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God's Blessing Cafe, 1801 Main Street Suite A: 21 December 2018   2 comments

Posted at 12:36 am in closing

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According to The State, God's Blessing Cafe opened in early July 2018, serving classic Southern fare. This location is next to the former Jefferson Square Theater and is in the spot previously occupied by The Lunch Box, Palmetto Grille and Cavanaugh's Deli.

For me, this seems a tough spot to run a restaurant because parking issues will keep all but the local office crowd away. On the other hand, you could say the same about a number of Main Street lunch venues. Maybe it's just a bit too far North.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Written by ted on January 8th, 2019

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Cavanaugh's Deli / The Lunch Box / Palmetto Grille, 1801 Main Street: Late September 2016   5 comments

Posted at 12:11 am in closing

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I believe the first operation I can recall in this space moved here from the old Woodhill Mall, and may have been called Jonathan's. The reason I recall that specifically is that it featured in a story The State did on the best hamburgers in Columbia. For several years I had that story clipped and in my glove box as I tried out various of the places mentioned. Jonathan's (if that was the name) was one that somehow I never connected with at either location.

Stopping by on a fairly crisp fall day, the terrace space seemed as though it would be a nice spot to eat lunch al fresco.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

UPDATE 6 October 2016 -- Well, I noticed in the closing for Jefferson Square Theater, you can see that the restaurant spot was then Cavanaugh's Deli, "The Deli For Your Belly", so I have added that to the post title and a picture here:

I have also added The Lunch Box to the post title based on the comments.

Written by ted on October 4th, 2016

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Jefferson Square Theater, 1801 Main Street: 1980s   41 comments

Posted at 6:11 pm in Uncategorized

When I was small, going to a movie always meant going downtown. We didn't do it often, but Main Street had at least four theaters and Five Points had one. The way I remember it, this all began to change with the opening of the Richland Mall Theaters (which deserve their own post). By the time I was in high school and college, the action had mostly left Main Street, with Dutch Square, Spring Valley, Richland Mall and Columbia Mall all having multiplexes (Columbia Mall effectively had two multiplexes).

The Jefferson Square Theater was the last theater downtown to play first-run major movies after the rest of the Main Street theaters had either switched to kung-fu, hard-R grindhouse or closed their doors entirely. "Jefferson Square" itself is still there, more or less at the end of the old Main Street shopping district. The theater building is still there too, though I don't know what's in it today. The last movie I remember seeing there was "Fame" in 1982. Even at the time, it was unusual to go downtown, and we had trouble parking (another part of what killed downtown theaters). I recall being impressed with the setup, which was on a larger scale than a typical multiplex. There was even a balcony, though it was closed at that time. We all enjoyed the movie (it seems to have fallen off the cultural radar now, but was quite a sensation at the time) and agreed that it was a nice place to see it, but we never went back, and I saw some time later that the theater had closed its doors.

I understand now that the Columbia Film Society is trying to move their Nikleodeon Theater from Main Street behind the State House to one of the shuttered theaters on Main in front of the State House. I don't believe that they are talking about Jefferson Square, but it will be nice to see a downtown theater of any sort again.

UPDATE 4 May 08: Added pictures of the current Jefferson Square courtyard.

UPDATE 12 September 2009: Added the Jefferson Square ad for "Two People" from the 15 April 1973 State paper.

UPDATE 21 April 2013 -- Commenter William sends in the picture below saying:

The current tenant DHHS leveled the floor by pumping truck loads of self leveling concrete. I am sending you a pic of the old projection room from about 2 weeks ago [circa 1 March 2013 -- Ted]. When I first went up there parts of the projectors were still there and you could see out the "windows". But as you can see in this pic they have been removed completely and windows blocked.

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UPDATE February 16 2014: Finally add the full street address to the post title.

Written by ted on January 29th, 2008

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