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Kmart, 748 West Main Street (Lexington): December 2019   1 comment

Posted at 11:05 pm in closing

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This is certainly not a surprise at this point. In fact, I am more surprised that this store (and the West Columbia one) have stayed open as long as this.

The State says the plan is to close in December, but I don't see how you can get through October and November without already being down to the bare walls. That said, as of Saturday, the store was not too picked over yet, though reflecting that fact the discounts were still fairly low.

You can definitely see the effects of wear and tear on this store in the floor and in other other aspects of the physical plant. Plainly there hasn't been any money for cosmetic maintenence in a good while.

(Hat tip to lots of folks, perhaps commenter Tom was first)

Written by ted on October 7th, 2019

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South Carolina Book Store, 801 Main Street: Summer 2019 (moved, refocused)   10 comments

Posted at 11:55 pm in closing

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I'm not sure how much USC still uses "textbooks" in the old sense. I haven't discussed it with anyone now in college, but my impression is that a lot of the books now are in ebook form. Since it sounds like the South Carolina Book Store is really getting out of the textbook market, that may be what happened.

At any rate, when I was in college this place was a sure visit every semester. In those, pre-internet, days this store and the USC owned textbook concession in the Russell House had a duopoly lock on the student book market. I usually tried to get all my bokos on campus, but invaribly there were one or two that were sold out and had to be tracked down here. They would also buy back textbooks, and from time to time growing up, my father would take me here with boxes of books that he had been sent in the hopes he would choose them for his classes, and would sell them, giving the proceeds to my sister and me. (I think he felt it wouldn't be quite right to take the money himself).

Aside from the texts, this place also had a heady mix of pencils, pens, notebooks, art supplies and drafting paper. There was a certain very specific smell when you walked in from all the paper and pencils. If I recall correctly, I had to get all my drafting supplies for my all-time least favorite class: Introduction To Engineering Drafting (or some similar name). I had a compass, gum erasers, drafting pencils, drafting paper and straight-edge. All of that, and after trying all day, I still could not draw a bolt in 3D perspective.

Despite driving past this store many times since college, I don't think I have been in since the 1980s, and I now it's too late to see if it still smelled the same..

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on August 5th, 2019

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Hummus Mediterranean Bistro By Al Amir, 610 Main Street Suite A: March 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:16 pm in closing

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I did not know Hummus Mediterranean Bistro existed until commenter Sidney mentioned that it was gone.

About all I know is that it was the follow-on operation in this spot to Uncle Maddio's Pizza and was run by the Al Amir folks. (Who rpeviously had a restaurant just up the street in University Corner at 629 Main Street.

This place got pretty good reviews, the last of which seem to be around March of 2019, so that's what I'm using for a closing date.

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on July 16th, 2019

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Yoghut, 601 Main Street: January 2019 (Rebranded)   2 comments

Posted at 11:35 pm in closing

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As The Daily Gamecock reports, Yoghut at the corner of Main & Blossom streets is now The Corner Blend with a new menu, including Acai Bowls (something I had never heard of) and Bubble Tea. The place remains under the same management, but the new name reflects the broader focus.

UPDATE 28 June 2019 -- Forgot to put some pictures with the Yoghut branding up. Here they are:

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Written by ted on June 27th, 2019

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Al-Amir, 1734 Main Street: April 2019 (Moving)   3 comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in closing

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Al-Amir is on the move again. They have had locations on Devine Street (twice), South Main, Saint Andrews Road, Sparkleberry Crossing and Sandhill.

Now they have left the old Elite Epicurean location at 1734 Main Street, and are relocating north to the old Taste Of China Hut at 2431 Main Street.

The State has two relevant articles. The first mentions the challenges of running a restaurant at that location:

"At night, the lighting here is bad and there are homeless people, and people doing drugs (along Laurel St.)," he said.

It feels unsafe, but he hears that Columbia Police are putting a substation in the former United Way location at 1800 Main St.

"After 18 years (in the business overall, Al-Amir has been on Main St. since 2014) and pouring every penny we have into the place, we've had to maneuver to keep the restaurant," he said. "We have loyal customers ... there just isn't enough to sustain the business."

To draw a bigger lunch crowd, they added some Southern specialties, but I have to think given they can't season with pork, that would be a pretty limited endevour.

The second article continues the story, with its outcome: the move down the street.

I like Al-Amir, but for me the biggest issue with this location was parking. The old Taste Of China Hut does have its own parking lot, so hopefully that will be better. I also wish that it was easier to get what I want sometimes. The way the menu is set up makes it difficult to put together my favorites.

I'm not sure when the new location will be ready. It looked very much still in progress when I drove by a few weeks ago.

(Hat tip to commenter Mr_hat)

UPDATE 20 June 2019 -- Here are some pictures from 2014 apparently not long after the opening:

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Written by ted on May 17th, 2019

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Local Yocal, 1712 Main Street: March 2019   2 comments

Posted at 11:53 pm in closing

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The Free Times calls Local Yocal a "bodega" syle store. I've never been really sure what that word means, but here it seems to have applied to an upscale bar with takeout food and groceries if I am getting the gist of it.

I'm a bit confused about one thing. While this is the first time I have done a closing for 1712 Main Street, I have done several for next door 1710 Main Street. Looking at those old posts (which you can do by clicking the 1710 link), it appears that the Local Yocal storefront at 1712 has somehow just appeared between 1710 and the next storefont down. Or maybe it's just late.

(Hat tip to commenter Justin)

Written by ted on March 18th, 2019

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Chocolate Nirvana Bakery, 2501 Main Street: 11 January 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:15 pm in closing

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Chocolate bakery Chocolate Nirvana had the misfortune to move to a building on Gills Creek just before the Great Flood of October 2015. With their building effectively destroyed, they had no choice but to move operations to commercial kitchen for rent DER Kitchen, where they stayed until January of this year.

Their Facebook Page doesn't rule out future ventures, but for now, all the equipment has been sold.

(Hat tip to commenter michael)

Written by ted on February 26th, 2019

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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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House of Fabrics, 1312 Main Street: June 2017 (moved)   3 comments

Posted at 11:21 pm in closing

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I noticed this vacant storefront as I was walking Main Street the other day. Judging by the signs, this is an old building that is way overdue for a big overhaul, and got past the point of everyday maintenance. I would be interested in what is upstairs, and what shape it is in. As you can see from the sign, the tenant, House of Fabrics has relocated to 652 Bush River Road.

UPDATE 5 June 2019: According to The State this building is to be razed. Adding map icon too.

UPDATE 18 June 2019 -- Demolition started Monday (17 June 2019) and the building is now gone:

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Written by ted on August 21st, 2018

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Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, 610 Main Street: July 2018   4 comments

Posted at 11:18 pm in closing

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Uncle Maddio's was the follow-on in this location for Jasmine Deli & Cafe and opened sometime in 2013. I never ate there, and had not realized until looking at this post that in fact Uncle Maddio's is a chain of franchaises based in Atlanta, and is another fast casual pizza concept like Persona, Blaze, and Firenza.

Looking at the company web site, it appears this was the only South Carolina location, and the next closest is in Charlotte.

Written by ted on August 16th, 2018

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