Do you remember when there was a Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge on Augusta Road + Church Street? How about the Wicked Witch Lounge that was in the basement of the Ho Jo? Grace and I can’t say that we do, but given the fact that it’s spooky season, when we sawthis Instagram post from Pickwick Pharmacy last week, we were definitely intrigued. And what we’ve discovered is just bewitching.
Where the Taco Bell is currently located on Augusta Road, there used to be a 60-unit Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge and Restaurant. At the time, it was Greenville’s third Howard Johnson’s restaurant and second motor lodge + cost roughly $800,000 to develop. Howard Johnson’s (for those of you who don’t know) was “the largest restaurant chain in the US throughout the 1960s and 1970s” known for its orange roofs, cupolas, and weather vanes.
So, that brings us to the Wicked Witch Lounge. According to a Facebook fan group, “this dark corner basement world was the first introduction to some into the land of forbidden hops.” And from this ad in The Greenville News on Sept. 4, 1970 the Wicked Witch was open evenings from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and was popular for their $1.50 pitchers amongst many young people in town back in the 70s and 80s.
Wicked Witch Lounge ad in The Greenville News from Sept. 4, 1970
So we want to know, what sorts of toil + trouble do you remember about this unique Greenville spot? We’ve heard the stairs leading down to the basement bar were narrow + very steep, that there was a round DJ booth in the center + a Pac-Man game,and that there were different “sides” of the bar depending on which local school you attended. Pat P. said on Facebook, “My first bar – worked the door for free beer…I remember being there during a blackout. Someone put a candle on the stairs for light – started a small fire.”
Tell us your stories from the Wicked Witch Lounge (if you dare).
What types of brew ha ha did you get into at Wicked Witch?
TodayIs ○ Most people know that today is Columbus Day. DYK that since 1989, 10+ states across the country (along with many cities and schools) also recognize today as Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Learn more about Columbus Day here, and learn more about Indigenous Peoples’ Day here.
City ○ The City of Greenville has released the results of a recent survey on police policies + perceptions. Greenville’s Citizen Advisory Panel on Public Safety will present the responses of the 3,300+ survey participants to City Council this week. Click here to view the entire report. (FOX Carolina)
WaterCooler ○ The ECHL announced on Friday that the Swamp Rabbits’ 2020-2021 season will start on Dec. 11 under a split-season format. Our local team (and 12 others) will begin their 72-game season in December with the remaining ECHL teams starting a 62-game season in January. A schedule will be announced soon. 🏒 ○ The Greenville Triumph has clinched a spot in the USL League One Final for the second year in a row. The championship match will be played on Fri., Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. The match will be broadcast locally on the CW62 + nationally on ESPN Deportes, ESPN+, and SiriusXM FC. Opponent to be announced soon. ⚽ ○ It was a winning weekend for the Clemson Tigers + the UofSC Gamecocks. The Tigers defeated the Miami Hurricanes at home in Death Valley 42 to 17, and the Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt on the road 41 to 7. 🏈
Edu ○ Greenville Technical College has been awarded nearly $2.1 million(over a five-year period) under a Strengthening Institutions grant provided by the US Department of Education’s Title III program. The grant will help first-time students with a goal of increasing persistence + retention rates for participants by 20% over the funding period, leading to higher student graduation rates.
