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Archive for the ‘Chinese’ tag

Hot China Buffet, 1111 Knox Abbott Drive: fall 2009   14 comments

Posted at 2:33 am in Uncategorized

I first wrote about this former steakhouse when Crazy Buffett folded, but it now appears that the second Chinese buffet operation in the building is history as well. I'm not sure why -- it seems like a decent location with good visibility and plenty of traffic passing by and I can't think of any other Chinese buffets in the area. There's the second Eggroll Station on Sunset, but that's not a buffet.

Notice how the left side of the building still proclaims it to be a "restaurante", a bit of signage remaining from the Mexican incarnation of the place..

UPDATE 16 May 2013 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew, this place is being knocked down:

















Written by ted on December 4th, 2009

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China Garden, 724 Harden Street: 2009   7 comments

Posted at 12:23 am in closing

I first wrote about this building back on 10 April 2009 when I was doing a closing on Kester's Bamboo House, and China Garden may have been closed even then, at least I don't recall seeing anyone inside, and from the pictures I took then (two of which open this closing), there already appear to be signs of work around the front door.

I'm not a big fan of Chinese food, and this wasn't one of my mother's favored places, so I never ended up eating here, but China Garden has certainly been a Five Points landmark for many years. The building has been there so long that when the fatal Harden Street renovation reached China Garden, they went under the sidewalk to shore up the foundations and found there were no foundations. This caused the street work to stall in front for an inordinate amount of time while they figured out what to do. Presumably that is all fixed now..

Anyway, it's definitely closed now, and it appears that it will reopen soon as a place called Grandma's, which I expect will no longer be Asian cusine. If they keep the "pagoda" sign as it appears they will be doing, we will have two non-Chinese restaurants in town with Chinese-themed signage. (The other is Bombay Grill.

UPDATE 24 June 2019 -- Add tags and map icon.

Written by ted on October 8th, 2009

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Popeyes Chicken / China Dragon, 3315 Farrow Road: 27 April 2009   10 comments

Posted at 11:22 pm in closing

It appears that China Dragon restaurant on the corner of Farrow Road and Beltline Boulevard is gone. When I took these pictures, it was after the return date stated on the vacation sign, but the phone had not been disconnected, so I held off posting. Now the phone is cut off and when I drove by this evening, there were a couple of cars there with people who seemed to be looking at the property (though there is no "For Sale" sign).

I never ate at China Dragon but the building has been there forever, and stuck in my mind as a kid because of the rocky exterior. Since we went down that way so seldom, I had a poor mental model in my mind of exactly where it was, and would always be surprised when I saw it again.

The building design is clearly the same as this much restauranted building on Decker Boulevard, so going by the comments there, it was probably originally a Popeye's Chicken.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on June 11th, 2009

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Kester's Bamboo House, 724 Harden Street: 1970s   10 comments

Posted at 2:04 am in closing

Kester's Bamboo House occupied the spot on Harden Street now held by China Garden and Jungle Jim's. The first (rather unflattering) image comes from the 1963 Southern Bell directory and the second from the 1970 one. I'm not sure when the place closed, but I suspect it was sometime in the 1970s. I'm pretty sure I recall hearing about it as a child, but don't recall seeing it after I began to drive myself. A posting to a genealogy website says that the original Mr. Kester passed in 1966, but I don't know if the business stayed in the family after that or was sold at that point.

I also don't know if 724 Harden was split into two businesses at that point, or if Kester's occupied the whole space by itself, though the 1970 Yellow Pages ad claims banquet seating for 100, which seems larger than the current China Garden capacity. At any rate, I'm pretty sure the current China Garden building was at least part of Kester's and does date back to that era, and is somewhat responsible for the closing of The Parthenon.

As I remember it, the story in The State was that when the interminable Five Points road work of a few years ago reached The China Garden a snag developed. As the work crews went to replace the infrastructure under the building's foundation, they found that the building had no foundation! The front wall was basically supported only by the sidewalk, so before they could go under the building to work, they had to shore everything up and this took a lot longer than they expected -- and all the while they were there, access to The Parthenon was very difficult.

UPDATE 24 June 2019: Add tags and map icon.

Written by ted on April 10th, 2009

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Chung King Restaurant, 20 Diamond Lane (Intersection Center): 1990s   7 comments

Posted at 11:38 pm in closing

I like to take pictures in the afternoon, because it seems to me the light is best then (leaving aside the fact that I rarely get my act together before 1 or 2pm anyway if I don't have to..), and so since I happened to be out in the Intersection Center area one Saturday afternoon recently, I decided to walk the whole place and take a bunch of pictures. I think I've already used some, and others will show up from time to time.

This former Chinese restaurant really caught my eye because of the life-sized cut-out figure still affixed to the front wall. I wouldn't call it fine art, but someone put a good bit of work into it once upon a time and it's a shame that it will probably go under the wrecking ball sooner or later. I was going to get a lot closer to the building and do my standard trying to look into the doors etc, but as I turned the corner, I saw a Highway Patrol car sitting beside the next defunct business. I believe there was a major drunk driving crackdown on at the time, and I suppose they were watching Broad River for people they could pull. I know I wasn't doing anything wrong, and I know the Highway Patrol could care less about most non-car related shenanigans, but it made me a bit nervous, so I made sure to flourish the camera very ostentatiously, and tried to look very much like I was not "casing the joint"...

I don't know what happened to Chung King. I think a lot of Chinese restaurants are family run and operate on a shoestring. Perhaps the place put the kids through college and it was time for mom & pop to retire. Perhaps being in a dying strip mall meant there was too little drive by traffic. To me it seems like the place has been closed forever, so I'm saying 1990s in the tag line, but apparently it was open recently enough that one of the online restaurant sites thought it was worth entering in their database -- something that does not give me a great deal of confidence in the rest of their listings!

UPDATE 22 January 2020: Add map icon, update tags.

Egg Roll Station (Egg Roll Chen), 715 Crowson Road: 2007 (remodel)   3 comments

Posted at 7:28 pm in Uncategorized


And Now:

Don't panic: The Egg Roll Station (also known as Egg Roll Chen) is not closed. I just thought that I should note the loss of the original building here. I understand why they might have wanted a newer building, but the old one (which I believe started as a Hardee's) had a unique "space-age" look.

I think that with the demolition of this building Silver City (the comics store) on Knox Abbot Drive in Cayce is the only remaining structure of this type in the Columbia area.

UPDATE 30 April 2010: I've corrected the street address in the post title. Also, I've found they have their own web site which has a good picture of their old building.

Written by ted on February 19th, 2008

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