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Archive for the ‘strip club’ tag

Cafe Risque / Victory Lane, I-95 Darien Georgia: 1 April 2009   10 comments

Posted at 10:02 pm in Uncategorized

If you drove I-95 to Florida in the 90s or 2000s, you could hardly miss the plethora of billboards with the come-on We Bare All dotted up and down the highway. Darien's Cafe Risque may not have out advertised Dillon's South of the Border, but you'd have to be driving in your sleep to be unaware of it -- until recently, that is.

Having not noticed the billboards lately, I decided to check into what had happened to the place on my drive back to Columbia last week.

The building is at Georgia exit 49 off of I-95 (Georgia Highway 251) on the other side of the Interstate from an outlet mall, and like many roadside attractions turns out to be much smaller than you might expect from the massive billboard campaign.

I really arrived too late in the evening to take good pictures, but these flash and longer exposures turned out well enough to show the current state of the place. Interestingly, after a month of being around marsh and woods, this parking lot was the only place I had a real mosquito problem -- the moment I got out of the car, they descended on me en-masse and I was scared I might pass out from blood loss getting these shots :-)

This Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) article tells the story of the end of Cafe Risque, and its beginning. Apparently the owner hoodwinked the town into approving a cafe on the site, and didn't mention the mealtime entertainment he planned to provide, and since there was no alcohol involved, there was little the town could do about it. (The article headline implies the town eventually shut it down, but the text makes clear it was lack of business).

As far as I could tell from I-75 signage, a sister Cafe Risque is still in operation in Micanopy Florida, just below Gainesville.
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Written by ted on August 25th, 2011

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Antonio's Restaurant / LB Dynasty / Studio 54 / Club Gemeni, 6212 Two Notch Road: 1970s, late 2000s   11 comments

Posted at 1:09 am in Uncategorized

I don't actually remember this place as an Italian restaurant, but apparently in 1974 it was one. Pizza was still a pretty exotic food to me then, but was one I liked, and I would have expected to remember a pizza restaurant in the Dentsville area. I certainly knew about the Pizza Hut on Two Notch more or less where the O'Reily's Auto Parts near Best Buy now is, and about Shakey's on Parklane Road. A 32-inch pizza sounds rather overwhelming, but the sandwiches sound quite good.

After Antonio's, it was a number of night-clubs and strip-clubs. By 1997, it was operating as L B Dynasty and got in trouble with the Department of Revenue leading to a 45 day suspension of the club mini-bottle license. Whether because of that, or for some other reason, it later became Studio 54, and was that until quite recently, I think (at any rate, the sign is still there). Despite that, it has been at least one other club, Club Gemeni before it's current incarnation as Club Ego

UPDATE 4 September 2011: After being several other things, it's now Laguna Sports Bar

Written by ted on July 30th, 2010

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Paul & Ernie's / Limelight / Shangri-La / Diamonds Strip Club / Comedy House, 14 Berryhill Road: mid-2000s   23 comments

Posted at 10:55 pm in closing

This building off of Saint Andrews Road is now an "Ultra Lounge". I'm not sure what it was built as, but I first recall noticing it in the 1980s, when it was a strip club, the name of which I can't remember. After that, it was for a number of years the original site of The Comedy House, now on Decker Boulevard in the old Winn-Dixie building. I think it may have been something after the strip-club and before The Comedy House and after The Comedy House and before Pure, but I'm not sure.

I saw a number of comedy shows there including one guy who made me laugh so hard it hurt, but whose name (or act) I cannot now recall at all. I'm not sure what happened to The Comedy House as it was non-existent for a long while after closing shop here. Normally if a place is moving just as a normal course of business, they will do it as quickly as possible to keep a revenue stream active, but I think it took over a year in this case.

UPDATE 15 October 2009: Added a bunch of extra names to the post title based on the comments.