Biz ○ Furman University + VentureSouth have teamed up to create the new VentureSouth Furman Angel Network to provide a source of capital for entrepreneurs of start-up companies with ties to the University – alumni, faculty, staff, donors, board members, and parents of current or former students. Learn more here. 💸
ComingSoon ○ Hale’s Jewelers has been in Greenville for nearly 170 years, and in 2021, the jeweler will be moving from their current location on Haywood Road(where they have been since 1982) to a new 8,000 sq. ft. flagship store in the Verdae community. To read more about their history and see a rendering of their news digs, clickhere. 💍 (National Jeweler)
Asked ○ Tomorrow is the last day to participate in the City of Greenville’s Tree Ordinance survey. A recent study revealed that since 2001, our city has experienced significant loss of our tree canopy, so the city is rewriting its tree protection and replacement ordinance. To provide your feedback, click here. 🌳
State ○ DYK former South Carolina governor David Beasley is a2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner? Beasely, who was governor of SC from 1995 to 1999, is currently the Executive Director of the World Food Program which won a Nobel Peace Prize last week “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.” (WYFF 4)
Coronavirus ○ On Friday, SCDHEC provided new guidelines for outdoor and indoor visitation at nursing homes + community residential care facilities, commonly referred to as assisted living facilities. These guidelines are also recommended for intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. ○ Last week, Gov. Henry McMaster announced Inman-basedLakota Medicaldonated 200,000 masks to the state of South Carolina. The donated masks will initially be transferred to the state’s stockpile. ○ Visit SCDHEC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats, and herefor daily positive COVID-19 cases + related deaths in South Carolina.
Giveaway ○ Calling all local shoppers: Have you entered to win our #shopGVL Photo Sweepstakes yet, sponsored by Greenville Federal Credit Union and the City of Greenville? Learn more + submit your photosanytime nowthrough Friday,Oct. 16 to enter to win $1,000 store credit for shopping local, plus $1,000 cash for your favorite local retail store, courtesy Greenville Federal Credit Union, to help them make it through these wild times.🛍️
FeaturedJob ○ We’re hiring! Come work with us at RALtoday, and join our team as an Editor. Key responsibilities include educating Raleigh through our daily newsletter and social platforms. Learn more about the position here.Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is hosting a fun-filled Halloween bash on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at their Greenville location and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at their Spartanburg location. TCMU invites all children (and adults) to wear their best costumes to trick-or-treat throughout the building.
This socially distanced event will have timed ticketing, limited capacities + adults will be asked to wear masks.
Tickets start at $10 for a family of two – get yourshere. The museum is also looking for dedicated volunteers to help hand out candy + guide guests through the building. Please contact Jessie Cappello if you’re interested. 🍬
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #GVLtoday on social media.
Drink ○ Team Trivia at Tetrad| Mon., Oct. 12 | 7-9 p.m. | Tetrad Brewing Co., 603 East Stone Ave. | Free | Team Trivia comes to Tetrad Brewing for an exciting, free-to-play game with prizes. ○ Friends Trivia | Mon., Oct. 12 | 8-10 p.m. | Hoppin’ GVL, 120 N. Markley St. 102 | Free | Get your *friends* together to test your knowledge on the popular 90’s sit-com.
Show ○ No Expectations Comedy | Mon., Oct. 12 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Coffee Underground, 1 E Coffee St. | Free | No Expectations Comedy open mic is finally back to make you laugh. 🎤
Active ○ Multi-Blade Mondays | Mon., Oct. 12 | 4-9 p.m.| Craft Axe Throwing, 1320 Hampton Ave #5A | Rates per person | Reserve a lane tonight to throw something other than axes. 🪓
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
Greenville Triumph team on the field | Photo by Blake Schultz
The Greenville Triumph will host their 2020 season finale game vs. Union Omaha this Sunday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m. at home in the Legacy Early College Stadium (900 Woodside Ave. Greenville, 29611).
Attendees can purchase Socially Distanced Tickets (starting at $10), where ticket buyers will have a “bubble” created around their seats to distance from other fans. Additional ticket options are available, and masks are required for all attendees.
Gates open at 2 p.m. with $1 drink happy hour from 2-3 p.m. (See more of why we love Triumph games here.)
The Triumph were the first sporting event in the Upstate to allow for the return of fans, and have been doing so in a limited, socially-distanced capacity since August.
The team is currently at the top of the USL League One Standings and will be playing for a championship in the USL League One Final on October 30. Ⓟ