#TBT: Who remembers Hennessy’s?

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More Columbia restaurants from days gone by

By: Anne Wolfe Postic, a freelance writer and recipe developer in Columbia. She cooks her feelings and makes everyone eat them.

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Hey COLAtoday readers, Anne Postic here. Y’all remember that time I wrote about a bunch of closed restaurants? That was fun.

Now it seems like something new is popping up every day in Columbia. (Hooray for Bone-In! Welcome, 929 Kitchen! See you soon, Home Team BBQ!)

But y’all love talking about days gone by, and so do I. Here are a dozen more spots that we still miss.

Adriana’s | 721 Saluda Ave.

My first job involved making cappuccinos and eating all the serving gelato at this coffee shop/gelateria. They offered three confusing sizes — “grande, molto grande, and grandissimo” — before it was cool to eschew “small, medium, and large.”

Sub Cabin | 821 Craft St.

My husband experienced his first Philly cheesesteak here and has been a fan of the sandwich ever since. Also, their hamburgers were rectangular, presumably to fit into sub rolls.

Martin’s EATS | 4459 Devine St.

I don’t actually know how late Martin’s was open, because it was never closed when I went to the diner way too late at night. Cussing was not allowed (and you WOULD get kicked out) and I don’t think it was actually called Martin’s EATS, but that’s how it was known. 10/10 would go again right now.

Birds on a Wire | 2901 Devine St.

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Photo by Marion Oliver

This place had chicken, and the chicken was good. They had a well-rounded menu, but the chicken was the thing. Also, their house honey Tabasco dressing was obscenely good.

Nice ‘N Natural | 1217 College St.

In between the Hunter-Gatherer and USC’s Horseshoe, Nice ’N Natural had healthy, fresh food. It closed in 2010 after 28 years. They served sprouts and multi-grain bread before everyone was doing it and it was the perfect spot for a quick, delicious lunch.

Annabelle’s | Columbia Mall and Dutch Square

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Photo by Marion Oliver

Annabelle’s existed back when malls usually had at least one sit-down restaurant instead of just a food court. The decor was all dark wood and brass fixtures and the one at Columbia Mall had two floors. I was obsessed with their French dip.

Alley Cafe | 911 Lady St.

Alley Cafe was a casual Vista spot with a patio and live music at night. Also, when I was pregnant with my first child, their turkey on rye with horseradish mayo cured my morning sickness and I used to wait at the door until they opened in the morning.

Sherlock Holmes Pub | 1400 Main St.

The pub was located in the basement of what is now the Sheraton. I can’t remember exactly why it closed, but this may offer some explanation. I do remember there used to be a group of women who met there regularly for a feminist happy hour. I would like to reinstate feminist happy hour. Anyone have any suggestions as to location?

Hofbräuhaus | Columbia Mall, followed by Richland Mall

Was this even real? Or was it a figment of my imagination? It was a vaguely German-themed sandwich place. In a mall. It appeared later in the food court at Richland Mall, but I can’t remember if the other location had closed or if they were even related. Their sandwiches were good, and I was too young to drink the beer.

Lulan Wang | 4405 Fort Jackson Blvd.

The Chinese restaurant came after Jesudi’s and maintained the cave-like interior. And, darn, it was good. I can’t imagine it was as good as Sun Ming in Irmo (not possible), but I miss having a sit-down Chinese restaurant near my house.

Capitol Restaurant | 1210 Main St.

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Photo by Barbie Ray

This spectacular little diner was located in what is now Blue Flour Bakery. They were open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night. If you asked Paul for a “dirty Coke,” you got bourbon and Coke in a juice cup, which probably tasted good because it was forbidden. Where have all the diners gone? I want them back, at least this one.

Hennessy’s | 1649 Main St.

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Photo by Marion Oliver

I once bartended here for three months. It was fascinating because all the solicitors (S.C.-speak for prosecutor) would come for drinks after work and talk about their cases. The interior was old-school, and dark. So dark, in fact, that in my short tenure there, I saw two failed proposals, one of which was made to what appeared to be a pregnant teenager. (“Good call, girl,” is what I thought about that one. “One mistake at a time.”) You want stories? I got stories. Just ask.

Now, take a minute to read over the first list again, and let us know what’s still missing. Swensen’s? Steak & Ale? T.J. Muldoon’s? (I only went there once, and I have no recollection of what its thing was, but maybe you can fill me in.) Remember the long hallway with free bible tracts at S & S Cafeteria? I used to love those little tiny bible tracts when I was a kid.

Anne Wolfe Postic, a freelance writer and recipe developer in Columbia. She cooks her feelings and makes everyone eat them.

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