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Archive for March, 2013

Taco Bell, 515 West Main Street (Lexington): 4 April 2011 (moved)   10 comments

Posted at 1:47 am in Uncategorized

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As mentioned in the comments on the Lexington Blockbuster this adjacent old-school Taco Bell moved to a new store a couple of years ago. Personally I like these Southwestern style locations more than the "modern" style they have adopted recently. Several in Columbia have been repurposed recently (though the one on Knox Abbott is still vacant), but this one looks as though it may be too far gone for that.

UPDATE -- Work is underway:

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UPDATE 17 February 2014 -- Now a Cook Out:

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Written by ted on March 18th, 2013

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T.G.I. Friday's, 3400 Forest Drive #1024: 15 March 2013   19 comments

Posted at 7:11 pm in Uncategorized

Written by ted on March 15th, 2013

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Steak 'n Shake, 340 Columbiana Drive: 2009   24 comments

Posted at 11:37 pm in closing

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Although this Steak 'n Shake was open well past the time I moved back to Columbiana, I can't recall seeing it open at all. Indeed, I didn't even realize until it came up recently in Have Your Say that this building was the former location.

Steak 'n Shake is one of those chains I've always been meaning to try but somehow never get around to. I guess I've been closest once in LA when I used Yahoo Travel to book myself a hotel for a Van Morrison concert and found myself in an almost totally non-english speaking part of Koreatown (the hotel room phonebooks were in Korean [though the staff couldn't have been nicer!]) and it looked like a place I could understand. Somehow that didn't quite happen, and somehow I've never connected in Florida (where they have a big presence) either.

At any rate this store listed in the Feb 2008 phonebook, but not in the Feb 2010 one, so I'm saying they shut down in 2009. The building has really delapidated quickly since then, and it looks like it would take major work to get a standard second-use restaurant (Asian buffett, Lizard's Thicket etc) into there.

UPDATE 2 May 2013 -- Some of the boards have now been prised off the windows, and we can take a bit of a look inside:

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UPDATE 14 March 2016 -- Somewhere I have some pictures of this lot as vacant after the tear-down, and will post them, but as of now, it is rebuilt and open as M Kitchen (and has been for a while):

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Written by ted on March 14th, 2013

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Mattress Source, 107 Harbison Boulevard: 11 December 2012 (buyout)   8 comments

Posted at 12:16 am in Uncategorized

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As detailed here, on 11 December 2012, Mattress Firm bought out Mattress Source and all the Mattress Source stores were closed temporarily for re-branding.

I missed the buyout news, not being in the mattress market currently, but noticed the new banner over the old marquee when I was driving down Harbison recently. Since I don't have a dog in the fight, I'll say that I like the name Mattress Firm better than Mattress Source as it works (presumably intentionally) as a play on words.

I'll also say that while I have no opinion yea or nay on their mattresses, I continue to admire the Tempurpedic logo.

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You wouldn't think that you could get away with plastering a shapely undraped female derriere all over your marquee and front yard, but they do. Granted they have toned down the, um, cleavage from a few years ago:

Written by ted on March 14th, 2013

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Blockbuster Video, 509 West Main Street (Lexington): March 2013   10 comments

Posted at 11:46 pm in closing

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Well, this has already been talked about enough that I'm not sure who the hat-tip goes to, but I finally got over to Lexington last weekend and got some shots of the Main Street Blockbuster closing down. It was already pretty near the end-days, and as I watched, I saw a guy walk out and hoick a set of display racks into his truck.

I was also in Aiken this week, and the Blockbuster there which closed about this time last year is still vacant despite being in a pretty good spot..

UPDATE -- the place is still vacant:

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UPDATE 4 March 2014 -- This shot is through a windshield and from too far away, but you can see this building is now a Pet Supermarket:

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UPDATE 5 October 2020: Changing name in post title from "Blockbuster" to "Blockbuster Video", updating tags, adding map icon.

Written by ted on March 12th, 2013

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Bailey's Sports Grille, 115 Afton Court: 3 March 2013   28 comments

Posted at 11:10 pm in Uncategorized

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Every now and then, I go down Afton Court for the theater at the bottom of the street, which sometimes seems to have slightly different selections from most in town. Nonetheless, I was pretty much unaware that there was a Restaurant/Pool Hall just a little up from there. According to their closing sign, Bailey's had been there 18 years, which is a pretty good run, especially with all the turnover on Columbiana Drive.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

Written by ted on March 11th, 2013

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Big Thursday, 5135 Sunset Boulevard: 28 February 2013   7 comments

Posted at 11:45 pm in Uncategorized

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The name Big Thursday refers back to an old Columbia tradition of hosting the Carolina/Clemson game at USC on a Fall Thursday. It was before my time, but apparently was quite the thing and schools would even get the day off. (We used to get a day off for the State Fair too -- go figure). I'm not sure if it dated back to my Grandfather's time, but Thursday or not I know he swore he would never give Clemson one red dime because they made him come to Columbia and sleep in a tent on game day when he was there. (Clemson was basically a military school at the time, I believe).

You have to wonder if naming a store after something that fewer and fewer people can actually remember is a good idea, and in the event, perhaps not as this USC and Clemson memorabilia chain closed shop at the end of last month.

(Hat tip to commenter TahoeChic)

Written by ted on March 10th, 2013

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Express Check Advance, 9900 Two Notch Road: Late February 2013   no comments

Posted at 12:54 am in Uncategorized

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I noticed a few weeks ago that the Express Check Advance adjacent to Tom's Wines & Spirits had taken their marquee down. I thought that the place might be vacant for a while, but just a few days later I saw a new sign for a Moneygram location which is apparently already up and running.

Written by ted on March 9th, 2013

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Melvin's Chicken 'n Waffles, 6301 Shakespeare Road: 2012   7 comments

Posted at 12:33 am in Uncategorized

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This is the follow-on operation to Carolina Famous Hotdogs & Wings (though curiously, Ihave that one at 6303 Shakeespeare), and was one of a number of Chicken & Waffle restaurants opening in Columbia last year. That's certainly a trend that seemed to come out of nowhere for me. I'd gone my whole life without hearing about that particular food combination, and suddenly I seemed to hear about it a couple of times a week. It almost sounds like a punchline. "Why did the chicken cross the road? To get a waffle.."

Written by ted on March 8th, 2013

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First Citizens Bank, 700 Charleston Highway: circa 2006   1 comment

Posted at 12:58 am in Uncategorized

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My first thought at seeing this former First Citizens branch at the corner of the Charleston Highway and Platt Springs Road was that there must be some sort of sporting event in the area as the lot was packed full of cars taking advantage of the Sunday bank closure to park there.

A closer inspection revealed the actual facts, which are that the bank is gone, and the lot is being used as an impromptu (I could see no business sign at least..) used car lot. I've heard the old GM described as a bank that sold some cars, perhaps the concept is spreading...

Written by ted on March 7th, 2013

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