Columbia >Food & Dining > Pop's N.Y. Pizza
707 Harden St, Columbia, SC | Directions 2920533.999136 -81.016234
Sun 11:30am-10pm; Mon 11:30am-10pm; Tue 11:30am-10pm; Wed 11:30am-10pm; Thu 11:30am-3:30am; Fri 11:30am-3:30am; Sat 11:30am-3:30am
Neighborhoods: Midtown - Downtown
Wonderful Find!! – My husband and I moved to columbia n really wanted to find a good non chain pizza joint.. Pops was the perfect place. Love the slice N the huge pizza!!
WOW The Pizza is SO GOOD!! – I've been here a few times and just found out it was sold and has new management. The pizza was really terrific, they redid the entire restaurant and they have all new items on the menu. I tried the Fried Twinkies, which were amazing. All New Pops . . . It's great.
Amazing Pizza and Phillys – Had dinner with friends there last night and LOVED the Pizza. Huge slices. Then had a philly and thought I was back in Penn. The bread was the real thing and it was drippng with cheese and onions. The place is great. You'll love it!
BEST PIZZA IN COLUMBIA! – The Pizza is amazing! Real NY Pizza which is huge! And the pasta we ordered (Chicken Carbonara and Drunken Chicken) was to die for . We then ordered delivery a few days later and it came hot and fresh. You will love this place!
Worst Experience EVER! – If you are thinking about dining at Pop
STAY AWAY – Pizza is expensive and not good. Restaurant smells of stale beer and urine from the late night college crowds. you would be better of going to any other nearby pizza place such as Dano's, Village idiot or Thirsty Fellow. Owner of Pops is a thief who only cares about making as much money as possible- no passion for good food.
Most discipable owner on the planet – Rutherford, who has owned and operated the Columbia pizzeria at 707 Harden St. since 2007, is firmly establishing a reputation around town for not paying his bills. Fellow business owners, beware: Court records obtained by City Paper show Rutherford owes close to $10,000 to local advertising and marketing agencies.
One of the firms, The Ad Agency, declined to speak on record about Rutherford but confirmed the owner of Pop’s Pizza owes $6,000 in advertising expenses. Cole Miller, a Columbia marketing executive who runs Mission Marketing, declined to comment as well, saying only that Rutherford’s business “didn’t pay their bills.”
On July 28, after learning of the court judgments against Rutherford, I paid a visit to Pop’s Pizza. Rutherford was nowhere to be found. “It is hard to catch him because he is an owner,” a manager told me.
Rutherford didn’t have anything to say about the debts and judgments against him.
Of course, Rutherford is more than just a pizza-making businessman. He’s a guy with an interesting past. In April 2007, in an investigation titled “What Do Want on Your Tombstone?” (Volume 2, Issue 20), City Paper reported that Bey Rutherford was the same person as Madison Rutherford, a convicted felon who faked his death and burned a man’s body as part of an elaborate insurance-fraud scheme.
Rutherford’s estranged wife, fortuneteller Rhynie Jefferson, went on record with City Paper for the first time last week. “Bey is not the same person I lived with for 19 years,” Jefferson says. Jefferson describes Rutherford as a person who is “completely changed after he lost $1.5 million in the stock market.” Jefferson also confirmed other allegations reported in City Paper’s investigation, including that Rutherford had the assistance of Connecticut State Trooper Tom Petrinni in the fake death scheme. Jefferson went on to say she thought he killed the trees in front of Pop’s Pizza because he once told her how to kill a tree “by driving a copper nail into it.”
Jefferson’s account, however, runs contrary to the findings of William Bass, a forensic anthropologist who worked on the case. Bass says the body was “fresh” and consistent with the remains of a 50- to 60-year-old Mexican peasant. Investigators also never identified a disturbed gravesite, and FBI Special Agent Joe Magnan told City Paper the government didn’t pursue it further because they didn’t need that information to prosecute the fraud case. Rutherford served three years in federal prison and then moved to Columbia to operate Pop’s Pizza as well as Bey’s Sports Bar.
But criminals can be rehabilitated, of course. The question is, has Rutherford changed?
I think not, particularly if you consider the most recent judgments against him and the sporting events he shows at Bey’s Sports Bar, previously known as The Precinct.
Cable and DirecTV charge special rates to businesses that broadcast live events for profit — such as a bar or restaurant showing a boxing match — and Rutherford was allegedly pirating DirectTV and pay-per-view events. Many bar owners in Five Points were annoyed by the unfair advantage and their increased costs for conducting business properly.
On Feb. 12, 2009, DirecTV took notice and filed a case in federal court for unauthorized reception of cable service. The case named John P. Sankey, The Daxlam LTD, and Pop’s Pizza.
If you ask me, the theft of NFL Sunday Ticket is a crime that can be forgiven, and struggling to pay bills is not uncommon for a small business in this economy.
But Rutherford’s deliberate and calculated tactics against individuals and fellow small businesses makes his actions unforgivable.
Whether it is taking out a $322,000 mortgage against an elderly person’s home without her knowlege as he did to Brigitte Beck in May 1996, or stiffing Greg White of the The Ad Agency for $6,000 in September 2008, one thing is for certain: it is the same Bey Rutherford.
Only thing worse than their service is their mgmt & owner – Waited 30 minutes for cold card board they called Pizza and they gave our credit card to someone else and blamed it on us.
If you want to wait two hours for a reheated pizza then go ahead – Our experience with Pop's pizza began with a phone call requesting delivery to a guy who asked for my phone number twice and then reported my address to the delivery driver as "East Squadron," I live in West Quad. An hour and ten minutes after ordering, the delivery driver called, understandable confused about where East Squadron might be. He arrived twenty minutes later with a stone cold pizza. He had also forgotten to take the credit card receipt with him. He called his manager who took ten minutes to tell him that he couldn't give us the pizza. At this point I spoke to the manager, Emily, and asked her to comp the pizza, cause this is well...ridiculous. Sadly she could only offer us a 30% discount on our NEXT purchase. At this point the driver left to get the receipt with the pizza. He returned half an hour later (2 hours ten minutes after ordering)with a reheated pizza and a full price ticket. So I ate pasta for dinner and would really like my 18 dollars back.
P.S. Emily, even though you're related to the owners I hope you get canned!
My husband and I went to Pop's a month or so after it first opened. It was excellent. The staff was a little "wet-behind-the-ears" and the service was a tad bit slower than we anticipated given there were only 4-5 customers present. But hey...we figured they were learning the ropes. Again, they just opened not too long ago. The pizza was excellent, reminding my husband and I of home (NY). Not quite the same, but close enough to quench the craving for NY-style pizza. Since then, I have gone back twice (July of this year and 2 days ago). Both latter visits, the staff was still clueless and the service was still horrible. 2 days ago, I paid for my order before noticing that the cashier (was she old enough to work legally??) took my order incorrectly. I asked for a refund and was told that no one in that entire place could or knew how to give refunds but the manager. Really?!! So, I wait for my pizza and the manager to come in from chatting outside. After 2 or 3 minutes, I see one of the other girls sit a box on the far side of the counter. I wait another 10 minutes and the same girl who sat the box on the far side asks me: what did you order? I told her...that WAS my box. You've got to be kidding me. I then wait for the manager to give me a refund (he grumbled the whole time) and I left. The Pizza was substandard to say the least. It was burnt on the bottom (like it was in July when I went). I think they need to clean their oven or put the pizza on a timer. If the service was better, the staff more competent, and the pizza less charred, Pop's would probably be the only place I'd go for pizza. But until then...If all the NY-Style Pizza places close down, then...maybe...but probably not.
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