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Shoney's, 402 Beltline Boulevard: 1970s   22 comments

Posted at 11:59 pm in closing



This is another former Shoney's which has been converted into a Lizard's Thicket.

I'm a little hazy about the time period, but it was still open in the 1976 phonebook, and closed in the 1985 one, so I'm going with "1970s".

Our preferred Shoney's location was the Two Notch one, but we did go to this one from time to time. For most of that period, it was still Big Boy affiliated, and we always got the "Big Boy & Dolly" promotional comics, and if we were lucky, the "Hot Fudge Cake". Mmm!

UPDATE 10 September 2020: Update tags, add map icon.

Written by ted on November 9th, 2012

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22 Responses to 'Shoney's, 402 Beltline Boulevard: 1970s'

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  1. The last few times I went to Shoney's it had really gone downhill from the old days. The breakfast buffet was just OK, but the seafood buffet really sucked! Tasted like everything had been fried in the same oil. It was pathetic.

    I remember back in the heyday of Dutch Square (70's) we would eat there every time I would go shopping with my folks. Back then they had some wonderful burgers. I can't remember if they were still a member of the Big Boy franchise at that time or not.

    Now we are down to three in the Columbia area and the Dutch Square location isn't even open for dinner any longer. Can't really blame them considering where they are.

    The website has a little video about a new CEO that is promising to bring them back to the way they used to be. IMHO, it's probably too late for that (at least around here). There is way too much competition from the other chains.


    10 Nov 12 at 12:54 am

  2. I remember eating at this Shoneys in the 70s. Back then one could drive up and order from the car, like Sonic now. Car Hops would bring your food out. I don't remember if the Hops were on skates or not, I don't think so. I believe it was still open to around 1981 or 82. My buds and I partied on Rosewood many nights and would stop at this Shoneys on the way home, they had some pretty good onion rings. However, after a night of adult beverages, all food tasted good.


    10 Nov 12 at 9:50 am

  3. My gang would hit this Shoney's in the 70s when we were in high school. I remember ordering a Big Boy "without the raunchy sauce." I wasn't trying to be rude, it just slipped out. Everyone in the car stared at me like I had called the car hop filthy names or something. We laughed about it for years.


    10 Nov 12 at 12:49 pm

  4. FYI this Lizard is the place my mother-in-law and I got very sick from their flounder about 10 years ago.

    About the same time the Lizard on Forest Drive gave my wife a grilled cheese with oven/grill cleaner on it. Not kidding.


    10 Nov 12 at 12:53 pm

  5. The video Homer is speaking about can be seen at


    10 Nov 12 at 9:11 pm

  6. I did some checking and determined that the Big Boy Franchise was abandoned as a result of a 1984 dispute. So Homer, if the time you reference was prior to 1984, then Big Boy was a part of Shoney's.

    Below you'll see the 1-2-3-4 change plan lead by current CEO David Davoudpour

    1. a new menu
    2. new restaurant prototypes and rebuilds
    3. a new Executive and Operations team focused on adding unique twists to the Southern comfort food menu for which Shoney’s is known.
    4. Kenneth Pierson has been brought in to lead the reinvigoration of the company as a result of his track record in this department

    At their 1998 peak, Shoney's had app. 1,300 locations. Now they have approximately 230 restaurants.

    Anyone interested in reading further should click over to Shoney's Wiki page


    10 Nov 12 at 9:23 pm

  7. This was the first Shoney's in Columbia and they and the West Columbia location, both had curb service when they first opened.


    12 Nov 12 at 9:36 am

  8. As hokie as they were, Shoney's really should bring back the Big Boy statues in front of the buildings. What an icon. Joe Diffy even sung about one in "Third Rock From The Sun".


