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Archive for April, 2010

Vintage Motors, 6618 Two Notch Road: 2009 (moved)   3 comments

Posted at 1:23 am in Uncategorized

Here's another of Two Notch Road's many car lots. This one (which apparently also occupied the adjacent 6600 Two Notch Road address) seems to have moved. According to their sign, to 6729-A Two Notch., which google gives that as the address of the Very's plaza.

The buildings here are nothing special, but I really like the free-standing canopy in the parking lot, both for the canted roof and for the fact that it has only one support. And of course, what would any car lot be without the strands of flag triangles?

Written by ted on April 8th, 2010

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Piggly Wiggly Store 62 (not A & P), 9940 Two Notch Road: late 1990s   12 comments

Posted at 1:59 am in closing

Although I do not recall this store, I am reasonably sure from the architecture that it was at one time an A & P. The building doesn't have the classic steeple, but otherwise the look is quite similar to other old A&P buildings. If I am right, then this store would have been in the boonies when built, but the building of Spring Valley High in the 1970s proves that the population in the area was already growing.

Although Gold's Gym is a top-tier brand (or presents itself as one at any rate), it does often seem to follow the Lizard's Thicket "hermit crab" strategy of moving into existing buildings, something it did here, at the old Columbia Athletic Club, on Harbison and most recently at the old Sofa Express location at Sandhill. When Sandhill opens, they will have two locations quite close together. It would not surprise me to see this one close, though there is no indication of anything like that on their site.

UPDATE 7 April 2010: Originally (as you can tell from the text), I thought this was an A&P. I was wrong, it was a Piggly Wiggly, and I have changed the post title to reflect that.

Written by ted on April 7th, 2010

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House Brand, 5143 Forest Drive: April 2010   1 comment

Posted at 12:32 am in Uncategorized

House Brand was one of the two new operations (Turning Pointe is the other) that set up shop in the old Steak & Ale on Forest Drive.

It's an interesting building, done in that faux Tudor style that Steak & Ale used. Barring a fire or some other catastrophe, I've got enough furniture to last a lifetime, so I never stopped by House Brand, but it looks to have been in the part of the building that was briefly Buster's Bistro, and judging from their web site which is still up at present, they were a local family firm specializing in somewhat offbeat designs. Unfortunately, around when they opened, the bottom fell out of the housing market, and that hit the furniture (and appliance) business especially hard.

UPDATE 25 June 2010: Added some more photos.

Written by ted on April 6th, 2010

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Happy Easter Everyone!   no comments

Posted at 3:24 pm in Uncategorized

Written by ted on April 2nd, 2010

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The Banker's Note, Trenholm Plaza: 1990s   13 comments

Posted at 12:42 am in Uncategorized

OK, you knew you were going to be seeing these pictures again, right?

Frankly, until I saw the old pictures, I had completely forgotten there was ever a store called The Banker's Note in Trenholm Plaza, and even after seeing them, I had no idea what it was, or what it sold.

As you can see, the store was east of the A&P and more or less where the current Books-A-Million is. From this shot, it's unclear to me if it included the corner location where the plaza dips north.

Doing a bit of googling turns up this information:

Ten years ago last month Suchik opened the first Banker's Note store in Roswell, Ga., outside Atlanta. In 1981 he took the four-unit operation public to repay his manufacturer-partner, with profits. Two years ago there were 32 of the units averaging 4,000 sq. ft. One year ago there were 42 Banker's Note stores. At this writing, there are 72 units with 18 more planned by the end of the current fiscal year.

The five year plan, Suchik said, calls for year plan, Suchik said, in sales by the fiscal year ending Feb. 1, 1991. For the year ended Feb 1, 1987, sales hit $34.8 million. Wall Street sees the chain pulling in a volume of $47 to $53 million for the current fiscal year.

In the next five years, store expansion will be concentrated in the nine southeastern states The Banker's Note already operates in from North Carolina down to Florida and Westward to Tennessee and Texas. The chain possibly will invade adjacent markets in Oklahoma and perhaps Arkansas, Suchik added.
Its ambitious expansion plans, the proliferation of off-pricing and discounting by traditional stores continue to force constant adjustments. "In this business no one can afford to rest on his laurels,' said Suchik.

by 1997 the firm had renamed itself to VSI Holdings, Inc.. I'm a bit unclear as to whether a change of ownership happened then, but I don't think so, as the HQ was still in Smyrna.

It appears that VSI had wider ambitions than just clothing, and that in 1999 they made a move into the software business. Maybe that didn't go so well, because by 2001 the owners were shopping the company around, looking for a buyer. It looked as if SPX would do the deal, but the deal unexpectedly fell-through later that year. Apparently after that, the company tried to wind down in an orderly fashion, but in late 2002 a lawsuit by "recalcitrant creditors" forced them into an unplanned Chapter 11.

One thing I don't see anywhere is any mention of why they ever called themselves The Banker's Note. It's certainly not a name that suggests apparel. I'm not sure when this store closed, but it was definitely gone by 1998.

Written by ted on April 2nd, 2010

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Palmetto Sandwich Shop, 1465 Sumter Street: 31 March 2010   9 comments

Posted at 12:56 am in Uncategorized

Well, today marked the end of another Columbia institution that I somehow never managed to visit. In this case I attribute it to not spending any time downtown coupled with the parking issue, but that's no real excuse, I suppose.

The details were in the Free Times a few weeks back. It seems that SCANA's exit was a factor, as with some other places.

The Palmetto Sandwich Shop was on Sumter street just across from the old RCPL location and the YMCA. This is actually a much-restauranted block, and I was surprised to find Greek Boys, Palmetto Sandwich Shop, some new restaurant setting up, Miyo's and Quizno's all together like that. 26 years is an eternity in restaurant terms, so they made a good run of it, and they made a classy exit with the "Gone Fishin'" banner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on April 1st, 2010

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