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The (Original) Keg O'Nails, 3008 Rosewood Drive: October 2008   17 comments

Posted at 1:15 am in Uncategorized

For many years, The Keg O'Nails or perhaps a Keg O'Nails sat down at the other end of Rosewood, in the Jim Casey Fireworks lot near Midlands Tech. I add the perhaps clause because there was a good deal of hoo-ha surrounding the "move" to the current location across from the Dairy Bar. I forget most if not all of the details now, but it was something like two people thought they had the right to the name "Keg O'Nails", and one wanted to leave it where it was and the other wanted to move it. I imagine that this is the reason for the word "Original" in the name of the current restaurant much as Bill Pinkney had to bill his band as "The Original Drifters" rather than simply "The Drifters". The hole in this theory is that the (apparently now also closed) restaurant that stayed at Jim Casey's was called The French Quarter rather than The Keg O'Nails.

At any rate, I never ate at the old location and only once at the new. I had a burger, and it was quite good -- nice if you happened to be in the area, but for me not worth driving over to Rosewood as a destination. There is no signage of any kind on the place indicating why it closed, or even that it is closed (though the doors being locked and the lack of staff is rather a giveaway there).

Thanks to commenters "Justin" & "O'Reilly" for the heads up!

UPDATE 16 April 2012 -- It's now an Ole Timey Meat Market:


UPDATE 25 April 2012: Added the full street addres to the post title.

Written by ted on October 14th, 2008

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17 Responses to 'The (Original) Keg O'Nails, 3008 Rosewood Drive: October 2008'

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  1. The Keg of Nails was first Jim Grady's Keg of Nails. It was across from Jim Casey's fireworks. I think a lot of the confusion was from the names. Jim Casey owned the building and the Gradys leased from him. In the 80's the Gradys sold out to I. Barton Dumas. He also had a bar in Irmo called IB's. Jim Grady's daughter Alice worked for Barton as manager at the Keg. Later the Caseys and Barton had a falling out about the rent and lawsuits started. Finally Barton won the rights to Keg of Nails and the Caseys had to change to The French Quarter. Thats when the Keg moved down Rosewood


    14 Oct 08 at 8:10 pm

  2. I never spent much time at the Keg but it was very handy in that they would sell you a cold six-pack to go on Sundays. (As long as there were no cops around.) I am so thankful we don't have to sweat over that anymore.


    14 Oct 08 at 9:08 pm

  3. i loved the keg, we had many family birthdays there (the blackened grouper sandwich was my favorite). however, for over a year, the food selections were off, he quality uneven, finally they simply were out of normal items. the crowds tapered off the same way.

    marc cardwell

    15 Oct 08 at 6:33 am

  4. I wonder how much money was left in the Video Poker Machine that is in clear view next to the wall?


    16 Oct 08 at 4:27 am

  5. In the early '90s, for about 2 years or so, I worked at a small computer business that was located in the Jim Casey's lot. The shop was actually right across the parking lot from the Keg, next to the liquor store. I ate lunch at the old Keg probably 4 out of 5 days a week, and had everything on the menu at some time or another. "The Gator" and "The #12 Jeff Grantz' Favorite" were sandwiches to be reckoned with for sure, but "Charlie's Bucket Burger" was truly without rival. And at the end of the day, what better way to unwind than with a couple of tall cold ones and a game or two of pool or "Cue Ball Wizard" ( )...

    After a change in jobs, I frequented the Keg less and less, but would still pop in from time to time for a bite if I was on that side of town. After the move to the new location, however, it wasn't ever the same. First, it just didn't *feel* right. I mean, the old Keg was a dive -- you expected it to be a little sketchy, and were pleasantly surprised by how damn good the food really was. The new place was polished (at least when it was new), but the atmosphere was definitely lacking. Second, and more importantly, the food was missing something as well -- perhaps all those years of old grease built up on the old grill? I dunno, but I can tell you plainly, it wasn't as good. They added new items to the menu after the move too, so maybe they just stretched it too thin. The old menu had something for everyone, I thought, so why tamper with that?