    12 Nov 12 at 10:53 am

  9. Zatarain-- Could you repeat that?


    13 Nov 12 at 3:05 pm

  10. Where was the Shoney's in West Columbia located. A friend said it was close to the old A & P in the curve of the road (Knox Abbott Dr.) across from Love Chevrolet or where Church's Chicken is today. I lived in West Columbia all my childhood up till I was 26. I was around in the 60's up to 1980 when I to NC. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


    8 Dec 14 at 9:54 pm

  11. One of two surviving Shoney's locations in the Columbia MSA is located on SC 302 right off of I-26 (2208 B Airport Blvd)...


    8 Dec 14 at 11:31 pm

  12. This was the West Columbia Shoneys.


    9 Dec 14 at 1:14 am

  13. The other is just down the street from me.

    7335 Garners Ferry Rd
    Columbia, SC 29209

    Never went to this site. I've been to the one on Forest drive a few times. I remember when they cleared the lot for this one. Before (very close by) was a Biscuit House. (Which I would have preferred stay there.)

    When I lived back north in Pittsburgh, I remember that smiling Big-boy statue in front of the Eat 'n Park.


    11 Dec 14 at 4:00 pm

  14. Someone told me that there was a sign at the Dutch Square location about the place being leased. Anyone heard anything??


    13 Dec 14 at 1:51 am

  15. @ Homer. This is all heresay... I took my child to see Santa at Dutch Square last Sunday. I like the fact you can bring your own camera and snap as many photos you like. It's free, but of course I give him a tip. Anyway, he indicated his job was "iffy" next year because he heard that Costco was moving to into Belk's space. Can anyone confirm/deny?


    13 Dec 14 at 7:30 am

  16. Dutch Square seems like an unlikely fit for Costco.

    In order for their building plans to work, they'd (most likely) have to tear the Belk portion down if they use that end of it.

    Costco needs approximately 16 acres for a site to work. Dutch Square (including the portion with GB Shoe Wareheouse) sits on approximately 46 acres. Be that as it may, If you took the mall entrance to Belk and measure it outwards (towards where Ruby Tuesday is), it comes out to be approximately 14 acres. Not to mention the effect on some of the remaining mall tenants. I know it's easy for people who remember Dutch Square's pre-Columbiana days to say there isn't much of anything left anymore but remember there are still some stores humming along in that mall although the crowd is pretty thin the times I've been in there in recent years.

    I also have a feeling that Costco prefers something that is easier to see/access from the interstate than Dutch Square has to offer


    13 Dec 14 at 1:05 pm

  17. They still have a Santa at Dutch Square!!!! I'm impressed!


    14 Dec 14 at 12:46 am

  18. Homer, the thing that differentates Dutch Square's Santa from the other malls is that you have to have your own camera as they don't have a professional on site the way most other malls with Santa do...They have seasonal Christmas decorations as well that I've seen the times I've set foot in said mall.


    14 Dec 14 at 11:02 pm

  19. I recall several Christmases (sp?) ago when Woodhill Mall had a Santa's Workshop and a photographer would sell you instant Polaroid photos with Santa. Polaroid cameras were fun and they made every party even better.


    15 Dec 14 at 6:40 am

  20. I wish there was a "Like" button on here. Because Terry would get a Like for the comment "Polaroid cameras were fun and they made every party even better."


    15 Dec 14 at 7:31 am

  21. I was manager at the Beltline site in the late 60's. At that time Tommy Woodruff and his 2 sons owned the place. We were both in training together back in Charleston, WV. Tommy had about 1/2 of the apartment complex behind Shoney's parking lot leased and we would take a different waitress over there every night. I met the love of my life there. Her name was Tina. I guess she is about 75 years old now.

    Man, what a time....
    Fast cars and faster women! BRING BACK THE GOOD OLE' DAYS...


    19 Mar 16 at 9:44 pm

  22. I too worked at Shoneys at the first one on Beltline with xhusband, but was not ask to go to the apartments. Enjoyed working there, everyone were like family. I served the owner breakfast and was well trained by Mrs. Woodruff before we went on the floor. On Sundays the line was out the door with people waiting to be seated. Those were great days.

    willie hess last name was Pauley

    4 Aug 21 at 7:07 pm

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