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Decker Mall, 2500 Decker Boulevard: Spring 2012   26 comments

Posted at 1:03 am in business,landmark,stores

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Well, it's unclear to me exactly when the hammer finally dropped, but all the remaining private businesses are now out of Decker Mall. I decided to stop by last week, and found that once I was inside, the only occupied space was the Dentsville Magistrate's office, and that most of the mall is now cordoned off by wire fencing in advance of the place being remodeled to house a bunch of Richland County Government offices.

I've written in various places about Decker Mall tenants, and thus in passing about the mall itself, but I've never done an entry for the mall per se.

In the beginning, Decker and Bush River malls were twins, with both being laid out as a strip anchored on one end by Richway (with the distinctive triangles on top) and on the other end by Kroger. The only real difference was that Bush River had a multiplex and Decker did not.

I'm not sure when Decker Mall opened, but it was definitely while I was in High School, probably around 1977. At the time, Columbia Mall was thriving, and just a few blocks away, so from the get-go, Decker had to find a different focus. With a discount store as one anchor, and a grocery as the other, the stores in the interior between the two tended to be smaller national chains, local chains, and one-off locals. Apart from clothing and other stores that didn't catch my teenage eye at all, I can recall Gateway Books, Flipside Records & Tapes, and my favorite, The Land of Oz video arcade.

After the Richway chain folded, Gold Circle took that anchor spot, and then when they folded, Target moved in. As far as I could tell, they always did a good business, but at some point a general mania struck Decker Boulevard businesses and they all begain a flight to Nort East Two Notch Road regardless whether there was still a customer base at the original location. When both Target and Kroger joined the flight, the writing was not only on the wall for Decker Mall (that wall had been scribbled for years..) but now it was etched in.

A number of local businesses that didn't rely on foot traffic held on there for years, but the last is now gone, and the next phase of life for the mall, if not *as* a mall is about to begin.

I have gone through a number of old city directories at the RCPL and have come of with this list of tenants for various years:

1977:

Does not list a mall at 2500, just Richway Stores.

1978:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto Center
  • Ann & Andy Fashions
  • Fashion Bug of Bush River Inc
  • Dipper Dan Ice Cream Shop
  • The Peanut Shack
  • Country Corner gift shop
  • Reflections
  • Fayva Shoes
  • Good Health Food & Nutrition
  • Jenkins Flower Botique Inc
  • Manufacturings Outlet Shoes
  • Land of Oz
  • The News Room (restaurant & lounge)
  • Command Performance
  • Yummy Yogurt
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav On Food & Drugs

1979:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto cener
  • Fashion Bug of Bush River Inc
  • Country Corner
  • Reflections (men's clothes)
  • Gateway Books
  • Fayva Shoes
  • Jenkins Flowers & Bride's Place
  • Manufactures [sic] Outlet Stores (shoes & clothes)
  • Land of Oz
  • Command Performance
  • Harvey's Warehouse (stereo equipment wholesale)
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav On Food & Drugs
  • Kroger Sav On Pharmacy

1983:

  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Richway Inc
  • Richway Auto Center
  • Arnold's Formal Wear
  • Four Seasons
  • Mill Fabrics
  • The Micro Shop
  • The Shoe Tree
  • Land Of Oz
  • Command Performance
  • Flipside Records & Tapes
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • Video Ventures
  • Melody Music Center
  • Olan Mills Inc
  • Rush's Fast Foods

1988:

  • Cola Magic & Customs Shop (theatrical supplies & equipment)
  • Decker Mall Shopping Center
  • Gold Circle
  • Four Seasons
  • China City
  • Command Performance
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • Stone Works Home of The Dirt Cheap Mine (jewelery specialty)
  • Melody Music Center
  • First Federal of South Carolina (in Kroger?)
  • Olan Mills Inc
  • Rush's Fast Foods
  • State Department of Highways & Public Transportation
  • Columbia Magic & Costume Shop
  • Magic & Miracles Productions
  • Pettit William H Agency (talent agency)
  • Expert Alterations & Fine Mending

1993:

  • Target
  • China City
  • Kroger Sav-On Food & Drugs
  • First Savings Of South Carolina (in Kroger?)
  • Rush's Fast Foods
  • State Department of Highways & Public Transportation
  • Expert Alterations & Fine Mending

