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Jimmy Carter's Fireworks / Strip Club / Adult Video Store, 4713 Highway 301 & 76 West (Marion): 1980s/2010s   7 comments

Posted at 12:52 am in closing

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Commenter Andy Farmer asks about Jimmy Carter's in Marion. Here's what I remember, and have been able to find out.

First of all, we never went this way to the beach while I was growing up as access to the South Strand was easier through Georgetown. I guess the first time I ever came this way was sometime in the early 1980s when I was in college and going to the beach after visiting relatives in Hartsville. My memory is that the store had a big mural on one wall, probably the Southern wall, as that is the one you would see best going towards Myrtle Beach, depicting a toothy and widely grinning man, or possibly a toothy and widely grinning anthropomorphic peanut. This was of course a caricature of our then President, James Earl Carter who was often depicted in that way. I don't really remember anything but that image and the big signage for Jimmy Carter's. I could not have told you what kind of business it was. It was, however very distinctive, even apart from that, because it sits in the median of US-76/US-301, and this is the only area from Florence to the Beach where that is done.

This Reddit thread establishes Jimmy Carter's as mainly a fireworks store, though incorporating a greasy-spoon diner and various tourist trap merchandise. It also establishes that the owner really was named Jimmy Carter (I suppose hundereds of people must share that), that this was the second building in that location, and that Mr. Carter has passed away.

Once I moved to Fayetteville, I would come to the beach this way more often (if I were not going cross country from South Of THe Border), and at some point I noticed that Jimmy Carter's was gone, and the building now housed a strip club. I can't recall the name, and google is no help, but I think it might have been Paradise City. Then at some point later, the strip club apparently moved to the East side of the building, and the West side became an adult video store. This news story establishes that both of those businesses were gone by October 2015, and based on the facade peel back to the painted over Jimmy Carter signage, I'm thinking they actually closed several years before that.

This real estate flyer gives an address for the building (though somewhat ambiguously, and without a zip code) and has much better pictures than mine (which were taken under an umbrella) to include some interior shots. It also establishes the city location as Marion, which I would not have guessed, as I would put the place much closer to Florence, and that the Jimmy Carter's era was more than 40 years. I will also note that the map button is set to street view and also has a much better picture of the place than any of mine.

As one final note, the Reddit thread mentions that the logical successor to this store is Sparky's Fireworks & Gifts several miles further east and on your left. I second the notion, and you should stop there at least once.

(Hat tip to commenter Andy Farmer)

Written by ted on September 25th, 2018

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Cafe Risque, 17301 NE US Highway 301 Waldo Florida: 2014   2 comments

Posted at 10:03 pm in closing

Where's Waldo?

As it turns out, the answer to this perennial question is "On US-301 just south of Starke". In fact, when I found this closed Cafe Risque this summer, I believed I was in Starke, and not this particular Alachua County metropolis of 1015 souls.

In the event, I had driven by the vacant building on the east side of the road, when the partial sign I had seen percolated to the front of my brain, and I turned around to get some pictures.

I had written about Cafe Risque before, when I noticed I was no longer seeing the I-95 billboards around Darien Georgia. Doing a little more googling this time, I see that the Cafe Risque story is a bit stranger than I might have thought: the whole chain grew out of a family restaurant empire called "Skeeter's Breakfast House". Apparently that legacy led to Cafe Risque's key insight: You could run strip clubs without alcohol if you put them in out of the way places and had decent food. Certainly, the regulatory hurdles are lower that way. Of course, it's questionable if that model still works as most of the places have closed in recent years (apparently one both opened and closed in Dunn after I left the Fayetteville area) though some of that may be due to the death of the man who was the chain's driving force as referenced at the first link above. As of this posting, it appears that the location on I-75 in Micanopy Florida is the only one left as described in this (somewhat NSFW) article in Gainesville Scene.

Written by ted on January 8th, 2017

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Horne's / Florida Souvenierland Pecans Candies, 22103 US-301 Lawtey Florida: 2000s   11 comments

Posted at 1:27 am in closing

Written by ted on July 6th, 2016

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Car On A Stick, US-301 Santee:2000s (?)   4 comments

Posted at 11:27 pm in Uncategorized

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There was a place in Camden on US-1 that used to do the same thing, though I'm not sure how being able to put a car on a stick indicates the same skills needed to *fix* a car..

Written by ted on May 17th, 2013

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