Archive for the ‘Sparkleberry Lane’ tag
I think the my problem with O'Charley's is that I have never been quite sure what it is. I mean, it's not a fine restaurant, it's not an Italian, Mexican, seafood or hamburger restaurant; it's not homecooking or a diner -- there's a lot of things it isn't but no hook to hang its hat on. In that way, it is rather like Ruby Tuesday (hmm, even the lyric is appropriate..).
That said, I did used to go to O'Charley's from time to time when I was working in Augusta. There was (perhaps still is) one just off the Bobby Jones Expressway in what is Augusta's "Harbison" area. They had a chips & salsa appetizer with in-store-made salsa that was quite good, and the burgers were decent. When this store opened at Columbia Mall and I was in town for the weekend, my sister, father and I would eat Sunday lunch there from time to time. After the store moved to Sparkleberry, I only stopped by once, and found that the chips & salsa appetizer was off the menu, and furthermore, they were out of burgers -- I left without eating anything, and didn't go back.
According to The State the chain closed this store because it was underperforming, and near the end of its lease. If the concept couldn't perform here, or or in Harbison, it's hard to think where it could, although so far the Lexington store is still with us.
The first picture was taken several years ago. I was admiring the way the sign looked at night and stopped to take some pictures, but in the event they didn't turn out well because the lighting made the sign over-exposed and the rest under-exposed, and I didn't want to set up a tripod and try for bracketed exposures for HDR as I would be a highly visible person doing something very questionable looking on a busy road. The rest of the pictures were taken after the closing, although I will need to go back eventually and get out of the car for some closer looks.
(Hat tip to commenter JB)
UPDATE 27 March 2017 -- A few more and closer:
I was unaware of this place, and indeed that Sparkleberry actually had a north-of-two-notch section until commenter JohnBom mentioned it. It appears that at this point, the Sparkleberry Big T location is closed and well on the way to becoming Spring Valley Convenience Store. Indeed, the non-perishables are already being moved in.
Big T has a second location on Garners Ferry, which is still in operation.
As an aside, I note that sometime in the 80s, a really good sign salesman must have worked the Northeast: You see this style of sign up and down Two Notch from east of Rabon to Pontiac..
(Hat tip to commenter JohnBom)
Well, I have to say I am not too surprised about this. I ate at this Carabba's with some regularity, and twice in recent months I arrived well before the posted closing time to find the place with the doors locked. During one period, they even changed the Friday/Saturday closing hours back from 11:00 to 10:00 or maybe 10:30, I forget, but the point is that changing the hours either officialy or by fiat is Sign #1. The last few times I was there, they had started an annoying laser light show in the parking lot as if to say We are still here, and we are fun!
I can't put it on this store, but the chain as a whole has done some things I don't like in recent years, such as doing away with the olive oil bottles at the tables, and eliminating my favorite goto dish, the Tagliarini Picchi Pacchiu.
Still, I liked it well enough that it continued to be on my list. I agree with commenter Sidney about Location, Location, Location!. The last time I ate here (probably only about a week ago) I had actually been heading for the Olive Garden around the corner fronting Two Notch, but it was too packed to deal with, so I drove around and found that.. not to be the case here.
If anyone is curious about the Pizza Buffet called out on the big sign, that has nothing to do with Carrabba's, but was for this operation. In fact, I think that sign is mostly for a Graces Way development that never developed. The places that *are* down there don't bother to list on the sign.
(Hat tip to commenter Steve)
D's Northeast onSparkleberry is closed again.
This is worth noting, but since I already have a page for it, I'm going to turn off comments here, update the old post and redirect the discussion to there.
I noticed the other day that this ABC storefront next to Solstice on Sparkleberry is now vacant. I had actually pulled
in there because I thought Solstice might be closed, but apparently it is just never open whenever I drive by..
This Sparkleberry Crossing gym is listed in the 2014 phonebook, but not the 2015 one, so it must have closed before listings closed. I'm guessing mid-year. One online review notes that it was nice because there were no crowds. That can be a double-edged sword unfortunately.
This closing was noted last week on Have Your Say where there was some speculation that Bruster's would have done better on Two Notch than tucked away by Carabba's on Graces Way.
I'm not sure I agree as the Graces Way lot effectively fronts Sparkleberry, and sits right across from Spring Valley High School, which had to be, I think, a factor in the store's siting. Given that all the other Bruster's in Columbia have shut down, and that the only Grand Strand location has as well, I tend to think the whole "no inside seating" concept is iffy. Think about it. The fact that Baskin Robbins has seating gives it a whole season (plus rainy summer days) during which it can draw and Bruster's can't. Where are you going to take the kids' basketball team for ice cream after the game in January? Probably not to a place with outside tables only.
I took the daylight pictures on Saturday 24 January 2015, at which time a crew was actively getting the equipment out of the store. As you can see in the night pictures, the menuboards are already gone.
And just as an aside, I *do* think the Graces Way siting works against Carabba's. They have just reduced their hours, which is Sign #1.
(Hat tip to commenter Mr. Hat, making it a Hat hat tip..)
UPDATE 6 October 2016 -- Now a Pelican's SnoBalls:
Commenter Bobby notes that this McAlister's Deli at the corner of Sparkleberry Lane and Graces Way will be moving down Two Notch soon to set up shop by Hobby Lobby.
If I am reading this historical listing right, then the property has been sold once in the last couple of years already. (If there's a more current listing, google is not making it obvious to me).
As I think I have mentioned before, I have never really warmed up to this chain, possibly because you have to go to the counter to beg for drink refills.
(Hat tip to commenter Bobby)
UPDATE 27 October 2014 -- The move is now complete:
Commenter James reports this Sparkleberry Lane church closing and notes that you don't often see such. That's fairly true, I think, but if you add in relocations, it's not *that* uncommon. Think, for instance, this. Anyway, this is a fairly large property, which the real estate sign indicates is now under contract. I wonder if we're looking at a new church tenant, or a bunch of new houses?
(Hat tip to commenter James)
I haven't eaten here too often, but it was fine the times I did, and it has certainly managed to outlast most of the other restaurants in the Sparkleberry Crossing development, so I'm a little curious about what's going on at the San Jose on Sparkleberry Lane. I take it that the place will reopen after the facade work currently in progress, but I'm puzzled as to why it's being done in the first place. As I recall it, the building looked nice enough, and rather southwestern, with its stucco exterior. I can't see that adding bricks over that will improve things (though from the work around the side windows, it will still have a bit of southwestern flair), and it certainly can't be cheap.
UPDATE 13 December 2012: Updated the closing date from "December 2012" to "October 2012" based on commenter Sidney's info.