The Diamond Disco / Southern Gentlemans Adult Entertainment, 1995 Old Dunbar Road / Knockers Oasis, Inc., 115 Overland Drive / Tail Spin, 115 Overland Drive, boxing club (?) 115 Overland Drive / Windham Brothers Supper Club / Dixie Disco: 1993, 1999, Jan 2009   19 comments

Posted at 12:25 am in Uncategorized

Welcome to all the folks coming in from The State! Be sure to check out the Alphabetical Closings for a list of other places you might remember.

This defunct I-26 adult entertainment complex apparently occupies two lots in Cayce off of Old Dunbar Road. The front lot is 1995 Old Dunbar Road, and the back lot is off the adjacent side street at 115 Overland Drive.

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Written by ted on June 25th, 2009

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The Twilight Lounge / Chippendolls, 1928 Rosewood Drive: 12 September 1997   97 comments

Posted at 11:46 pm in Uncategorized

This location, now a Gamecock memorabilia store, and apparently starting life as a college hang-out called The Twilight Lounge at one time housed one of the most controversial businesses in Columbia: Chippendolls, a nude dance club.

I'm not sure exactly when the place started. There is a very long and extremely dry 1995 legal opinion on Chippendolls's application for an ABC permit which suggests that the establishment became a strip club around 1988. I was living out of town for most of the period of the Chippendolls controversy, but my memory is that the club had the standard grumbles from the neighbors while it was a topless club, but was operating mostly below the radar of the city establishment as a whole.

That changed when the club decided to go from topless dancing to fully nude dancing. Apparently those few square inches of cloth made a big difference and trying to close the club became quite a local cause celebre for a while -- I believe there were a number of zoning efforts made to shut it down. Either one of them finally succeeded, or the club ran into trouble of its own making, as these places often do. For whatever reason, it has been gone for many years now. In fact, I was a bit surprised to see the 1995 date on the ABC action. If you had asked me, I would have said it hadn't lasted that long. The city continues to have a number of strip clubs, but I don't believe any dare to go bare now.

UPDATE 25 Aug 2009: Added The Twilight Lounge to the post title.

UPDATE 12 May 2010: Added the 1998 Bellsouth Yellow Pages ad for Chippendolls

UPDATE 10 June 2011: Changed the closing date in the post title to "12 September 1997" based on commenter Michelle's info. (Which made me relook at the phonebook mentioned above -- It's actually the Feb-97 through Feb-98 (ie mostly 1997) phonebook.

Written by ted on November 7th, 2008

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The Carriage House / Liquids Gentlemen's Club, 5511 Forest Drive: 2008   25 comments

Posted at 10:16 pm in closing

I changed my mind about getting on I-77 today, and turned onto Old Forest Drive at the Wal Mart meaning to hop over to Percival. As I did so, I noticed that Liquids Gentlemen's Club was closed.

I don't know what this building was originally (you can see where some windows have been bricked over), but when I was first aware of it, it was The Carriage House. I may be wrong, but I think this was the first (and for a good while only) strip club in Forest Acres, though the town boundries are kind of odd, so I'm not absolutely sure it is now, or was then in the city limits. The building abuts what was once a viable strip mall at the corner of Forest Drive & Percival Road and which had some sort of convience store, a barber shop and a few other stores which I have long forgotten. It also had a Putt-Putt course about which I posted earlier.

After The Carriage House folded, Liquids moved in (though there may have been a gap). Although the location isn't great, I suspect that it already being zoned for a strip club was a big factor. Either The State or The Free Times did a profile on the owner. I can't recall his name, but he was somehow connected with the Columbia Rap scene, either as a performer or a promoter. I don't know if that business took off and he dropped the club, if they were closed down for some violation or other, or if it just wasn't profitable. Whatever the case, Liquids has dried up.

UPDATE 2 June 2010: Added the full street address to the post title. Also did some googling and found out that the Liquids was granted a liquor license on 22 Feb 2006, but that it was revoked on 14 Feb 2007 for violations of the conditions under which is was issued -- I suspect that had a good deal to do with the club closing. Also, oddly, the first link states that the building was planned to be demolished in 2007 for a hospital, something I never heard of (and which obviously didn't happen).

