Archive for the ‘Millwood Avenue’ tag
Columbia, S. C.
Best food on Highway One, north of Columbia. A spe-
cialty Restaurant serving good clean food. So duck in at
Drakes and enjoy a delicious meal.
Columbia, S. C.
Best food on Highway one, north of Columbia. A specialty
Restaurant serving good clean food. So duck in at Drake's
and enjoy a delicious meal.
"Good Clean Food" -- I'm not sure I've ever seen that exact phrase used as a selling point before..
Over the years I've been running Columbia Closings I've gotten a number of requests for Drake's Restaurant on Taylor Street. I've never done much about it because we never ate there, and I really didn't remember the place, and because the building was gone.
Recently though, I was searching an online postcard site, and found two good postcards of Drake's. As fate would have it, commenter Dennis emailed me the same day with a copy of one of the same postcard images, saying:
This is Drake's Restaurant that stood on the southeast corner of Two
Notch/Millwood and Forest Drive. It's been long demolished and is now
a Church's Chicken. This view is from the south on Millwood. My family
ate there a lot in the early 1960s. It was a nice, quiet, "white
tablecloth" place that I truly miss. The Drakes ran a florist business
in the same building, no doubt doing a lot of business with Providence
Hospital patients across the street. And Yes, there is a connection to
Drake's Duck-In on Main Street, or at least there was originally.
I'm not sure what years these cards are from. I'm confident however, that the first card is earlier, as you can see that the roof air-conditioning units are the old wooden-slat type, while in the next card they are more modern.
I'm not sure when Drake's was started either. It *is* listed in the 1954 Southern Bell phonebook, the first one available at the RCPL. That, and subsequent phonebooks up to 1960 give the address as simply "Taylor Street". The December 1961 book is the first one to give the street number of "2436 Taylor Street". As far as I can tell, the place never bought a full yellow-pages ad. However, also starting in the December 1961 book, it did start buying a small box ad (pictured above) touting its "Go Service" wherein you could phone in your order and pick it up to go. This continued (with the same design and text) through the final listing for Drake's, which was in the January 1977 phonebook.
As Dennis mentions, the Drake's address is now a Church's Chicken fast food outlet, which is a completely new building.
One thing about the whole situation which blows my mind is that Drake's had (and Church's has) a Taylor Street address. If there was anything I thought I knew, it was that Taylor Street was West of Millwood and Forest Drive was East of Millwood. Full stop end of story. There's probably some sort of street re-routing story there...
(Hat tip to commenter Dennis, and a few others over the years)
I was driving down Millwood the other day and noticed that most of this strip mall at the corner of Millwood and Woodrow is vacant. The place doesn't appear to have an overall name, but I like the old-style A&P steeple in the middle.
The first closing I did for this building was when it was Mary Ella's -- Well, actually most of that closing came from commenter Dennis, as does the first picture above.
Cafe Millwood opened in the space shortly after Mary Ella's departed and was having a grand opening by February 2010. Curiously, the pictures on their still extant web site are all dated 2007, which is not possible, so apparently the camera clock/calendar was not set correctly. Along with the pictures, the site has copies of the menus and some background on the cafe.
It's pretty easy to approximately date the closing by looking at the newspapers in the inside racks. In particular, the copy of the Columbia Star with the story about the beauty queen who is promoting Harvest Hope food bank ran on 28 October 2011, and was apparently the last issue to be racked. There is no sign or indication on the door or elsewhere giving a formal closing notice, but the phone is disconnected, so I'm fairly sure this is permanent.
UPDATE 15 February 2012 -- Apparently it's to be Old Shandon Pub & Pizza and will have a beer or liquor license.
(Hat tip to commenter Mary Douglass)
UPDATE 21 May 2012 -- Apparently the Old Shandon Pub & Pizza is not going to come to fruition. There were no signs of interior work for a long time, then a "For Rent" sign went back up. The sign is still there, though it seems to have fallen down:
I first wrote about this building when it was NAPA Auto Parts. By September of 2010, Triumph had moved in, after repainting the place.
