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Archive for the ‘historic’ tag

WECO Billiards, 750 Meeting Street: 2000s   4 comments

Posted at 1:00 am in Uncategorized

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I really like the sign here at the former WECO Billiards. It has a similar aesthetic to Varsity Billiards and Red Wing Rollerway.

This site for the current owners of the building (note the clever URL) says it was built originally as a grocery. It was still operating as a billiard hall in the February 1997 phonebook, but by the time of the next one I have here at home (February 2007), the listing was gone. Since then it appears to have been a thrift store, and now houses a number of operations as detailed at the previous link.

Written by ted on October 16th, 2012

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Drake's Restaurant, 2436 Taylor Street: 1977   19 comments

Posted at 12:00 am in Uncategorized

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DRAKES RESTAURANT
Columbia, S. C.

Best food on Highway One, north of Columbia. A spe-
cialty Restaurant serving good clean food. So duck in at
Drakes and enjoy a delicious meal.

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DRAKE'S RESTAURANT
Columbia, S. C.
Best food on Highway one, north of Columbia. A specialty
Restaurant serving good clean food. So duck in at Drake's
and enjoy a delicious meal.

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"Good Clean Food" -- I'm not sure I've ever seen that exact phrase used as a selling point before..

Over the years I've been running Columbia Closings I've gotten a number of requests for Drake's Restaurant on Taylor Street. I've never done much about it because we never ate there, and I really didn't remember the place, and because the building was gone.

Recently though, I was searching an online postcard site, and found two good postcards of Drake's. As fate would have it, commenter Dennis emailed me the same day with a copy of one of the same postcard images, saying:

This is Drake's Restaurant that stood on the southeast corner of Two
Notch/Millwood and Forest Drive. It's been long demolished and is now
a Church's Chicken. This view is from the south on Millwood. My family
ate there a lot in the early 1960s. It was a nice, quiet, "white
tablecloth" place that I truly miss. The Drakes ran a florist business
in the same building, no doubt doing a lot of business with Providence
Hospital patients across the street. And Yes, there is a connection to
Drake's Duck-In on Main Street, or at least there was originally.

I'm not sure what years these cards are from. I'm confident however, that the first card is earlier, as you can see that the roof air-conditioning units are the old wooden-slat type, while in the next card they are more modern.

I'm not sure when Drake's was started either. It *is* listed in the 1954 Southern Bell phonebook, the first one available at the RCPL. That, and subsequent phonebooks up to 1960 give the address as simply "Taylor Street". The December 1961 book is the first one to give the street number of "2436 Taylor Street". As far as I can tell, the place never bought a full yellow-pages ad. However, also starting in the December 1961 book, it did start buying a small box ad (pictured above) touting its "Go Service" wherein you could phone in your order and pick it up to go. This continued (with the same design and text) through the final listing for Drake's, which was in the January 1977 phonebook.

As Dennis mentions, the Drake's address is now a Church's Chicken fast food outlet, which is a completely new building.

One thing about the whole situation which blows my mind is that Drake's had (and Church's has) a Taylor Street address. If there was anything I thought I knew, it was that Taylor Street was West of Millwood and Forest Drive was East of Millwood. Full stop end of story. There's probably some sort of street re-routing story there...

(Hat tip to commenter Dennis, and a few others over the years)

Written by ted on September 13th, 2012

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Decker Mall, 2500 Decker Boulevard: Spring 2012   33 comments

Posted at 1:03 am in closing

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Well, it's unclear to me exactly when the hammer finally dropped, but all the remaining private businesses are now out of Decker Mall. I decided to stop by last week, and found that once I was inside, the only occupied space was the Dentsville Magistrate's office, and that most of the mall is now cordoned off by wire fencing in advance of the place being remodeled to house a bunch of Richland County Government offices.

I've written in various places about Decker Mall tenants, and thus in passing about the mall itself, but I've never done an entry for the mall per se.

In the beginning, Decker and Bush River malls were twins, with both being laid out as a strip anchored on one end by Richway (with the distinctive triangles on top) and on the other end by Kroger. The only real difference was that Bush River had a multiplex and Decker did not.

I'm not sure when Decker Mall opened, but it was definitely while I was in High School, probably around 1977. At the time, Columbia Mall was thriving, and just a few blocks away, so from the get-go, Decker had to find a different focus. With a discount store as one anchor, and a grocery as the other, the stores in the interior between the two tended to be smaller national chains, local chains, and one-off locals. Apart from clothing and other stores that didn't catch my teenage eye at all, I can recall Gateway Books, Flipside Records & Tapes, and my favorite, The Land of Oz video arcade.