UPDATE 13 Oct 2010 -- Apparently The Carriage House was a legit restaurant before it went topless. Here's an ad from the 1975-1976 Southern Bell directory:

UPDATE 11 Feb 2011 -- the place continues to deteriorate to the point that there is now a warning letter from the sherrif on the door:

UPDATE 4 April 2012 -- The building continues to degrade, but on some days it's prettier than on others:

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UPDATE 1 March 2018 -- This building was razed long ago to build the back parking lot for the new Panera/Petco plaza, but here are some pictures from 16 July 2011:

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Quincy's Family Steakhouse / Stiletto's Strip Club, 7375 Two Notch Rd: 1990s, February 2008   25 comments

Posted at 5:16 pm in Uncategorized

Well this was a bit unexpected. I had been planning for a while to do a closing on Quncy's, but when I went there today to take the picture, I found the successor business, Stiletto's strip club had just closed down as well.

Quincy's Family Steakhouse was part of the second or third wave of steakhouses to hit Columbia, and at its peak, the best of breed in my opinion. The first wave consisted of places like Ponderosa Steak Barn about which I mean to do a post someday, while the second wave (or late first, I haven't decided) was places like Western Steer & Western Sizzling.

Quincy's was a very appealing operation for family Sunday lunches, and we ate there almost exclusively on Sunday for a number of years. You would go in, get in line, pick out your silverware and make your order which would be brought out with reasonable promptness. I thought they had a very good burger (which fewer places do well than you would expect), and their salad bar was unquestionably the best in Columbia. The waitresses were all friendly, and came to know and greet "the regulars". The only fly in the ointment was that whatever mechanism they used to wash the silverware wasn't very efficient, and you always ended up having to go through several knives and forks before coming up with unspotted ones.

I liked Quincy's well enough that when my employer started sending me to various cities around the South East, I would take the little list of "Our Other Locations" that used to be in a stand by your way out, to have somewhere familiar to eat when I travelled. (In practice, it would usually work out that either I didn't get to pick where we ate, or we would end up working so late that it was Denny's or nowhere..). I started noticing too that all Quincy's were not alike. The one on Two Notch was definitely the best one in Columbia, much better than the one on Forest Drive, and a bit better than the one off I-26 & US-378. The one in Surfside Beach was very good, the one in Florence, not so much.

Naturally like any chain with a generally winning concept, they started to tinker with it. First, the salad bar started to decline. They took the large wedges of chedder and pepper-jack cheese off, and would start skipping very basic things, like onions, more and more often. Then they decided that the "honor system" had to go. The initial concept was you got your ticket and paid on your way out. The new system was that you had to pay at the end of the ordering line. I suppose it reduced shrinkage some, and obviated the need for another employee and register stand at the door, but it also slowed up the line, and made it seem that you weren't quite trusted to pay for your food. Real decline set in after this, and the chain obviously realized it with their somewhat desperate ad campaigns for The Big, Fat Yeast Roll. The rolls were actually pretty good, but you want to think several times before launching a restaurant ad campaign in which the words "big" and "fat" play prominent roles.

I think the Forest Drive location was the first in Columbia to go, with Two Notch being the last. I believe the chain is still in business and has a few stores left, but I haven't seen one in several years.

I forget what moved into the Two Notch building after Quincy's, but it didn't last too long, and I think the building sat vacant a while before becoming Stiletto's. That brief-lived operation had a sign with a very shapely set of legs, the feet adorned with the aforementioned footware. I'm pretty sure I saw the sign as recently as last week, but I can't say for certain. The sign also mentioned that, like Quincy's, they had steaks on the menu, but I suspect "the sizzle" was more their stock in trade.

UPDATE 9 May 2008: New construction is going on at the old Quincy's/Stiletto's

Looks like it will be a "Harbor Inn", which either means that there will be two Harbor Inns within a mile or so of each other on Two Notch, or that the one in front of Bi-Lo (in the old Ryan's building) will be moving here.

UPDATE 22 March 2010: Added full street address (and some tags)

Written by ted on February 11th, 2008

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