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Tonya D. Parks Nationwide Insurance (moved) / E F Martin Company, 2516 Two Notch Road: 2011   no comments

Posted at 12:29 am in business

LoopNet says this rather nondescript little building on Two Notch near Covenant Road was built in 1970. I would have been in third grade, old enough in theory to recall what it was originally, but apparently my eyes totally slid over it for the first 41 years of its existence.

At some point though, it became the Tonya D Parks Nationwide. Judging by this comment from commenter Amanda they moved from here to the old Sandy's Escorts location at 5201 Two Notch in July of 2010.

Google doesn't give me much help on the E F Martin Co, telling me confusingly that it was either a "non bank holding company" or an auto repair shop.

Written by ted on December 9th, 2011

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G-E-X Membership Department Store / Intertec Data Systems / Home Gold Financial / Phar-Mor / Home Quarters Warehouse / Blue Cross Blue Shield / Palmetto GBH, 2340 Broad River Road: 1973   36 comments

Posted at 11:35 pm in stores

I never heard G-E-X pronounced Gee-Eee-Eks as the spelling here would imply. It was always just "Gex" to rhyme with "Vex". Not that I heard about it that often. Given the 21 Dec 1969 phonebook listing (ie: for 1970) above, it sounds like it was a Costco or Sam's before its time -- certainly we did not have a membership, and I never went with anyone who did. (There are some pictures of the membership cards here.)

The building (behind Applebee's just North of I-20) is certainly massive, and it seems to have had a department for everything, including groceries and meat, which really makes it sound ahead of its time. Wikipedia says G-E-X was another label for G.E.M the Government Employees Mart and that the electronics department eventually morphed into Circuit City by way of Ward's. The December 1972 phonebook is the last one to list the Columbia G-E-X which meshes with Wikipedia's claim that the chain went under "during the discount store shakeout of 1973".

After G-E-X the spot seems to have been a number of different operations including Home Quarters and Blue Cross. In fact, LoopNet says Blue Cross has a lease on the whole building that lasts until September 2012. Currently the building seems to be empty, with the last branding on the street sign as Palmetto GBH which seems to be some sort of Medicare related operation (their sign is still on the storefront in the LoopNet listing).

UPDATE 21 March 2011: Added "Intertec Data Systems" & "Phar-Mor" to the post title. Those apparently closed in the early 1980s and 3 October 1992 respectively. (Also fixed spelling of Applebee's..)

UPDATE 6 April 2011: Added the 1970 Bellsouth Yellow Pages ad for the pharmacy department (which apparently was open to the general public).

Written by ted on March 18th, 2011

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Allstate Insurance / Reyland Medical / Massage Studio, 906 Knox Abbott Drive: Feb 2010   12 comments

Posted at 12:54 am in business

The part of this building at 904 Knox Abbott Drive that is now a cleaners was the original location for Silver city comics, which is now up the street in an old Hardee's building. I used to drive over from USC every Thursday ("new comics day" back then) to see what was out that week. I would park along the west side of the building, and do vaguely recall 906 being the insurance agency though I don't recall Reyland Medical at all. I know that Silver City moved out after a fire, but I can't recall if it affected 906 as well.

Anyway, since I used to go there so often, I always notice the building as I'm driving by, and saw a massage operation setting up shop there late last year. It seemed to be one of those places having a hard time getting started, at least I never saw any cars there, or indeed any sign that it was open. Finally going to Krispy Kreme one evening, I noticed a sign pasted to the door, and figured it had gone under, but when I stopped to take a picture, the sign said something about a "grand opening" instead. I think that was in mid-February. Then when I went by last weekend, I saw the (generously timelined) "Artsy Fartsy" sign you see here.

UPDATE 29 Oct 2010 -- Well, Artsy Fartsy is to be a coffee bar as well as an art gallery:

Written by ted on March 18th, 2010

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Sandy's Escorts / BJ Motors, Inc. / Nationwide Insurance, 5201 Two Notch Road: March 2009 (moved)   6 comments

Posted at 11:40 pm in business,entertainment,historic

I noticed a few months ago that this little building on Two Notch Road, at the bottom of the hill between Pinestraw Road and Pine Belt Road, was now a Nationwide Insurance office. I see this month that they are moving to another location on Two Notch, leaving the building vacant again.

Insurance is usually a pretty staid business (unless you are AIG..), but this location has a somewhat racier past. In particular, back in 1987, you might have found the address listed under Escort Services:

The next iteration was a perfectly normal used car lot, except I always found the name, still on the shed out behind the main building, just a bit ironic:

UPDATE 20 December 2011 -- The Tonya D. Parks Nationwide has now moved into this place, following the other Nationwide office:

Written by ted on March 15th, 2009

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