South Carolina

Decades-old 5 Points business leaving Columbia

Pecknell Music, which has been in Columbia’s Five Points for 51 years, is moving to Lexington.

The store’s lease is up and the new space at Lexington Town Centre will be more efficient, manager Paul Morgan said.

For instance, the present store’s repair shop is on the second floor, with no elevator.

“You get tired of carrying tubas up the stairs,” Morgan said.

Pecknell’s lease is up and Morgan hopes to move by the end of August. In the meantime, the store is advertising sales of up to 70 percent off.

Retired North Carolina business teacher George Peck opened a music store on East Washington Street in Greenville in 1959.

George Peck died in 1962, and his son Nicholas took over the business and opened the Columbia store in 1968 and one in Charleston in 1977.

Morgan said the move has nothing to do with the present liquor wars going on between state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, neighbors and college bar owners in the in the urban village near the University of South Carolina.

Neighbors are successfully challenging the liquor licenses of several of the bars, many of which only open late at night on the weekends and cater to USC students, many of whom are under-aged.

The Five Points Association has said the number of college bars has put the village “out of balance” and are advocating more restaurants and retail.

“We’re not moving because we don’t love Five Points,” said Morgan, who has managed the store at 732 Saluda Ave. for 20 years.

“This is bittersweet,” he said. “But for the past 10 years we’ve been changing with the market. And the time has come for a change.”

Kelsey Desender, the Five Points Association’s executive director, called Pecknell “steadfast” and a “great neighbor.”

“When a neighbor or a friend leaves to continue growing, you can only be happy for them,” she said. “Pecknell will be positioned more conveniently to serve their large customer base in the Lexington market.”

The building that now houses Pecknell hosts the giant Five Points mural. Taylor Wolfe, an agent with Colliers International, who represents the building owner, said it is available for lease, preferably for retail or a restaurant.

Jeff Wilkinson has worked for The State for both too long and not long enough. He’s covered politics, city government, history, business, the military, marijuana and the Iraq War. Jeff knows the weird, wonderful and untold secrets of South Carolina. Buy him a shot and he’ll tell you all about them.