Archive for the ‘US-378’ tag
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:
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---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.
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.
She also said the guy who built the motel back in the fifties still drops into the convenience store every day.
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.
UPDATE 24 October 2014: Added Yellow Pages graphic from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook.
When I blogged the closing of the Harbison Wing Nuts back in June, commenter badger mentioned that the Lexington location on Sunset Boulevard had closed in March. Somehow it took me between then and now to get over there and get some pictures, but surprisingly the marquee is still up after six months.
(Hat tip to commenter badger)
Here's another Landmark Square storefront, this one a framing and gifts operation.
According to their referral sign, they moved to 4339 Fort Jackson Boulevard in late 2011, and according to the February 2013 phonebook, they are still there.
I really can't remember the Columbia East Theaters. I think their heyday was when I was living in Fayetteville, and when I came home during that period, I had plenty of go-to theaters closer than these. Various commenters have described how they started out as a twin theater, later expanded to a quad-plex and ended life as a $0.99 cent venue.
Commenter Dennis mentions that the building pre-existed the theaters and was once The New South Music Hall, a live music club.
Currently the building, and surrounding defunct shopping plaza, is part of the Word Of God Ministries, a church which has also rehabilitated the old Intersection Center / Sam Solomon plaza on Diamond Lane.
7351 Garners Ferry Road is an approximate address, taken from a listing for former plaza business The Talk Of The Town Hair Gallery.
(Hat tip to commenter Brent Carter)
Originally, I was describing CanMan Dew's as being in the same location as Casa Linda.
This was confusion on my part engendered by looking at some closeup pictures of Mushi Mushi and noting that the storfronts and lighting looked the same, which it naturally would in the same strip mall.
So, anyway, I have taken the CatMan Dew's text out of the Casa Linda entry and put it here.
Thanks to commenter badger for setting me straight.
CatMan Dew's was the follow on operation to Mushi Mushi in this strip mall adjoining the Garners Ferry Wal-Mart. It came and went rather quickly, and I never actually saw it in operation. Commenter badger describes is as a burger and wing joint, and WLTX did a video story on it. (I don't have flash working right now, so I haven't been able to watch it yet).
Originally, I had a section on CatMan Dew's here, but as commenter badger pointed out, that was a different storefront.
You can see in this long-shot that this wing of the strip mall does have some similar locations, and I let the red awning and placement of lights to either side of the entranceway fool me:
Anyway, I have moved CatMan Dew's to its own post.
The Casa Linda location here was operating until quite recently, and seems to have closed at about the same time as their Lexington location. Currently the place is still a Mexican restaurant, Taco Time.
This clothing storefront in Landmark Square has apparently been vacant since circa 2006. There is currently a Simply Fashion in Edens Plaza on Beltline (the Piggly Wiggly plaza), but it looks to have shown up a few years after this one closed, so I don't think it counts as a move.
Currently Landmark Square does have a fashion shop, It's Fashion Metro which moved into the old Jo-Ann Fabrics location.
I don't know anything about Fashion Cents other than a google search on 6860 Garners Ferry brings it up. If it really was here, it must have been prior to the February 2005 phonebook.
It appears from their facebook page that a commenter saw this location as Pancho's on 8 March, so I'm using that as a date, though it would have been a bit earlier.
I never ate at this location, but in general do like the one on Beltline. From the name, I suppose this is now a second location for Pancho's on Forest Drive in the old Redbone Alley building.
(Hat tip to commenter TahoeChic)
Clearly, I really like that sign.
This building sits at the corner of Garners Ferry and Old Veterans Roads. It's actually a little hard to get in and out of, though you can cut down Old Veterans to Veterans and then come out at the light. As of now, Prudential has moved to 3200 Devine Street. I don't yet have a picture, but it is the building adjoining the old Rice Music House location.
I first became aware of this strip-mall storefront on Garners Ferry when it was Ye Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe.
Next it became Anthony's Old Fashioned Burger & Fry Co.. When that closed, there was a sign for a time that it would be re-opening as Ma's House Of Pizza, but in the event the new concept was actually Pepper's Pizza, Burgers, Pasta & More aka Pepper's House Of Pizza.
As reported by MrBO, that seems to have closed sometime around mid-January 2014.
Through all the incarnations, a lot of the physical plant remained the same, including the neon sign for Fresh Salads. In fact, walking around the side of the building, I found the remains of the Ye Old Fashioned sign:
(Hat tip to commenter MrBO)
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