As long as I’ve lived in this area I can’t ever remember eating at The Clock on Wade Hampton. Tonight I was on my own for dinner, and I had some ideas for photography in the area, so I decided to give it a try.
Located at the corner of Wade Hampton and Pleasantburg near Bob Jones University, The Clock has been owned by the Banais family for as long as I can remember. I taught with Helen Banais at Brushy Creek, and she told me tales of growing up in the restaurant and all of the unusual characters that used to drop by.
For a long time it seemed like every burger joint or drive-in in town was either called The Clock, Pete’s, or Lil’ Rebel. This can get confusing. Which Clock? Which Pete’s We used to laugh because on Stone Avenue there was another drive-in called The Big Clock, but it’s clock was much smaller than this one’s. I guess it was compensating.
The obvious feature is the big clock itself, which is notorious for having the wrong time. However, it’s hard to miss the big blue landmark. Right or wrong, you know where it is when you get close.
One thing I love about this location is that they have kept the covered parking area and signs that were part of the drive-in. Drive-in service is no longer available, but the ambiance is there.
There are actually two small seating areas. The main one out front has several booths and a counter, and a side entrance leads to another counter that’s used primarily for take-out orders.
The clientele was quite mixed. There were kids there, as well as old-timers. There was also a steady stream of customers. They were doing quite the business.
As one might imagine, the menu is mostly short-order sandwich type items. There are burgers, club sandwiches, and even fried chicken. I don’t think there was anything over $10 on the menu.
I went with the default setting – a chili cheeseburger plate with fries and cole slaw. It was…OK. Nothing special. The cole slaw was the best part. Nothing was bad, it just wasn’t stellar. The burger had a small patty with chili, and was adequate.
I really want to come back and try some of the other sandwich options. I hear the ribeye sandwich is really good.
This is short-order fast food, and it lived up to that name. My food came out quickly after I had ordered. It looked like other customers were getting theirs in about the same amount of time.
Sometimes a classic experience outweighs any deficit in food quality. The food was good, but not outstanding. Still, it’s a place that attracts loyalty and repeat custom. I’ll definitely give it another try.