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Thee Whiskey Tavern, 316 Zimalcrest Drive: November 2017   3 comments

Posted at 11:13 pm in closing

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I don't think I've ever seen another setup like the one Thee Whiskey Tavern had: A strip club running inside a former hotel suite, in a hotel which was still a going concern. Of course it's not exactly unusual for hotels to have active and sometimes rowdy bars (see for instance The Wicked Witch Lounge or The Pirate's Cove), but those are generally in facilities designed as lounges and part of the hotel business proper (whatever it says on the business license).

However the situation came about Thee Whiskey Tavern survived the reflagging of the hotel from Budget Inn to Hawthorn, and an associated major remodel. It also survived an onsite stabbing in 2016. In fact, going by the closing story in The State, it's not crystal clear exactly what *did* close the place down. The article and linked RCSD twitter cite aren't very forthcoming other than operating illegally as a sexually oriented business. If anyone was arrested, or if there was a particicular incident that triggered things, it's not mentioned.

In these two shots, you can see the sign now crumpled behind the hotel, and the sign that used to sit by Bush River Road:

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(Hat tip to commenter palmettoconnection)

Written by ted on November 20th, 2017

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Hurl Rock Motel, 2010 Ocean Boulevard: 26 October 2017 (Temporary?)   1 comment

Posted at 11:52 pm in closing

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I noticed this article in The Sun News while I was last at the beach:

The Hurl Rock Motel has been temporarily closed by the City of Myrtle Beach for elevator repairs and other safety issues.

Two notices taped to the front window of the motel at 2010 South Ocean Boulevard also said there was “no standpipe,” -- the pipe to which fire hoses are connected.

So I thought I would get some pictures, especially since there have been several legacy hotel demolitions in Myrtle Beach that I have missed. I've never stayed at the Hurl Rock, but I have fond associations with the name because a) It's a neat name & b) There used to be a Hurl Rock ocean-front putt-putt course further north on Ocean Boulevard (if I recall correctly, it's been gone for decades) where we played a time or two, and of which I have fond memories.

This particular building is not as old or quirky as some of the other vintage motels, but it does have one unexpected feature -- an overflow parking lot across the street behind the main building with its own anchor building, which appears to be an old house, and probably serves as some sort of office or maintenance shed. I do hope they get their issues resolved, but the article mentions that they have been rather longstanding, so we will see..

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on November 17th, 2017

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Motel 6, 613 Knox Abbott Drive: 2017   6 comments

Posted at 12:05 am in closing

Written by ted on March 7th, 2017

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Budget Inn, 200 Zimalcrest Drive: May 2016   1 comment

Posted at 1:50 am in closing

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I noticed driving by the other day that the old Howard Johnson's on Zimalcrest Drive at Bush River has closed for remodeling. I believe it has most been under a number of flags since the Hojo days, but most recently, it was a Budget Inn.

This place is a bit unusual in that it has a strip club Thee Whiskey Tavern operating out of a suite of rooms. I have never heard of such an arrangement elsewhere (and don't know if the club is closed during the remodel). You will also remember that the attached restaurant Punjabi Dhaba suffered a fire in early 2014, and has since been torn down.

UPDATE 28 June 2016 -- Renovations continue:

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UPDATE 30 August 2016 -- Well this place is open again, now as Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham which at least sounds a bit more upscale this time. I will have to check to see if Thee Whiskey Tavern is still co-located or not:

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UPDATE 11 September 2016 -- Well Thee Whiskey Tavern is still there, something of an anomaly in a property that's trying to go a little bit more upmarket than Budget Inn:

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Written by ted on May 20th, 2016

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Tremont Motor Inn / Riverside Inn, 111 Knox Abbott Drive: September 2014   2 comments

Posted at 8:22 am in closing

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The first phonebook listing I find for The Tremont Motor Inn is in the July 1958 book where the address is given simply as Hwy No 21 Cayce and the phone number is the old style AL 4-5121.

Later phonebooks would give the address with more specificity as 111 Knox Abbott Drive and update the phone number to 254-5121.

From its inception through 1984 the Tremont did not purchase a Yellow Page ad. In fact, the first one that I saw was in the February 1985 phonebook. This one, pictured above, gave the new phone number as 796-6240, indicating, I believe, a change of ownership.

The last listing I saw for the Tremont was in the February 1994/1995 phonebook. This was followed by the first listing for the Riverside Inn in the February 2002/2003 book, leaving an eight year gap. I presume the building was run under another flag during those years, but I would have to consult a city directory to find what it was, and did not have time on my last visit to the library.

The building was in a great location on a large property close to the river with a park-like expanse of walking paths, and I suppose it was quite nice for many years. Unfortunately, by the time my cousin booked a room in the fall of 2013 (to be close to USC for some seminars), she found it dirty and run-down to the point that she felt unsafe.

The actual tear down was quite leisurely, extending over a period of about four months. On my initial walk-through, I was unsure how much of the property was actually the motel, as there were some buildings out back that appeared to be in use by other businesses, but in the event it appears everything was demolished. For some reason, every time I went out to get pictures, I either got there late just as the sun was fading, or the day would be heavily overcast. There are a few bright shots, but that was the exception.

I'm not quite sure what the green carpeted area by the pool was. It almost looked like the motel had a little putting green, but I didn't see a hole there. Of course now the whole place is more or less a hole...

29 September 2014:

7 October 2014:

29 November 2014:

26 December 2014:

UPDATE 2 February 2015 -- Commenter TahoeChic pointed out an old Tremont postcard on Ebay, which I have bought and scanned, putting the image at the top of the page. Notice the differences in the property from the time of the postcard (which gives the "AL" prefix phone number, so it probably dates from the early 1960s) to now. For instance the big roadside sign was gone, the short brick wall along Knox Abbott drive had yet to be build, there was a canopy in the parking lot, the pool area was not enclosed and had a diving board, and it does not appear the the final front-office building had been built.

