street had folded long before that happened to its former home.
Capital Health Club / Jesudi's / Lulan Wang / El Korita / Los Portrillos, 4405 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 2008 etc 20 comments
First of all, can someone give me a definitive name for the road that starts at Fort Jackson, goes under I-77, passes in front of K-Mart and ends where Devine Street meets Garners Ferry? I've called it "Jackson Boulevard" all my life, but the I-77 exit signs read "Fort Jackson Boulevard", and half of the street signs on the road itself have "Fort" and half don't. Likewise, when I googled the address of this storefront, I find both uses.
Anyway, I became aware of this building when I would drive down (Fort) Jackson Boulevard and cut through to Ruby Tuesday's. As far as I could tell, it was a mexican restaurant which seemed to have passed through a protracted coming soon stage directly to an out of business stage without ever actually opening. Google on the address gives an even more interesting story. Apparently at some point in the not too distant past, it was a Chinese place called Lulan Wang. I'm not surprised I don't remember that as I'm not overly fond of Chinese food so those places don't really attract my attention. On the Mexican front however, it was apparently two different places, and must have been both quite recently: El Korita and Los Portrillos, so I'm apparently conflating and re-arranging two coming-soon and out-of-business progressions in my mind.
I like that the main available sign leaves the palm tree -- that's nicer than just a blank white sign. Also, notice the plaintive writing on the fences to the side of the restaurant urging No Steal Plant. Is that a big problem in Columbia? The fact that they felt the need to write it argues it happened at least once..
UPDATE 28 Jan 09: Several people in the comments mention that the place was also (and first) Jesudi's, an Italian restaurant that was decorated as a cave inside and out. I had completely forgotten that! I knew I had eaten in a "cave" restaurant somewhere in Columbia growing up, but did not connect it with that building at all. I've updated the post title to add Jesudi's to the list of tenants.
UPDATE 31 March 2011 -- Added full street address to post title. Added 1973 Southern Bell ad for Capital Health Club an establishment with a rather different menu than the rest.
UPDATE 22 July 2011 -- The place is now being worked on as an "Upfit for proposed new restaurant":
UPDATE 25 October 2011 -- Well, it's to be The Diner:
UPDATE 15 January 2012 -- The Diner is open:
UPDATE 25 January 2012 -- Here's the mural on the side. Looks as though they are still working on it:
UPDATE 28 January 2012 -- Yep! Definitely still working on it:
The whole area on Garners Ferry near where this Pizza Hut sat has been reworked so much over the years that it's hard to say exactly where the restaurant actually was, but I think it's not far off the mark to say it was about where Ruby Tuesday now is.
I don't know what the ownership structure of Columbia Pizza Huts in the 70s & 80s was, but as far as I could tell, they were almost all about the same, with no real standouts or bad stores. (I believe PH was in general better back then -- I don't care too much for it today). I say almost because this store was something of an outlier.
I remember that my sister and I stopped there once in the late 70s, and after our pizza came we ate for a few minutes before, independantly, coming to the conclusion that while the crust was fine, the cheese properly melted, and the toppings we had ordered had been duly applied -- there was no sauce anywhere on the pizza. I believe we raised it as an issue to the manager, but decided to take a discount on the check rather than wait for a new pizza to be prepared.
I didn't think much of the incident though obviously it did not move that PH to the top my "where to eat pizza" list. Still about five years later, I found myself in the area when it was time to eat and decided to stop by again. As I'm sure you already suspect, my pie was once again served sauceless. Now, the old saying is
Once is happenstance
Twice is coincidence and
Three times is enemy action.
and I didn't try a third time, so I can't rule out coincidence, but I can't help suspect that there was a management policy to cut costs by shorting the sauce. After all it's the least noticable bit of the pizza, being normally mostly hidden under the cheese anyway.
I can't remember exactly what happened to the place. Either it burned down (I know the one of Forest Drive did, so I may be conflating with that) or was torn down during one of the plaza remodels. At any rate, it was never rebuilt, and I can't say I'm too heartbroken about it.
UPDATE 5 March 2011: Changed the post title to use "Devine Street" rather than "Garners Ferry Road". I thought the name changed at Fort Jackson Boulevard, but actually Devine Street goes all the way to Wildcat Road.
Don't panic: The Egg Roll Station (also known as Egg Roll Chen) is not closed. I just thought that I should note the loss of the original building here. I understand why they might have wanted a newer building, but the old one (which I believe started as a Hardee's) had a unique "space-age" look.
I think that with the demolition of this building Silver City (the comics store) on Knox Abbot Drive in Cayce is the only remaining structure of this type in the Columbia area.
UPDATE 30 April 2010: I've corrected the street address in the post title. Also, I've found they have their own web site which has a good picture of their old building.
I don't know exactly when this Kroger closed, sometime in November is my best estimate. I was just driving by one day, and noticed that it was gone. It had been looking pretty thread-bare the last few times I was in it.
The closing of this location leaves only one of the inital wave of Kroger's entry into the Columbia market still open: the location at the corner of Forest Drive & Beltline Blvd. I remember when Kroger first came to town, it was the store. I was in high-school at the time, and the Decker Blvd location was convient to me when I first started to drive. My recollection is that Kroger was definitely a cut above anything else in town at the time. All of the stores had full bakeries, and a cheese section with more than the standard block chedder I grew up on. They also had small housewares (the second microwave I ever bought came from Kroger) and if they weren't open all night at the time (I can't quite recall) they were certainly open later than most Columbia grocers.
The initial wave was Decker Mall, Bush River Mall, Forest Drive, Fort Jackson Blvd, and US-1 just past Triangle City. I think the Bush River Mall location was the first to go, as that mall never really established itself. The next was the Decker location, a harbinger of the general decline of the Decker corridor. This was followed by US-1 and now by Fort Jackson Blvd.
Part of this wave of closings, aside from the poor location on Bush River was due, in my opinion to the changes in the grocery market. When Kroger came to town, it was up-market, but the next wave of store openings by its competitors trumped that by being even more up-market and Kroger found itself with suddenly dated looking properties that weren't as nice inside as newer competitors. They seem to have elected to compete by building new stores rather than refurbishing older ones, and the store on Two Notch Rd near Spring Valley High is built to their new standards. It will be interesting to see how long the old store on Forest Drive can survive. The new Piggly Wiggly by Cardinal Newman beats it for up-market, and the one-two punch of Publix and Fresh Market at Trenholm Plaza delivers everything other than 24-hour shopping.
UPDATE 5 April 2009
Here is commentor Melanie (looking cute as a button!) with a clown at the grand opening celebration of this store back in the day:
UPDATE 26 April 2010: Added full street address to post title.
UPDATE 30 April 2010: Added some more pictures (utility work was ongoing in the parking lot at the time these were taken).
UPDATE 6 February 2012 -- Well, it appears that work on the Whole Foods uplift has begun:
(Also, I have finally got around to adding Family Mart to the post title).
UPDATE 10 May 2012 -- Construction continues in these pictures from 6 March 2012:
The rubble in the final picture above is from the demolition of the old Lucas Machinery building.