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Archive for the ‘lunch’ tag

Fire and Spice, 7971 North Woodrow Street Suite 5: 7 August 2022   no comments

Posted at 11:02 pm in closing






Irmo Lunch spot Fire and Spice on Woodrow Street has closed. They were the follow-on operation in this storefront to China Pearl and, looking at their Facebook, it seems they will be succeeded by Roy's Grille, which is moving here from Lexington.

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

Written by ted on August 25th, 2022

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The Lunch Box, 1305 Lady Street: 2020   3 comments

Posted at 10:13 pm in closing





Here is another downtown place I was unaware of. Their still somewhat working web site says the place opened in 1981, so that's a nice long run. I'm unsure exactly when they closed, but I can't find any review newer than about a year old, so I am guessing that they probably closed during the early stages of the 2020 COVID-19 infestation.

I think they also had a second location in Jefferson Square.

These pictures come from Alan LEBON, so big thanks to him for that, and for commenter Justin for the heads-up.

(Hat tips to Alan LEBON & commenter Justin)

Written by ted on February 8th, 2021

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The Happy Cafe, 4525 Forest Drive: December 2020   no comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in closing










I last wrote about this space in 2008, on the closing of The Happy Bookseller. Even before that venerable institution closed, the Happy Cafe had been inside functioning as a bookstore cafe. After that they went standalone, and have had a good long run.

Unusually in this snakebit year, they are not closing due to the pandemic, but to move on to new ventures, including selling the cafe's well known caramel cake online. This ColaDaily article has the story and says:

Hodges and Reynolds said they would love to see customers dine-in, order to go and stock up on favorites like the pulled chicken barbeque, casseroles, and Sue's famous caramel in the coming months. They said their plan is to close the cafe on a celebratory note.

That would come near the end of the year. I really should try to get over there and eat lunch before 3:00 for once.

UPDATE 23 March 2021 -- As reported by The Free Times, this is to become burrito spot Boca Grande:


Written by ted on October 9th, 2020

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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







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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Hampton Street Diner, 1840 Hampton Street: September 2018   5 comments

Posted at 12:39 am in closing














Hampton Street Diner opened on 3 December 2017 in the former location of Nathan's. By the time I got around to the Nathan's closing, most of the Hampton Street Diner upfit was already done, so I am repeating those pictures here.

The State had this story about the (then upcoming) opening of the new restaurant.

Although it looked like a good place to try a burger, I never did make it by for lunch, and the last time I drove by, there was signage to the effect of either new management or new ownership, so apparently there was a major change at some point.

I do like the parting sentiment that while not everything works out, life goes on.

(Hat tip to commenter Frank)

UPDATE 9 January 2020 -- Now Vegans International Organic Cafe & Juice Bar:



Written by ted on September 11th, 2018

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Zoe's Kitchen, 1320 Main Street Suite 150: 6 August 2018   2 comments

Posted at 10:40 pm in closing












Well, I'm not sure what is going on here. The sign is extremely uninformative, and there is no sign of work being done inside or out. I hit the Forest Acres' Zoe's from time to time for the Greek salad, but have never visited this location.

UPDATE 31 August 2018 -- Removed the "temporary" from the post title based on the comments.

UPDATE 31 August 2018 -- The State reports it as a restroom issue (in that the store had none) though parts of the reporting contradict that..

UPDATE 1 September 2022: Editing tags and adding map icon.

Written by ted on August 14th, 2018

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Atlanta Bread Company, 1307 Main Street: December 2016   9 comments

Posted at 12:50 am in closing


When I heard about this closing, I did a google search for ABC troubles at the corporate level, and surprisingly to me did not turn up anything. Usually when a chain starts closing lots of locations, there will be a story in Forbes or Bloomberg or *somewhere* trying to explain the situation, and the prospects for turnaround.

Since I started this blog, Atlanta Bread Company has closed the locations at Sandhill, Lake Murray Boulevard, Socastee, Charleston and North Myrtle Beach. Now they seem to be leaving the Columbia market entirely with the closing of this store and upcoming closure of the Sunset location. Although there may be something in the Upstate, the Aiken Whiskey Road location is the only SC store left that I know of.

Absent any hard news of what's going on, I can only speculate that Panera took their formula and executed it just a little bit better, and indeed this store closed shortly after the Gervais Panera location opened just a few blocks away.

Written by ted on January 17th, 2017

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Shoney's, 600 Bush River Road: late December 2012   54 comments

Posted at 1:51 am in closing











As I've said here before, we used to eat at Shoney's all the time when I was growing up, and when they were still affiliated with the Big Boy brand. The Hot Fudge Cake was always a special treat, and there were free comic books for us kids. The chain lost its way sometime in the 80s, dropping Big Boy and trying to branch out into areas they knew nothing about, like running motels..

The Columbia stores gradually started closing, with Beltline, Charleston Highway, Forest Drive and Two Notch all gone by the time I moved back to town.

This location, across from the old Kmart has seemingly been in trouble for years, as they stopped serving dinner and were open only for breakfast and lunch. As the marquee farewell message mentions, the two stores left are the Garners Ferry and Airport Boulevard locations. I haven't been in the Airport store for 20 years or so, but I've been to the Garners Ferry location several times recently, and find it rather neutral -- neither particularly good nor particularly bad. As commenter Andrew has posted, the chain has now hired a turnaround CEO to try and get the brand back on track. I wish them well, and suggest trying to make up with Bob..

UPDATE 18 September 2013 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew, this place is leased, and is to become a Cook Out>




(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

UPDATE 19 April 2016 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew, here is the excavator on the Shoney's lot:



UPDATE 10 May 2016: Some pix of the cleared lot(s) through traffic:





UPDATE 17 May 2016 -- A couple more pix of the vacant lot, though still not very good ones:



UPDATE 28 June 2016 -- Construction on the Cookout continues:




UPDATE 10 July 2016 -- Siding up now..




UPDATE 10 September 2020: Update tags, add map icon.

Written by ted on January 10th, 2013

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Be Beep & The Happy Cafe, 4525 Forest Drive: (not closed)   no comments

Posted at 1:54 am in Uncategorized

Not really a closing, but I was at Bruegger's Sunday, and happened to notice that the building housing Be Beep and The Happy Cafe is being re-roofed.

The Be Beep area was roped off, but they aren't open on Sunday anyway so I doubt they'll have any downtime.

Written by ted on November 8th, 2010

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Nice 'N Natural, 1217 College Street: 29 October 2010   6 comments

Posted at 1:28 am in Uncategorized

Nice 'N Natural, located on College Street in between Main and Sumter Streets (and next to the former USC Burger King) shares an attractive old brick building with Cool Beans coffe shop. It's within easy walking distance from The Horseshoe, and in general, I have found parking in the area to be reasonably easy, at least in the evenings.

I mention evening, because I must admit that while I've been to Cool Beans numerous times over the years, I never made it to Nice 'N Natural. I was kind of vaguely aware it was there, but I was never in the area during its open hours, and had the tenuous impression from the name that it was a "healthy" place (ie: not something that would be high on my list). The Free Times brief description sort of re-inforces that impression, though "whole grain" attracts me more than "alfalfa sprouts".

I think I read in The State a week or so back that the owners reported that business fell off after 9-11 and never really recovered. If that be the case, then they've hung on for 10 bad years, which is certainly something to be proud of (and of course their 28 years is an extraordinary run for any restaurant).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on October 29th, 2010

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