I'm not sure whether Triumph disbanded or simply moved elsewhere. Google suggests they were on Taylor Street before they were here on Millwood, but I'm not pulling up any hits that suggest a followup location. Their Facebook page (which I can't fully access without joining Facebook) seems to say that they were having events here at least until 17 October 2011.
The sign on this former Bank of America branch dates the closing to 8 April 2011, but if I hadn't seen that, I could have almost sworn I used this ATM several months after that. At any rate, I certainly didn't notice that the place was gone until this week. (And it has been gone long enough that the grass is unkempt, and the building starting to deteriorate [though someone is still tending the flowers in the sidewalk patch]). The building is on an odd triangular shaped lot at the sharply angled corner where Millwood Avenue hits Devine Street, and as I recall, it could be a chore to get in and out of, depending on where you were coming from and trying to get to.
I'm not sure why the branch was closed, but from what I can tell of the news, Bank of America in general continues to be in a pickle due both to bad luck and bad practices during the run-up and aftermath of the housing boom. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what goes in here. It might be a nice place for a restaurant as this stretch of Devine doesn't really have any.
It looks like Elegante Wig Gallery, in the old Electrolux location on Devine Street has closed. I'm the wrong gender (and still have my hair so far..) so there's not much more I can say about it, other than it was not there too long as seemingly it started around 2008.
I just noticed that the South Carolina Federal Credit Union on Millwood is gone, or mostly gone as their ATM is still there. The nice little building is at the corner(s) of Millwood, Washington & Heidt, not too far from the former NAPA auto parts building. If the lot does sell, I don't see much future for this building -- it's hard to visualize it as anything other than a bank.
I suspect these are not the right pictures as the address I have for The Book Place is 3129, and this little plaza is 3121. However, numbers sometimes change and walking this stretch of Millwood, I can't find any place numbered 3129, and I remember The Book Place being in a strip like this where you had to watch carefully before backing out into Millwood. If this is the right spot, the The Book Place would have been in the center slot.
OK, regardless of all the above, the way I remember The Book Place is that it skewed a bit more to rare and antiquarian books than the other used book shops I frequented. There were also very few paperback books. As I recall it, the shop was run by an older gentleman, and he was usually carrying on a conversation with someone at the front desk. I don't know if these were friends who dropped by, or if they were customers, but it seemed the conversation topics were usually either literary or historical in nature. I think there may have been a bookstore cat who stayed around the front desk, but I couldn't now swear to that.
The Book Place wasn't on my regular bookshop rotation because they didn't have much in the way of science-fiction, and their prices tended to be a bit out of my reach. What they did have was a great vintage humor section, and over the years I picked up a number of volumes of classic cartoons by artists like Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and James Thurber. I also picked up a number of the hard to find collections of Walt Kelly's Pogo (Which is supposed to be issued in a complete collection by Fantagraphics "real soon now").
I'm not sure exactly when the place closed. It's in the 1998 phonebook, but I believe by the time I had moved back to Columba circa 2003, it was gone.
I had noticed several times that this very interesting building on Millwood was vacant, but somehow never got around to taking any pictures until recently. This is the former location for Shandon Florist, an 80 year old area stalwart which has since moved to 2733 Millwood Avenue.
This real estate listing (which also has an aerial photo) says the building was built in 1962, and in a few of these shots it appears to me that there might be some roof issues which might have factored into the move. Still, I quite like the building. It seems to draw on the same period inspirations that went into the old Eggroll Station and Silver City buildings.
Man, this is a cavernous space! My eyes tend to glide over buildings that I'm not interested in, and most of the time auto parts stores fall into that category, but it's hard to believe how many times I must have driven past that behemoth without noticing it. Apparently this place was a machine shop as well as a parts store, so I guess that explains the larger footprint. Perhaps it explains why the place closed as well. I admit I have very little idea of what exactly a machine shop does, but if it involves auto repair, wouldn't most people use parts from the factory rather than having them machined locally?
According to a really cool real estate listing that you should look at, if just for the ariel view, the place has 9600 square feet in the main space and 2690 square feet in the mezzanine. Notice the curtains hung in the mezzanine window too!
Hat tip to ChiefDanGeorge..
UPDATE 28 Sep 2010 -- It's now a church: