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Archive for the ‘hamburgers’ tag

Steak 'n Shake, 1331 Roberts Branch Parkway: 8 March 2020   8 comments

Posted at 12:40 am in closing

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Well, I had to go out to mail something the other day, and decided I might as well check out the Steak n' Shake in Blythewood.

There has already been some discussion of this in various comments, with commenter Sidney putting this down to the classic real-estate trifecta: Location, location, location!. I'm sure that has something to do with it, but I believe the chain is having trouble in general. In particular, I know they exited Myrtle Beach last year and were having lots of problems even before the current mess.

The linked article says they closed 107 restaurants that "could not deliver excellent customer service" in 2019, so something is going on. Wikipedia says they adopted a new franchaise model in 2018, so perhaps that is not working out for them. Apparently some restaurants will re-open as counter-service only operations -- I do not know if this one will be among that group.

I have never eaten at a Steak n' Shake -- Columbia's only other one closed years ago, and has been razed -- but it has always been on my list to try someday. Oh well.

(Hat tip to commenter Shut it Down)

Written by ted on March 26th, 2020

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Fuddruckers, 1801 Bush River Road: 6 February 2020   17 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing

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Well, I am saddened by this one, but not surprised. I have been going to Fuddruckers for many years, and it has been obvious over the last several that there was minimal money for anything more than basic upkeep on the store. There was never a real update to the fixtures, and certain booths would break and never be fully repaired. Starting perhaps ten years ago, the hours dropped off a bit, one side of the burger condiment bar was retired, and the patio was basically abandoned.

Still I stopped in every six weeks or so because I did enjoy the burgers (and the buns!). I noticed that over the years the same faces would be there month after month -- something that is pretty uncommon in the restaurant business these days. The story in Cola Daily makes the point that the manager had been there since the store opened.

As I said, I have gone many times over they years, but some people take it to another level. The Fuddruckers model is you place your order at the register, take your drink, sit down, and then come back to the counter when your name is called. Last year I heard: "Bob, your 25th anniversary dinner is ready!"

This was Columbia's only Fuddruckers. There are at least two on the coast, and apparently several in the upstate.

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

UPDATE 13 February 2020 -- Here are some post-closing pictures:

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UPDATE 17 June 2020 -- This place has now been sold, and construction is starting. Commenter
Mike Dodds
says a church as bought the property:

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Written by ted on February 8th, 2020

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Hardee's, 7019 Parklane Road: January 2020   6 comments

Posted at 12:05 am in closing

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It seems to me I have blogged an unusual number of Hardee's closings recently. I'm not sure if that says anything or if it's just coincidence or local conditions, but here's another.

This store is on Parklane, basically in a Columbia Mall outparcel, and not too far down from the local McDonald's. I'm not sure how long it was in this location, but it's been at least since the mid-90s. I do like this google review for the place:

Once got a burger that looked just as good in the ads.

That *shouldn't* be high praise, and yet..

Are there any Red Burrito locations of Hardee's left in Columbia?

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on February 4th, 2020

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Rush's, 2540 Decker Boulevard: 2 November 2019   17 comments

Posted at 12:35 am in closing

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To the best of my memory, I ate at this Rush's sometime shortly after it opened, which is the only time I have been in one of their stores. I'm not sure why that is, as it was fine, and I was impressed with the state-fair-like presentation of the fries in a paper cup.

I admit to being a bit surprised at this closing, as I figured with the county takeover of Decker Mall, they would have a steady lunch business of civil servants crossing the parking lot for a bite.

The State says however that it was a 40 year old building that had age and maintenance issues and:

“At some point you just have to let it go.”

The stonework facings are definitely of another era, though not quite as distinctive as the old Popeye's buildings.

This closing makes two vacant restaurant buildings on the Decker Mall property, which seems odd. As I said with the county office workers (and law enforcement) nearby, I don't see why the site couldn't support a new restaurant, though perhaps either building would have to be razed and rebuilt.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

UPDATE 18 December 2019: Added the first picture from 2 November 2019, the actual last day of operation.

Written by ted on November 14th, 2019

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Smashburger, 5449 Sunset Boulevard: March 2019   7 comments

Posted at 8:32 pm in closing

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I like Smashburger burgers, and their choice of buns (espically the chipolte one), but the fries are so bad that it's not really a competitor to Five Guys in my mind. Nonetheless, every few months I do eat at the Devine Street location.

This particular location is in the new shopping center that was built after tearing down the old Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital. I believe that Smashburger was the initial tenant in this suite, and the first tenant of the strip to exit. (Even its Mattress Firm still survives).

(Hat tip to commenter ED)

Written by ted on April 24th, 2019

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Hardee's, 96 North Arrowood Road: March 2019   1 comment

Posted at 8:14 pm in closing

MaNo's Dogs, Burgers & More, Columbia Mall: 2018   1 comment

Posted at 11:39 pm in closing

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Here's another empty counter in Columbia Mall's food court. I don't know anything about it, but google does suggest that there was a Mano's Express in the Dutch Square food court. It seems an uncommon enough name that I suspect they were related, though the other one seems to have focused on soul food, while this one went the burgers & dogs route.

Hardee's, 1413 Charleston Highway: Late March 2019   8 comments

Posted at 10:25 pm in closing

Hardee's, 10391 Ocean Highway (Pawleys Island): December 2018   2 comments

Posted at 10:40 pm in closing

Written by ted on January 29th, 2019

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Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, 109 East Bobo Newsom Highway (Hartsville): 2009   15 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so at the time, Dave Thomas must have been very flattered.

Shortly after Wendy's came to town, a number of copycat restaurants popped up. They all had young girl mascots after which they were named, had square hamburgers and interiors set up with what at that time was Wendy's signature: One serving line. Unlike Burger King which was famous for letting McDonald's spend a lot of money finding ideal locations and then setting up across the street, these copy-cats tended to set up in smaller towns where there was, at the time, no Wendy's, or at least that's how I remember it. I'm pretty sure I recall chains called Judy's and Penny's (which I think had a restaurant in Georgetown which became El Cerro Grande before they razed it and built their own building). And then there was Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, which honestly I don't recall at all. Locating in Hartsville at the time would definitely be the setting up in a smaller market strategy though.

I haven't been able to find out much about Cindy's except that it definitely was a a Wendy's copy-cat and that its trademark was filed in 1976 (about the right time) and is expired. However, the chain still seems to exist in the Phillipines.

This particular location is at the intersection of US-15 & SC-151, and would have been basically in the boonies back in the day. It's still not what you would call a dense area. I may have the street address a little bit wrong, but it's close enough for Google Streetview to show the restaurant.

As you can see from the pictures, nobody else has ever set up shop here. In fact, I believe the place is now what you call a micro-clime which is uniquely suited for various plant life, though not so much for beef.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on November 29th, 2018

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