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Paul Ray Bales

Ace Lock and Key

I came to Columbia about 35 years ago. I moved here from Virginia, but I have been coming to Five Points since the ‘80s when I was a kid. I love the community here. Five Points has it all – food, shopping, nightlife and friendly people.

It doesn’t matter what you want, it is here. Everything is here.

College kids are what got me into business. They are just like I was when I was young – they lose keys, things like that. Our business is a lock and key shop. We do services inside like cut keys, but we also have a mobile service where we go out and make keys for cars or rekey locks. We have been in Five Points for about five years now. We used to have an office on Blossom Street, but that was strictly mobile calls. As our business grew, we opened a storefront on Greene Street about a year ago, and we hope to further expand into mobile phone repair one day.

  • Camaraderie

    I love the community here in Five Points. Everybody knows everybody here – you basically see the same people on a daily basis. I know the owner of Bar None, Marty, and I go over there to visit when he is working. I know Scott and Duncan well; they’re two of the co-owners of my favorite restaurant here, Yesterday’s.

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  • Mom and Pop

    Five Points is the best. It’s lined with Mom and Pop businesses, and that is what made this country. Anything you need, you can walk to. Five Points has it all in one place. Some of my favorite places are Papa Jazz for music; for coffee, Starbucks or Drip; ice cream at Blue Cactus, believe it or not, or Scoopy Doo. Salty Nut, right next door, is often where I go to get a drink. I haven’t been to Group [Therapy] in years – it’s a little bit of a younger crowd. You know, that’s not really my generation. It was back in the ‘80s. Group was fun.

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