Archive for the ‘Gervais Street’ tag
Varn's Drug Store / Safran's Antique Galleries / Arcade Auction / I. Pickney Simons Gallery / Thai On Gervais, 926 Gervais Street: 2011 12 comments
I don't know anything about Varns Drug Store other than it was listed in Walsh's Columbia South Carolina City Directory for 1907-08, had "E H Varn" listed as the proprietor and is not there now.
Thai On Gervais was obviously many iterations after Varns. I know they listed in the phonebook from (at least) February 2007 through February 2011, but not in Feburary 2012. Given that, and the current state of the space, I think they must have closed sometime in 2011.
Traffic was heavy enough that I could not step into Gervais Street to get a good frontal shot of this place, but you can see from the sidewalk and side views that it has sort of a "work is being done" look. I did not see any permits or indications as to what is next here however.
UPDATE 11 June 2012: Commenter Larry casts doubt on this actually being Thai On Gervais, at least within the time period suggested by the phonebook. I will try to check the city directories next time I am at the library, but for now I am leaving it. (Varn's I am more confident about).
UPDATE 20 June 2012: After consulting city directories at the RCPL, I can say that from (at least) 1960 through 1970, this space (actually 926-930) was Safran's Antique Galleries. After that, it was apparently vacant for a good while. In 1995, it was listed as Arcade Auction (Charlton Hall Overflow) and from 1995 to (at least) 2000, it was I. Pickney Simons Gallery. That seems to have been the last tenant. No city directory lists Thai On Gervais, but that is definitely in phonebooks..
This little space on Main across from the Capitol and next to WOLO has been a number of restaurants, for instance the Cat & Cleaver and The Capitol Cafe (not to be confused with the Capitol Restaurant) -- Then it was *almost* a Dunkin' Donuts.
After Dunkin' fell through, the place was vacant for a while then Fever started a (protracted) setup process, finally opened and rapidly went under.
I have to admit that though the place sounded to be something I might like, I purposely did not check it out as I strongly felt that the owner's role in the Taco Wars was unhelpful. Outcompeting someone -- fine. Trying to use City Hall to shut down a competitor -- not so much. I wonder if other people sharing that sentiment was an element in Fever's demise, or the fact that the last two restaurants there closed as well means that the location is just not that good.
(Hat tip to commenter Payne, and to tonkatoy for the "Taco Wars" link during the Have Your Say discussion)
Well, this closing has been discussed fairly extensively in the comments, but I first heard of it from Eva at the Free Times.
I like coffee and ice cream, but somehow never even knew that Peace, Love & Rocky Roast existed in the Vista even though I hit The Mellow Mushroom and Five Guys fairly often, and drive down Gervais on a semi-regular basis.
The store's facebook page and web site mention Vista rents as the main issue here. It doesn't seem to me that Vista properties are turning over quickly enough that driving out existing tenants is a good idea -- I notice that the complex with the antique bookstore has been on the market a good while as has this place (or at least it still looked vacant last time I thought to check).
Apparently PL&RR is looking to relocate to State Street in Cayce, but I'm not sure exactly where.
(Hat tips to Eva and the commenters)
Eat Boogie's Grill
That was the memorable exhortation that adorned the west wall of this vanished Gervais Street "soul food" restaurant when I was in middle and high school.
In fact, the place was so well known from that slogan, that I thought I would be able to find out more about it than I did. Here is the meager information I was able to come up with from old phonebooks:
Boogie's Grill apparently started in 1966, first showing up in the January 1967 Southern Bell phonebook at 509 Childs Street, a place I had never heard of, but which is in a neighboorhood west of Bluff Road.
Sometime in 1972 they moved to the iconic 2124 Gervais Street location, listing there in the December 1972 phonebook.
By 1977, they were back in the same Bluff Road area, listing at 1717 Zion Avenue in the January 1978 book.
As far as I can tell, they never bought a yellow pages ad, and in fact, dropped out of the yellow pages entirely after leaving Gervais Street.
2124 is on the block of Gervais betwen Harden and Pine Streets. There is currently no building at that address -- I think it must have been at one of the curb cuts between Holman's Barber Shop and the next building up (which looks as though I should probably do a closing on it). This surprised me a little bit, as I had been sure, before looking it up, that it was further down Gervais towards Millwood.
Surely someone out there has a picture of Boogie's and the west wall sign?
And to drift the subject a bit, how about that mural of the USS Enterprise blasting phasers down at a planet that adorned the west wall of a nearby building on the other side of Gervais Street?
I held off doing this closing for a bit, as I wasn't absolutely certain Logan Raye at the corner of Gervais & Gadsden was actually closed. The phone is still connected, there's no sign on the door, and all the products still seem to be shelved. However, the web site does hint strongly, and the door was locked during normal hours, so I'm afraid it's so.
I'm not that familiar with hair salons, or how long one stays inside, but it does strike me there is very little parking here. When I stopped to take these pictures, I had to feed a meter. I wonder if that may have had an impact..
(Hat tip to commenter Michael)
On the whole, Scriven's Alley doesn't sound like my kind of place, though I could have perhaps found some pasta I liked. The opportunity to grill your own food does sound pretty intriguing though. In the end however, it may have perhaps proved fatal to the business as the place burned down and was never rebuilt. I'm thinking that the Scriven's building was where that narrow vacancy right at the corner is rather than on the Hertz site. As I recall, it was a two story brick structure.
I had the impression that it was a pretty well thought of place, and I've always wondered why they never re-opened. I would expect most any building to have fire insurance, but perhaps they were down long enough for all the staff to disperse and the cash reserves to deplete.
I've noticed this car care operation on the corner of Gervais and Barnwell Streets a number of times over the years, though I never stopped in. In particular I believe I used to drive by on my way to the dentist, and other times I would just wonder at the way businesses sometimes cluster, as Master was catty-cornered to an almost identical Firestone operation and just a few blocks from a Goodyear.
I really like the Jasper Transmissions plaque -- It has that late 50s, early 60s design esthetic that is really nicer than what you generally see now.
Here's a non-descript little warehouse on Gervais Street between Millwood and Harden that I couldn't ever recall seeing before when I noticed the big for-sale sign out front.
Apparently it was a flower staging area for local florists. The 2009-2010 county property assessments list the owner as "METRO COLUMBIA FLORIST / DELIVERY COOPERATIVE INC" while the "Delivery Pool" language comes from this listing of local florists. LoopNet says the building dates from 1970 while the county link says 1987. To me it looks a bit more 70s-ish than 80s-ish.
It's rather interesting how every-other letter has fallen off of the start of "FLORIST", rendering is as "F O I". I take the "L" as having been part of "POOL" though the spacing looks pretty tight for that.
UPDATE 8 March 2011 -- Hmm. It's been painted, the old logo letters have been taken down, the for-sale sign is off in the corner and the door is open:
UPDATE 13 April 2011 -- It's to be "Detail & Body Works By Frank". Picture a little blurry..
UPDATE 23 December 2011 -- Now open: