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El Cheapo Laundry, 2557 Millwood Avenue / El Cheapo, 2559 Millwood Avenue: Early September 2013   1 comment

Posted at 11:19 pm in business,stores

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I believe the El Cheapo branding for this Millwood laundromat is fairly recent. Before that, it was Suds or something like that. I don't think the convenience store was an El Cheapo until recently either.

At any rate, apparently both were now under the same ownership and failed together early this month.

I wonder if they will sell off the commercial washers -- those can be quite hardy units.

Written by ted on September 9th, 2013

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Coin Laundry, 1932 Dunbar Road: mid-2000s   3 comments

Posted at 12:49 am in business

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This old laundromat is across the street (Dunbar Road) from Frink Street's Town & Country plaza, and looks to have been vacant for a good while.

City Feet says it was built in 1970. To me it looks a little earlier. These places always had a certain smell, and a certain look, with the soap dispenser machine with its metal levers and slots, the hard plastic bucket chairs welded to a rail, and the plastic high folding tables. And of course, the whish-whish sounds of the washing machine agitators and the clinks of metal buttons each time the jeans got to the top of the dryer drum and fell down again..

UPDATE 14 December 2012: Updated the closing date from "1980s" to "mid-2000s" based on the comments.

Written by ted on December 1st, 2012

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Master Clearners & Laundry, 1907 & 1908 Blossom Street: October 2012   3 comments

Posted at 12:27 am in business

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Here is another Master Cleaners location. This one is rather interesting because it comprises two buildings on either side of Blossom Street. The odd location is the drop-off point, and the even location is the actual cleaning, storage and pick-up point. I suppose I have driven past this spot at least once a week for the past decade or so without noticing this!

Currently, it being Five Points, the drop off location has quickly become a de-facto free-parking lot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on October 31st, 2012

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Master Cleaners & Laundry, 2843 Millwood Avene: early October 2012   2 comments

Posted at 1:32 am in business

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Commenter Mayr Douglass mentions that many (or all) Master Cleaners in Columbia have closed recently. So far, I've only checked out this one, on the corner of Millwood & Hagood Avenues.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, Master's was a constant radio presence while I was growing up, with their memorable jingle often playing on WIS

Look Your Best All The Day
In Clothes Cleaned the Mas-ter-ful Way.
You'll feel the diff-er-ence
Know the diff-er-ence
And what's more
You'll *show* the diff-er-ence!

(Hat tip to commenter Mary Douglass)

UPDATE 18 September 2013 -- It's now Provisions Bulk Foods & Spices:

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This story from The State talks about the new operation.

Written by ted on October 17th, 2012

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Laundry / Rivers Variety Store / Jerry Thompson / The Locker Room, 10101 Garners Ferry Road (Eastover): 1990s (?)   2 comments

Posted at 12:54 am in nightclub,restaurants

I noticed this place in Eastover on the west side of The Sumter Highway just past Horrell Hill last week. This former restaurant and pool hall has obviously been there quite a while, and has just as obvioiusly been out of business for many years too. (In addition to the clinging vines, most of the roof seems to be gone as you can tell in some of these shots). I suspect from the "Video Games" signage that it was last open during the video poker era, but not until the actual end of that era as it does not seem to be listed in the 1998 phonebook.

I got Rivers Variety Store and The Locker Room from the signs. Googling the phone number, (803) 783-5440 brought up the Jerry Thompson name.

UPDATE 21 Dec 2010: Added Laundry to post title based on the comments.

Written by ted on December 20th, 2010

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White Way Laundry / Habitat Store, 910 Harden Street: 2000s   3 comments

Posted at 12:48 am in stores

This rather handsome brick building on Harden Street in Five Points was, according to the Historic Columbia Foundation, built as a laundry in the 1930s (this city property valuation report claims it was actually built in 1930). I'm sure it has been many things over the years, but most recently, it seems to have been a used furniture store called Habitat Store which was associated with The Habitat For Humanity charity. I used to love going to used furniture stores, back when they were "junk stores" rather than "antique stores", but I can't ever recall this one, so I'm guessing it probably started after I left town in the mid 80s.

Written by ted on April 27th, 2010

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