(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photos will take us through a history lesson of the various establishments of what is now Tiger Town Tavern on College Avenue.
The single story portion of this building was originally a hardware store named The Feed Bag until about 1968. It briefly changed over to a restaurant, keeping the name of The Feed Bag. Below is a picture of what the inside of The Feed Bag looked like. This picture was taken sometime around 1967 or 1968.
The first "bar" in downtown, The Study Hall, opened in 1967 and when the two operators split up, one kept the Study Hall and the other renovated the Feed Bag into the Red Carpet Lounge in the fall of 1968.
A food menu was offered in the early years. An advertisement in The Tiger in the fall of 1970 proclaimed "Hot Home Cooked Meals, Short Orders, 8 a.m.-11 p.m." and offered "Live entertainment nightly, 8-12 p.m."
Drafts were 25 cents during Happy Hour, 2-7 p.m. By 1974 it primarily vended beer and music was provided by a jukebox. Wooden nickels were distributed with the purchase of a pitcher and a given number of them could be redeemed for a pony keg. You can also see by this picture that Pizza Hut moved into the location beside the Red Carpet Lounge in the mid 1970’s.
The Red Carpet met its demise after an incident on September 22, 1977 when a 19-year-old Central teenager shot a Seneca resident in the left thigh (no students were involved) in the back of the lounge. The establishment's reputation was badly blemished and it never recovered its former popularity, closing that winter.
Tiger Town Tavern opened in the old Red Carpet location in the fall of 1978.
In 1988, the city of Clemson made an abortive attempt to gain control of the business location by blocking renewal of the Tavern's lease from the absentee owner who lived in Arlington, Virginia. A campaign of Tavern loyalists' letter-writing inundated the City Hall and the city quietly abandoned its proposal.
In 1991, the Tiger Town management was able to buy the buildings outright and gain control of their occupancy. They immediately undertook additional remodeling including replacing the old wooden front wall of the original one-story structure with clear glass blocks and a stained-glass logo, and a complete ventilation/heating/cooling upgrade, among other changes.
A change in drinking laws in the early 1990's raised the legal age of consumption to 21 and most surviving watering holes in Clemson added full kitchens to their operations in order to compensate for the lost alcohol revenue. The "Triple T" followed suit and now offers a full sports bar menu with items named for Clemson-themed athletic figures and events.
(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).
Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit to clemsonwiki