1998:

  • Branch Banking & Trust Co (in Kroger? in Target?)
  • Carolina First Corporation (where?)
  • China City of Columbia
  • Expert Alterations
  • Kroger Drugs
  • Rush's Food Systems
  • Target Store

2003:

  • Healthy Home Foods Inc
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Little China Buffet
  • Pup's Barber Shop Express
  • Rush's
  • Special Occasions (catering)
  • Expert Alterations
  • Precisely Yours (beauty salon)
  • Changing Faces (beauty salon)
  • New Life World Ministries

2008:

  • Arcadia Self Storage
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Little China Buffet
  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Nunies Mini Stand (convenience)
  • Richland County Magistrate
  • Rush's
  • Special Occasions
  • D & T Fashions
  • Expert Alterations
  • Changing Phaces (beauty salon)
  • New Life World Ministries

2011:

  • Extra Space Storage
  • Shekinah Glory Family Care (childcare)
  • Special Occasions (banquet rooms)
  • Legends Security & Sound
  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Richland County Magistrate
  • Expert Alterations
  • New Look New U (beauty salon)
  • Rush's

Note that some time between 1988 and 1993, the mall offices stop being listed, so perhaps the mall as a corporate entitiy was gone by that point. Note also that Rush's and China City/Little China are outparcels.

Here is Sky City's writeup on Decker Mall, and following are pictures and links from my other Decker Mall posts.

My post discussing the county purchase.

Kroger:

DMV:

Land of Oz:

Richway / Gold Circle / Target:

I know I have some other Decker Mall pictures around, and I will add those as I find them.

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Written by ted on June 5th, 2012

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First American Cash Advance, 7386 Two Notch Road Suite A: Early 2012   no comments

Posted at 12:08 am in business

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Today's closing takes us back to Garden Place Plaza in Dentsville, to the storefront just east of PC Corner.

First American Cash Advance (or First American Ca$h Advance as the signs have it) was one of Columbia's many payday cash advance operations which feature here pretty frequently. Also a pretty regular feture here is the store marquee, turned around so the store name is not legible, but retained so as to not leave holes (which are both unsightly and let in the weather) in the sign fixtures.

Here is the plaza marquee:

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And here is the vacant First American space, photoshopped to turn it rightside up again and enhance it a bit:

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Here's the same thing done to the storefront sign:

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The address of this place is a bit hard to understand. The adjacent PC Corner spot is 7384 Two Notch. I can see how this slot is 7386, but the "Suite A" doesn't seem to make sense.

Written by ted on May 23rd, 2012

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PC Corner, 7384 Two Notch Road: early 2012   14 comments

Posted at 12:57 am in business,stores

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Garden Place Plaza is the strip mall at the south west corner of Two Notch Road and O'Neil Court, and has featured here at least twice before as both end anchors (Floor It Now & Beds Plus) closed.

Now computer store PC Corner (which was *not* in a corner spot.. ) has joined them, and fairly recently I think, as it was listed in this year's (February 2012) phonebook.

UPDATE 13 May 2012 -- Commenter Terry sends in this 1994 receipt for a top-of-the-line PC Corner system. Hey Terry, I think you can let that receipt go now -- I'm pretty sure the warranty has expired!

Written by ted on May 12th, 2012

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Todd & Moore, 225 O'Neil Court: March 2012   13 comments

Posted at 11:41 pm in stores

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Sportings goods store Todd & Moore has been a fixture on O'Neil Court for seemingly as long as I can remember. It's not a place I've ever been in because, well, to say I'm not sports oriented is perhaps to understate the matter, but believe my mother got the one tennis racket I ever owned (wooden, with a wooden press) from here, or from some Todd & Moore location at any rate.

Here is the original State article announcing the protracted closing of the O'Neil Court store, which started in January, as seen in the first couple of pictures below (taken on a rainy night) and finished up in late March.

Yes, there are too many pictures -- I'm a sucker for clouds. Also notice that the New Balance marquee got taken down at some point.