Commenter fourlizards found a Tremont key and took a picture, I have added that under the postcard.

Photosets:

Photoset 28 September 2014

Photoset 7 October 2014

Photoset 19 October 2014

Photoset 29 November 2014

Photoset 26 December 2014

Written by ted on January 12th, 2015

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Scottish Inn, 127 Morninghill Drive: 2014   11 comments

Posted at 1:59 am in Uncategorized

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I kept thinking I would drive by and get a better picture, but for some reason that hasn't happened, but the Scottish Inn on the Westbound Bush River Road exit of I-26 has reflagged to Palmetto Inn. The online reviews for the place I saw were not.. good.

UPDATE 5 December 2014 -- Here are a few somewhat better pix:

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Written by ted on November 7th, 2014

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Coronet Motel / Circus Room, 2770 McCords Ferry Road: 1980s   3 comments

Posted at 1:00 am in Uncategorized

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I probably should remember seeing this place more, as we drove past it on the way to the beach innumerable times while I was growing up. However, I always had my nose in a book, so I was only vaguely aware of the name Circus Room and couldn't have told you where it was. Or, for that matter, *what* it was. At this remove, my understanding is that The Circus Room was actually a circus style tent set up on the grounds of the Coronet Inn at the intersection of US-601 & US-378 in Eastover, and that the tent hosted a restaurant and nightclub. Even in these days of the metro area creeping ever outwards, this is a pretty rural area, and back in the day it must have been even stranger to find a well regarded hotspot here.

What was the attraction? Google pulls up this hint from the 2006 cookbook Cookin' with Cocky II: More Than Just a Cookbook:

Bright Stevenson:

I first met Bright in the Fall of 1956. Bright owned the Coronet Motel and Circus Room nightclub in Eastover. The Circus Room had the finest food and the only mixed drinks in the Columbia area at that time.

The two ads above are from the Sumter Register in 1974 and 1976 respectively.

Amazingly, both Coronet motels still exist and still are in operation, although under different names and ownership. The Eastover location is currently an Anyday Inn and is now combined with a convenience store run in the old office.

The topic has come up in Have Your Say from time to time, and here is what some people have recalled:


The Circus Room was in the old Coronet Motel near Eastover which I think was somehow related to the motel with the same name on North Main. I know they used to advertise a lot on the radio and had quite a business at one time. I drove out to Eastover a few weeks ago and what was the Circus Room was a seedy convenience store in a no tell motel.

Tom


Tom---You are right. One thing about the Circus Room was that it featured USDA "Prime" steaks which is a rarity even for today. You could call in the morning and they'd marinate your steak all day for you. I live in Kansas now which is beef country and know of only one steakhouse type place out here where you can get USDA prime beef. John.

John Merrell


I had forgotten all about the Circus Room. This was one of a few out-in-the-boondocks restaurants where we would eat on occasion when my father felt like driving out into the country (circa 1965-68). I remember the food being pretty good and it having a totally unpretentious atmosphere, but that was when gas was 25¢ a gallon, and it was easy to justify such a long trip for a good steak. I'm sure if the Circus Room had been a couple of miles down Trenholm Road, that would have been where we would have visited most often when we ate out, which at that time was once, maybe twice a month. Ancient and forgotten fond memories, thanks John.

Michael Taylor


The Circus room is still back there, but the entire back part of the motel is living quarters for the people who run it. The woman told me they took the tent down when they moved in.

She also said the guy who built the motel back in the fifties still drops into the convenience store every day.

jamie


Coronet Motel w/ Circus Room restaurant. Actually, that was out where US 601 intersects Sumter Hwy., but the restaurant was so good that folks used to drive from Columbia all the way out to Eastover to eat there. Bright Stevenson Jr owned it. His dad owned the Coronet Motel up out North Main St., going toward Blythewood.

Sid

UPDATE 24 October 2014: Added Yellow Pages graphic from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook.

Written by ted on October 17th, 2014

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Airport Inn, 1935 Airport Boulevard, Cayce: Summer 2013   6 comments

Posted at 5:06 pm in Uncategorized

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Looks like Airport Inn in Cayce, where ironically all the rooms are ground-floor, is renovating.

I like the blue, white & yellow color scheme on the signs. The building actually looks to be in pretty good shape, at least from a distance.

UPDATE 10 August 2013: Changed incorrect 935 address in post title to correct 1935.

UPDATE 13 May 2014 --Open again:

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Written by ted on August 9th, 2013

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Western Inn & Suites, 827 Bush River Road: Summer 2012   11 comments

Posted at 12:32 am in Uncategorized

Written by ted on August 22nd, 2012

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Downtowner Motor Inn / The Governor's House / Rodeway Inn, 1301 Main Street: 2011   16 comments

Posted at 11:23 pm in Uncategorized

As reported by The State this venerable hotel at the corner of Main & Lady Streets will be converted into a upscale condo called The Palms with 54 "resort-style" units. They will also have a view of what is apparently the only pool on Main Street.

Given that the article talks about the developer struggling to find financing for the project for several years, and the fact that the Rodeway Inn is listed in the Feb 2011 phonebook, I can only guess that the developer owned the property and continued to run it as a hotel until things came together. I admit to being surprised how long it lasted as a mid-to-lower-mid market motel in an area that if it gets anyone (after all who in the general population wants to visit Columbia and stay on Main Street?) would get high-roller business and government connected types.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

UPDATE 26 May 2012: Here's a State article on the opening of The Palms.

Written by ted on June 28th, 2011

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