After the Richway chain folded, Gold Circle took that anchor spot, and then when they folded, Target moved in. As far as I could tell, they always did a good business, but at some point a general mania struck Decker Boulevard businesses and they all begain a flight to Nort East Two Notch Road regardless whether there was still a customer base at the original location. When both Target and Kroger joined the flight, the writing was not only on the wall for Decker Mall (that wall had been scribbled for years..) but now it was etched in.

A number of local businesses that didn't rely on foot traffic held on there for years, but the last is now gone, and the next phase of life for the mall, if not *as* a mall is about to begin.

I have gone through a number of old city directories at the RCPL and have come of with this list of tenants for various years:

1977:

Does not list a mall at 2500, just Richway Stores.

1978:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto Center
  • Ann & Andy Fashions
  • Fashion Bug of Bush River Inc
  • Dipper Dan Ice Cream Shop
  • The Peanut Shack
  • Country Corner gift shop
  • Reflections
  • Fayva Shoes
  • Good Health Food & Nutrition
  • Jenkins Flower Botique Inc
  • Manufacturings Outlet Shoes
  • Land of Oz
  • The News Room (restaurant & lounge)
  • Command Performance
  • Yummy Yogurt
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav On Food & Drugs

1979:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto cener
  • Fashion Bug of Bush River Inc
  • Country Corner
  • Reflections (men's clothes)
  • Gateway Books
  • Fayva Shoes
  • Jenkins Flowers & Bride's Place
  • Manufactures [sic] Outlet Stores (shoes & clothes)
  • Land of Oz
  • Command Performance
  • Harvey's Warehouse (stereo equipment wholesale)
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav On Food & Drugs
  • Kroger Sav On Pharmacy

1983:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto Center
  • Arnold's Formal Wear
  • Four Seasons
  • Mill Fabrics
  • The Micro Shop
  • The Shoe Tree
  • Land Of Oz
  • Command Performance
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • Video Ventures
  • Melody Music Center
  • Olan Mills Inc
  • Rush's Fast Foods

1988:

  • Cola Magic & Customs Shop (theatrical supplies & equipment)
  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Gold Circle
  • Four Seasons
  • China City
  • Command Performance
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • Stone Works Home of The Dirt Cheap Mine (jewelery specialty)
  • Melody Music Center
  • First Federal of South Carolina (in Kroger?)
  • Olan Mills Inc
  • Rush's Fast Foods
  • State Department of Highways & Public Transportation
  • Columbia Magic & Costume Shop
  • Magic & Miracles Productions
  • Pettit William H Agency (talent agency)
  • Expert Alterations & Fine Mending

1993:

  • Target
  • China City
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • First Savings Of South Carolina (in Kroger?)
  • Rush's Fast Foods
  • State Department of Highways & Public Transportation
  • Expert Alterations & Fine Mending

1998:

  • Branch Banking & Trust Co (in Kroger? in Target?)
  • Carolina First Corporation (where?)
  • China City of Columbia
  • Expert Alterations
  • Kroger Drugs
  • Rush's Food Systems
  • Target Store

2003:

  • Healthy Home Foods Inc
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Little China Buffet
  • Pup's Barber Shop Express
  • Rush's
  • Special Occasions (catering)
  • Expert Alterations
  • Precisely Yours (beauty salon)
  • Changing Faces (beauty salon)
  • New Life World Ministries

2008:

  • Arcadia Self Storage
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Little China Buffet
  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Nunies Mini Stand (convenience)
  • Richland County Magistrate
  • Rush's
  • Special Occasions
  • D & T Fashions
  • Expert Alterations
  • Changing Phaces (beauty salon)
  • New Life World Ministries

2011:

  • Extra Space Storage
  • Shekinah Glory Family Care (childcare)
  • Special Occasions (banquet rooms)
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Richland County Magistrate
  • Expert Alterations
  • New Look New U (beauty salon)
  • Rush's

Note that some time between 1988 and 1993, the mall offices stop being listed, so perhaps the mall as a corporate entitiy was gone by that point. Note also that Rush's and China City/Little China are outparcels.

Here is Sky City's writeup on Decker Mall, and following are pictures and links from my other Decker Mall posts.

My post discussing the county purchase.

