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S & S Cafeteria, Gervais Street: 1997   12 comments

Posted at 12:01 am in Uncategorized

Today's picture comes from reader Thomas who says:

Here is a pic of the old S&S on Gervais. I took it in 97 when I was USC and they announced it was closing and would be torn down.

I can only recall eating at this S & S once. If I remember correctly, we took my aunt from Florida there for some reason -- perhaps after shopping downtown. What always impressed me about cafeterias as a kid was how different the rice was from what we got at home or family gatherings. Family rice was very sticky and fluffy. Cafeteria rice, on the other hand, was a dish of discrete rice grains which did not stick together at all. I suspect now that cafeteria rice is parboiled or converted as Uncle Ben might say. Why anyone would prefer it that way I can't say, but it would make it easier to clean the dishes at a commercial establishment, I suppose.

S & S still has an operation at Richland Mall, where it replaced the old Morrison's cafeteria, which in turn replaced the older Redwood cafeteria (which was the cafeteria we mostly went to when I was a kid). For some reason, there is a Japanese facebook page devoted to the Richland Mall operation, though I can only make it come up in English if I use the google cached version.

Thanks Thomas!

Written by ted on March 17th, 2009

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12 Responses to 'S & S Cafeteria, Gervais Street: 1997'

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  1. Ted, I gotta call you out on your cafeterias at Richland Mall. I can only recall S&S being at Richland Mall. My grandma used to take me there when I was a kid in the late 70s early 80s.


    17 Mar 09 at 5:07 am

  2. Sorry Chief but Ted is right, I remember the Rosewood Cafeteria too, which I believe later became Hiers. Hiers was later bought out by Seawells. There used to be a Hiers at the State Fairgrounds.

    I ate at the downtown one a lot with my parents in the 1960s. Loved their old wooden panels on the inside.


    17 Mar 09 at 5:54 am

  3. I worked at Richland Mall's Redwood Cafeteria when I was in high school, around 1972.

    Tuesday was "yellow rice and liver" day, and you should have seen the senior citizens line up for it. I would spend hours the day before in a creepy tiled room with a drain in the floor cutting up frozen calf livers on a band saw. Felt like I was in a horror movie.

    The very special yellow rice was plain old cheap white rice with yellow food coloring in it. That's it. I have no idea what the attraction was.

    It was a nice place, though, in its day.


    17 Mar 09 at 6:48 am

  4. My grandmother loved this place and the one at Richland Mall.

    Mr. Bill

    17 Mar 09 at 9:33 am

  5. Went to S&S often with my grandman and aunt in the 70's. We'd also have lunch at the dining room inside White's.


    17 Mar 09 at 1:44 pm

  6. We went to S&S in downtown Greenville all the time
    when it was still open. I mostly remember the early
    60's there. It was the greatest, I still sort of
    remember the layout and the fountain in the lobby, it
    was in a good old downtown building, not one of these
    soulless mall buildings. Mostly, though, I remember
    family that I would be there with... Uncle Bob... Mama
    and Daddy... I went to some other two-letter cafeteria
    in Greenville with Uncle Dan and Aunt Jean a few
    weeks ago, it was very clean and good and reminded me
    of S&S a lot. I got baked chicken, but I'm sure they
    had "Trout Almondine" there somewhere in that sea
    of food.

    Mike Marshall

    18 Mar 09 at 8:19 am

  7. David - I also worked at the restaurant at the Richland Mall White's in the early 70s. That was my move up from the Redwood Cafeteria. It was called the Riverboat Tea Room.

    I had hair down my back in a ponytail so I was not allowed to wait tables or even bus tables much. I had to stay in the back and wash dishes so the little old lady tea room crowd would not have to look at some hippie.

    A big gang of high school kids who knew each other, mostly from Covenant Presbyterian Church's youth group, worked there together those years. It was a lot of fun. Good money too -- I bought a car.


    18 Mar 09 at 10:20 am

  8. Looking at the photo again, two thoughts came to mind. First if you look closely at the left side of the building, you'll notice that it is an exstension of the original building. Second, in the 1960s the had a big green street sign with "S&S" in gold letters made up of dozens of gold light bulbs. Don't remember when the sign came down unfortunately.


    18 Mar 09 at 11:08 am

  9. Seems I can sort of remember those lights, but never paid any attention to them. I think S&S opened at this spot in 1964 and before that they were behind that location on the next block. But there used to be Central Chevrolet on the corner to the right of this building, then they tore that building down and moved to Beltline. Does anyone other than me remember back in the 60's to the left of the building and behind it was Uniroyal Tires? with the famouse "TigerPaw" wheels? that gripped the road regardless of the weather? I liked the commercials about it, but never understood why I never saw anything like that for real. Too bad the closed S&S on Gervais..but it's typical of Columbia to tear down more buildings than what Gen. Sherman and his army did to Columbia back in 1865.


    12 Apr 09 at 5:26 pm

  10. S & S Gervais: they had large round/oval table near the front(seat 10-15). The SC Supreme is only 1.5 blocks west on Gervais St. In early 1970's I worked at Lady and Marion. Frequently we would eat lunch at S&S(or the Place pool room across the st.) and see the big table filled with Supreme court judges and their clerks. I ate supper there the Fri of the BIG snow Feb 1973(15 in. official @ CAE, personal in Shandon 30 in. plus). What WIS was predicting for the max snow was always about an inch behind what was already on the ground.


    2 Mar 11 at 12:00 am

  11. CUI: Corrections- the SC Supreme Court is on Gervais St.
    Palace Poolroom was on Gervais St. across from S&S.


    2 Mar 11 at 12:11 am

  12. I am trying to find the recipe for the Salisbury steak with the slice of dill pickle on top that S & S Cafeteria, Gervais St served. i would love to have it.
    Thanks for any help


    22 Dec 16 at 11:47 am

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