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Written by ted on May 10th, 2012

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Awesome Mattress, 7201 Parklane Road: 2011   2 comments

Posted at 4:00 am in stores

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I don't know if this was the same Awesome Mattress business that was on on Two Notch in the old Zesto building that is now Hola Mexico, or a different one. If it was the same one, it didn't last too long in its new location, wihch is not one that catches my eye often. In fact, I don't ever recall going to this little Columbia Mall outparcel strip-mall for anything, and would be hard pressed to name any store that has ever been there..

UPDATE 1 June 2012 -- It's now a Richland County Sherriff's station:

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Written by ted on April 14th, 2012

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Fitness Solutions, 224 O'Neil Court Suite 21: 2011 (moved)   3 comments

Posted at 11:08 pm in stores

I first wrote about this storefront in The Shops At O'Neil Court in the closing for the O'Neil Court location of Capitol Newsstand, and after that more or less forgot about it.

I noticed today that the follow-on operation to Capitol, Fitness Solutions has gone as well.

The first picture above is from that Capitol closing, taken pretty much exactly three years ago. I don't know why I didn't try for a closer shot other than there were probably people inside, but you can vaguely make out that some equipment is on display. At the time, I thought the place was a gym, but a little googling today reveals that it actually sold exercise equipment.

You can also notice that everything else in the first picture is now gone as well..

UPDATE 24 March 2012: As noted in the comments, the store moved to Bower Parkway and renamed to Carolina Specialty Fitness. I've updated the title to say "moved".

Written by ted on March 21st, 2012

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Esso / Exxon, 7450 Two Notch Road: 1970s   1 comment

Posted at 11:04 pm in business,stores

This old-school Exxon on Two Notch near the I-20 interchange, and O'Neil Court is currentl Go Used Tires, but apparently that will only last until the sale of the building, which is currently on offer.

This is a classic look for an Esso/Exxon of that era. Here is a similiar one (which I believe stayed open longer) in Yulee Florida:

Hopefully the Two Notch building will not be razed, but given the age, I wouldn't bet on it.

UPDATE 5 December 2011: Added Esso to the post title based on the comments.

Written by ted on December 4th, 2011

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Patrons Restaurante Mexicano Y Barra, 2628 Decker Boulevard: 2011   1 comment

Posted at 11:20 pm in nightclub,restaurants

Well, I'm pretty sure that this follow-up operation to Zorba's and The Captain's Kitchen is gone. Or at least I've driven by it several times on weekend evenings now with no signs of activity despite someone having left the roadside OPEN sign turned on.

I never quite knew what to make of the place. It was obviously a nightclub with a latin audience, but it seemed to be open erratically, and for some reason despite it having been a fully kitchened restaurant in all its previous incarnations, Patrons set up a cooking operation on the deck. I don't speak Spanish, but "Show De Bikini" seems clear enough, and the rest of the sign would seem to indicate that the place made it to its one year anniversary at least.

A realty "for-sale" sign remains on the property, and has been there a good long time. I don't know if the owners finally decided to get serious about selling and kicked out the tennants or if Patrons just went under financially.

UPDATE 9 February 2012 -- Well, it appears that the next operation to give this building a go will be Continental:

Written by ted on September 11th, 2011

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Schlotzsky's Deli, 7132-A Parklane Road: 1 July 2011   6 comments

Posted at 9:54 pm in restaurants

Well, let's see if I can manage to do a closing on a place that actually is closed today!

Schlotzsky's Deli on the corner of Parklane Road and O'Neil Court has been an off and on stop of mine for the last year or so. I like their sourdough buns and its a nice sunlit location to watch the traffic pass.

Last time I was there, they said they would be moving soon though they weren't sure yet to where other than the Dentsville area. In the meantime, it appears this space will become Kaboto Express.

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Written by ted on July 6th, 2011

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DMV, Decker Mall: 17 June 2011 (moved)   8 comments

Posted at 11:45 pm in government

I was at Schlotzsky's on Parklane having lunch today when a guy came in looking for the DMV. Naturally, I sent him across Two Notch to Decker Mall: D'oh!

I realized my mistake as I drove down O'Neil Court just a little later, and saw that the DMV had relocated to the old Pro Golf of Columbia location in The Shops of O'Neil Court.

I suspect this has something to do with the purchase of Decker Mall by Richland County, though I would have expected the two different levels of government to work out a deal of some sort for the space.

Written by ted on June 24th, 2011

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