Kroger:

DMV:

Land of Oz:

Richway / Gold Circle / Target:

I know I have some other Decker Mall pictures around, and I will add those as I find them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Walsh's Columbia South Carolina City Directory For 1907-08, Columbia: 1907   3 comments

Posted at 4:48 pm in Uncategorized

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Here's one for you history buffs!

I ran across this 1907 City Directory when I was googling for "926 Gervais". As it turns out, Google has been working with libraries to digitize public domain books they might have in their holdings, and somehow or other this one was found at UV.

You can download the whole directory here. It is in PDF format, but you may need the latest version of Acrobat Reader to make it open correctly.

More sample pages after the jump. Also, remember that this is a historical document and that it follows the unfortunate mores of its times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on May 25th, 2012

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The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary Tour, Chastain Park Atlanta, 28 April 2012   7 comments

Posted at 4:41 pm in Uncategorized

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[Front Row Bottom left-to-right: Brian Wilson-Piano/Vocals, Jeff Foskett-Guitar/Vocals, David Marks-Guitar, Mike Love-Vocals, Al Jardine-Guitar/Vocals, Unknown, Bruce Johnston-Keyboards/Vocals]

(Wanted to get this out last night, but my uploads didn't finish..)

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Written by ted on April 30th, 2012

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Palmetto Candy & Tobacco, 1225 Lincoln Street: March 2012   8 comments

Posted at 3:12 am in Uncategorized

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Commenter Larry points out this State story on the closing of Palmetto Candy & Tobacco. This Columbia institution is on Lincoln Street across from the Seaboard station, and is someplace I have always meant to check out. In the event, as is often the case, I have apparently waited too long.

As the 21 April story (which places the closing time as "about a month ago") notes, there is a "remodeling" sign on the store door, but I find that more often than not in these cases, that is kind of a "the cat is on the roof and won't come down" way to break bad news. This is especially the case given the customer base was apparently largely "filling stations, corner markets, baseball leagues and swimming pools" -- the types of operations which will quickly change to new suppliers and then be reluctant to make yet another change if the place reopens.

(Hat tip to commener Larry)

Written by ted on April 23rd, 2012

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Gas Station, Sumter Highway @ SC-764: 1980s(?)   3 comments

Posted at 11:50 pm in Uncategorized

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I noticed this abandoned gas station a few weeks ago coming back into town on the Sumter Highway. It sits where US-378 (The Sumter Highway) and SC-764 meet at a fork in the road.

I'm sure that the painting on the facade is sufficient to identify what brand of station it was, but I'm drawing a blank on it right now, and as often as I have driven (or ridden..) that road since the 1960s, I'm almost certain I never stopped there.

These pictures were taken about 5 minutes too late -- Just before I got to the area, the sun had broken through the storm clouds for that glorious late-afternoon-post-storm light you get sometimes, but by the time I started snapping, the clouds were already rolling back in. I wish I had the honey-suckle pumps in that light..

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Written by ted on April 18th, 2012

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Historic House, 1531 Blanding Street: 2011   9 comments

Posted at 3:50 am in Uncategorized

OK, I'm not going to change the text below which was what I wrote for the first version of this post, but be aware that it is incorrect:

Not exactly a closing, though if it sells, I guess any businesses there (which seem to be law offices) will have to move, but a change in status at least for this historic house on the corner of Laurel & Pickens Streets. For some reason, LoopNet has three slightly different listings for this building (here, here and here). One of them notes that the house has nine office spaces available. Of course in a setup like this, probably a lot of common space and bathrooms are shared, which can be a drawback.

UPDATE 22 February 2012: Now for the actual correction! As pointed out by commenter Terry, the pictures in the links above don't match, and I find I have somehow confused Laurel Stret and Blanding Street. The house above is on BLANDING street. It is still an historic house converted to offices, but it is not the Ratchford House! This and this are the correct listing links. And apparently the house is

[A]djacent to Robert Mills House and Hampton Preston Mansion.

I have changed the post title to eliminate the reference to "The Ratchford House" and fix the street address. Sorry for the operator headspace error!

Written by ted on February 22nd, 2012

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The South Carolina State Farmers' Market, Bluff Road: Summer 2010   6 comments

Posted at 10:57 pm in Uncategorized

Written by ted on January 10th, 2012

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(Eat) Boogie's Grill, 509 Childs Street / 2124 Gervais Street / 1717 Zion Avenue: 1982   5 comments

Posted at 3:07 am in Uncategorized

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?

Written by ted on January 9th, 2012

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