    My love for the Keg fell off after visiting the new location a handful of times. I realized that it was already gone the day they closed the original "Original".


    Brian G

    16 Oct 08 at 3:11 pm

  6. Brian -- Agree __ There is no places like this-- old school atmosphere-- the poker machines!!


    16 Oct 08 at 10:01 pm

  7. Many a pool game for a beer or two at the keg in in the cigarette haze 1989. What a place --- thanks for this site, too.


    23 May 09 at 12:49 am

  8. I worked at the real original Keg, when Jim and Jane Grady owned it. Casey owned the property. Grady thought he was Mr. Gottiall, and entertained the USC football team lavishly and free. And those guys can eat. When Grady sold, which was inevitable given his talent for business
    (an Irishman owning a bar? Please.), it was all down hill from that. And that other place, the original Keg they called it, was nothing more than a cocaine pit for management.


    16 Dec 10 at 11:36 pm

  9. I went there in the late 1980s after the Gradys had sold to Bart and Alice was manager. I will confrim the above comments about the neighborhood atmosphere and original food menus. Yes, that #12 Jeff Grantz was a good one. Got to put one in for the pizza too. After I started dating my eventual ex-fiance we didn't get into the habit of going there. I never went to this new location, which I think came after I left Columbia.


    12 Aug 11 at 9:05 am

  10. I was looking for Jane Popot, found out she married James. I was in Holy Rosary with Veronica Grady and Jane Popot and Elaine Rush (Warburton Ave.) One day, we were in 7th grade (?) went home with Jane and Veronica. There in the kitchen stood the most handsome, curly, red headed guy. Wouldn't have guessed that she, Jane, would be Mrs. James Grady. I am in Palo Alto, CA and my family is all back on the east coast. Will be looking to retire ASAP. Perhaps with a friend to Hilton Head, NC. How did Jimmy get to South Carolina?
    Maiden name Fennessey, now Patricia Cala. Jane had a twin sister Joan and the oldest, her brother, drowned in the Hudson. A member of the boat club on the Hudson.

    Patricia Fennessey

    25 Mar 12 at 6:00 pm

  11. Jim was in the Army & he was last stationed at Ft. Jackson which is how he ended up in SC. I am Jim & Jane's former daughter-in-law - my daughter is Kelly Jane Grady. I met Veronica 'Aunt Roni' a few times, she & Mr. & Mrs. G were always fun to be around. I also met Jane's sisters Alice & Isabel. I never met Joan, she had passed away by the time I met the Gradys. Loved the Bully Beefs!


    8 May 14 at 12:54 pm

  12. The Grady's lived on the same block I lived on in the 1970's, Right near Greenlawn Cemetery. Went to school with their daughter Marie. Marie was good friends with the girl I eventually married. Our first Date, I call it a date, was at the Grady's house.

    My wife to be, and Marie cooked burgers. Damn good ones too. I think they mixed an egg in with the meat.
    Well, If a 16 year old could cook that good I was gonna marry her. It was probably a Keg-O-Nails recipe and I thought my wife did it.

    @Karen - Oh Yea, the Bully Beef was our favorite.


    8 May 14 at 2:37 pm

  13. Mine was their Pastrami Supreme.


    8 May 14 at 4:19 pm

  14. Does anyone have the recipe for the Bully Beef sandwich ?

    Catherine Bagnal

    28 Jun 17 at 12:59 pm

  15. The Bully Beef was the shizznit. My fav sandwich at the location near Jim Casey's fireworks. Never tasted the same after the move to the above location.


    28 Jun 17 at 3:50 pm

  16. In the summer of 1977 a friend and I drove from Hilton Head to Columbia just for a bully beef. It was that good.


    31 May 18 at 11:57 pm

  17. I had the original Bully Beef way back when he and his wife made them by hand, one at the time., probably in the early 70’s. I am hoping that someone has the recipe for the Bully Beef! I’m in my early 70’s myself now and would love to attempt to make it myself since no one seems to sell it anywhere any longer!


    21 Aug 23 at 9:02 pm

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