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Archive for the ‘Fort Jackson Boulevard’ tag

Wristwatch Doc, 4601-B Forest Drive: 9 May 2011 (expanded)   8 comments

Posted at 11:48 pm in Uncategorized

Wristwatch Doc is the follow-on operation to Jewelery Mart in the Bruegger's building on Forest Drive next to Cardinal Newman. When they were setting up, their sign went up in the old Jewelery Mart spot on the roadside marquee:

and the shop door:

but was shortly joined by a sign for Artisan Jewelers:

That, I figured, was the "official" name for the place, but in the event it appears I was wrong and Artisan and Wristwatch Doc were separate businesses sharing retail space. In the event, Wristwatch Doc has now gotten their own storefront on Fort Jackson Boulevard, and has added gold buying to their portfolio. I did stop in once at the Forest Drive location, and they changed my watch battery quickly and with no problem (especially compared to a memorable battery change in Augusta Mall when I thought I might be getting my watch back in pieces..)

UPDATE 13 July 2011: Changed "(moved)" in the post title to "(expanded)" to account for the Jackson space. Also, they have a new sign on Forest now:

Written by ted on May 15th, 2011

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Cash Advance, 4723 Devine Street: 2010   1 comment

Posted at 12:39 am in Uncategorized

Here's another vacancy in the old Robo's/Slot Car building behind the Fort Jackson Boulevard K-Mart.

Their sign says they've moved to the Augusta Highway, but the phonebook shows that the Augusta location co-existed with this one, so I think it's more of a consolidation than a move. I don't know about that location, but this one is not ideal for drive-by traffic. You have to be coming into the K-Mart the back way to see it, and given that the K-Mart auto bays on that side are closed (and I believe the garden center may be as well) and that the general "pull" of K-Mart is pretty low right now in general, it can't have got a lot of notice.

Written by ted on December 17th, 2010

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Pizza King, 4330 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 2000s   3 comments

Posted at 1:09 am in Uncategorized

I have to say that the Pizza King looks like a really stern monarch. If you didn't order the anchovies on your pie, you would eat it and like it..

I don't actually remember seeing this place in operation, and I normally keep an eye out for pizza. Either it closed while I was living out of town, or given the odd location (Fort Jackson Boulevard where Crowson Road follows Gill Creek past K-Mart) and lack of apparent parking, my eyes just slid over it.

I know Pizza King can't have been the first operation in this building -- That illuminated arrow looks like it dates back to the 60s at least.

UPDATE 12 August 2014 -- This building is to become the new location for Utopia:


Written by ted on December 9th, 2010

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Saki Japanese Restaurant, 4963 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 2000s? (name)   4 comments

Posted at 1:21 am in closing

I just thought this one was a little odd. The ad is from the 1985 Bellsouth phonebook. Sometime between then and now, the name of this backgate restaurant at Fort Jackson Boulevard & I-77 was changed from Saki to Saky. If you look at the photo, you can see how the 'I' was replaced by a 'Y' in the mural (which is very similar, though not identical to the Yellow Pages art).

The only reason for something like this that I can think of is that the ownership changed at some point, and the new owner didn't have permission to keep using the same name, but was able to keep something very similar..

Written by ted on May 14th, 2010

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Kmart Auto Bays, 4400 Fort Jackson Boulevard: late 2000s   49 comments

Posted at 2:14 am in closing

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.

UPDATE 7 October 2019: Add map icon and update tags.

Written by ted on April 30th, 2010

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Goodyear Gemini Auto Service Center, 4327 Fort Jackson Boulevard: April 2008   4 comments

Posted at 1:45 am in Uncategorized

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:

Written by ted on April 5th, 2009

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Robo's Video Arcade, K-Mart outparcel Devine Street: 1980s   4 comments

Posted at 1:05 am in Uncategorized

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 Italian Restaurant / Lulan Wang / El Korita / Los Portrillos, 4405 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 2008 etc   23 comments

Posted at 1:20 am in closing


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:

UPDATE 28 October 2021 -- I have added the first picture, a shot of Jesudi's in full Italian Cave mode. Commenter Bill alerted to me of this shot at the Library of Congress of all places. The accompanying text says that it was taken by photographer John Margolies in 1988, and is part of his John Margolies Roadside America Photograph Archive collection, with no restrictions on use.

While I am here, I am also updating tags and adding the map icon.

Also note that several more businesses have come and gone in the building since I first made this post, and that the building was badly hit by the flood of 2015. You can click here for more details.

Pizza Hut, 4620 Devine Street: 1980s   15 comments

Posted at 12:21 am in closing

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.

UPDATE 26 June 2023: Updating tags and adding map icon.

Written by ted on January 18th, 2009

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Egg Roll Station (Egg Roll Chen), 715 Crowson Road: 2007 (remodel)   3 comments

Posted at 7:28 pm in Uncategorized


And Now:

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.

Written by ted on February 19th, 2008

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