The Loose Cockaboose - 936 South Stadium Road, Columbia

Posted by The LunchMen Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It’s that time of year again, the time when you catch yourself driving down Assembly Street past Rosewood and the Fairgrounds for no apparent reason, when you click “refresh” on gogamecocks.com so often you break your computer’s mouse, when you spend hours in your co-workers office obsessing about the merits of the “classic all whites” versus the “fire ant reds” uniform combination. That’s right sports fans – its game week!

What, you may ask, gets people in the capital city through those cold, boring winters and brutally hot summers when nothing is going on? It’s the knowledge that, for at least 7 weekends each fall, Columbia is a hotbed of pigskin activity as the beloved hometown South Carolina Gamecocks host teams from all over the South. The games are such a big deal that many people with other rooting interests (including yours truly) find themselves going out to the stadium each Saturday and following and pulling for Carolina. Put simply, it is such a large part of the fabric of the Midlands, its just hard not to follow, and root for, these perennial underdogs of the gridiron. With that in mind, Tank and I decided to head out to the picturesque industrial wasteland that is home to Williams Brice Stadium and try out a relative newcomer to the lunch scene: The Loose Cockaboose (“TLC”).

TLC has been open for a few years now as a bar, catering to the pre-and-post football game crowd, as well as people looking for an out of the way, relaxed spot in which to get plastered year round. They boast a beach volleyball court and large back patio with a bad stage. Really, you get the impression when you walk in that this is the type of bar for “serious” drinkers. You know the place. The type of locale where passing out on your stool is not frowned upon, but rather expected. While you probably can’t get any grapefruit juice added to your vodka-cran, you would have no trouble getting the barkeep to make you a three-wiseman, bar-code, or other deadly concoction. How then, would TLC fare at providing lunch options to such discerning customers as Tank and myself? We were about to find out.

As you all know, I eat salads at lunch at 99.99% of the time. However, if you’ve been to TLC then you know that its not the type of place that would really specialize in salads. However, I was able to find an alternative that allowed TLC to provide me with ample grease, and still satisfied my infamous craving for herbivorous delights – the Veggie Pizza. I found it on the menu and ordered it immediately, though with some trepidation. When the pie arrived, I knew I had made a solid choice. This thing was literally busting at the seams with vegetable goodness. Toppings included: mushrooms, red onion, broccoli, corn, tomatoes, banana peppers (a lunchmen favorite on pizza), black olives, roasted red peppers, and garlic. Holy s$%t that’s a lot of vegetables, even for this guy. While there was no meat on this entre, the mere size and height of this pizza even impressed Tank.

Speaking of Tank, as you would expect, he, determined to make sure that some animal blood was spilled this lunch hour, went for the Philly Cheese Steak, sans mushrooms, along with baked potato salad as a side item. The Sandwich was adequate, if not spectacular, and the side item bore a eerily striking similarity to a certain BBQ joint just around the corner on Shop Road.

To TLC’s credit, the menu is replete with items that, even Tank admits, are probably better than the Philly and more appropriate for a review (“Cocky Club,” “Bonanza Burger” featuring fried onions and BBQ Sauce, and the “Fratastic” Pizza, to name a few). However, Tank had one of those moments when our waitress came in which he wasn’t really sure what to get yet, but didn’t want to hold things up, so just blew his load early and ordered the first thing his eye caught. A rookie mistake for sure, but one we are all prone too.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that TLC, as a bar, specializes in getting you sauced. They claim to have the coldest beer in town (who doesn’t these days – besides Salty Nut, which seems to pride itself in providing luke-warm draft to its patrons). Based on its looks. Its probably a pretty fun place to watch a game and drink with your buddies. However, its also a solid lunch spot, and if it catches on with the many people who work (and now live) near the stadium, it will be around for many years to come.


1 Responses to The Loose Cockaboose - 936 South Stadium Road, Columbia

  1. Ashley rup Says:
  2. Please DO NOT give any kind of service to this business. I not only was treated with disrespect by the employees but was also treated ridiculously rude by the manager. I have never experience this kind of treatment from any business.


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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.