Archive for the ‘grand-strand’ Category
Well, just to continue our ongoing list of Pig closings, the store in Litchfield Beach is now gone.
This was a fairly new store, and quite nice. It also seemed to always do quite a good business as far as I could tell.
The store is located in a plaza just across US-17 from the main Litchfield resort area (with the old Tara Theater) and has a number of restaurants and a few retail operations. There has been some churn during the financial crisis, and Blockbuster, a computer store and a couple of others have gone, but Massey's Pizza and Eggs Up have moved in, so on the whole it is doing OK. Physically the site is quite nice, with moss draped live-oaks and stop-light access.
The Pig will be re-opening as a Bi-Lo, and I have to think that this will mean moving the Bi-Lo from a few blocks north into this spot. Currently the Bi-Lo (originally built as a Harris Teeter) is in an older, failing plaza, which has recently seen the only other decent store (Litchfield Books) decamp to the new Fresh Market complex.
All of this movement takes place in the total revamping of the local grocery environment. Along with the newly opened and afore-mentioned Fresh Market, the Grand Strand's first Publix will be opening in the currently dowdy Pawleys Island Plaza, and a Lowe's Foods will be opening in a new plaza at the Island's South Causeway. This has to be putting a good deal of pressure on Food Lion which has been running a rather up-scale location also at the South Causeway.
(*) All the online google hits list this location as Pawleys Island. In my mind that is clearly wrong. This is Litchfield Beach, plain and simple. Somehow the area covered by the Pawleys Island moniker has tended to spread as "Arrogantly Shabby" has become "upscale" and gained a bit of cachet.
This is about the only good news to come out of Georgetown in the last few days.
I have been in a number of these businesses, and they are right in the heart of the downtown boardwalk.
Normal posting to resume in two weeks or so.
Apparently this was not the last Krystal in South Carolina, but it's pretty close. It looks like the other few that are left are clustered along the Georgia and North Carolina border areas with none in the Midlands, Pee Dee or Low Country.
This store, on US-17 Business near to Inlet Square Mall is not in an obviously bad location (though a Five Guys did open nearby a couple of years ago) but is in a little strip that doesn't seem to prosper. In particular, a Moe's failed a few storefronts down, something that seemed unlikely to me at the time, and one end unit has cycled through quite a few entertainment concepts (comedy club, karakoe..) in the last few years.
Well, this is no surprise I'm afraid.
I've told how the original Rosa Linda's was the first Mexican (ish) restaurant where I was a regular, and an important part of my beach trips from the 80s into the oughties, so I was quite excited when the original Rosa Linda's family started to re-establish the restaurant in the former Hoof 'n' Finz in Murrells Inlet where US-17 business and US-17 bypass reconverge around Inlet Square Mall.
When they finally re-opened, everything tasted exactly as I had remembered it, from the yellow rice to the pinto beans flavored with crisp bits of lightly cooked onion. My only disappointment was that the new floor plan (and possibly elevation..) did not make a pizza oven possible as I had really loved the pizzas in the old locations. (And after all it was "The Mexican / Italian Connection").
My only concern was that attendance seemed very light the times I was there, and sure enough I found it closed on one of my 2011 trips.
Later, I heard it was open again, but the story seemed a bit confusing. Basically piecing things together from the Rosa Linda's Facebook page, and some things that local restaurant writer Becky Billingsley (who often seems to know more than she puts down) had written (here, here, here, and here)., I think the story was this: The original owners had a silent partner in the re-establishment of Rosa Linda's and when the initial financial goals weren't met, the silent partner took over the operation with some grandiose plans for making it a chain.
I was a bit reluctant to go back, as the original manager knew me by sight if not by name, and I didn't want to undercut her, but after I saw that they had moved to Texas, I figured it would be OK to check it out. My thought was that the new management would have tinkered with the menu, possibly adding some standard Mexican fare such as chile rellenos etc while keeping the signature items in place. In fact that was not the case, and the menu was completely new without any of the historical Rosa Linda's items. I thought it was acceptable, but gave me no reason to come to Rosa Linda's in preference to the many other Mexican restaurants on the strand. I mean, no Mexicana Mud? Come on!
After that, the place showed the dreaded Rule #1 from signs your favorite restaurant will soon be closing: The hours changed. More to the point, though the place was not supposed to be seasonal, it closed for the winter with a note on the roadside marquee that it would be open again in March. When I went down in March, the sign said it would be open again in April. I think we all know how that story ends! When I went down in early May, the branding signs (except for the parking lot marker) had all been taken down, there were Home Depot boxes and packing tape inside, and the new phonebooks sat in lonliness outside the front doors.
IMAX theaters are kind of an odd duck in the movie world. They have tremendous screens and potentially a lot of advantages over regular theaters, but all seem to be run on kind of an amateur basis. For a time, South Carolina had two IMAX screens, one at the Charleston Aquarium, and this one at Broadway At The Beach in Myrtle Beach.
I used to go down to the Charleston one fairly regularly for spectacles like Harry Potter and The Polar Express. I wasn't too surprised when it went under as the parking situation was rather fraught.
Given the amount of time I spend on the Grand Strand, it always surprised me how seldom I got to the Myrtle Beach IMAX. It just seemed that whenever I would check it out, it was all sharks & dinosaurs. From time to time there would be a a good second run movie there, like Beauty & The Beast, The Phantom Menace or The Dark Knight, but it was always six months or more after the fact, by which time I had usually seen them elsewhere. (Though for the record, the IMAX cut of The Phantom Menace was much better than the regular theatrical release because the hard running-time limit imposed on IMAX at the time, due to the huge weight of the reels, forced Lucasfilms to cut a lot of the dross..).
This pattern continued even when IMAX hit its peak nationally with big hits. Given the lackluster record of the Myrtle Beach site, I wasn't too surprised when it closed in November of 2011. As it turns out though, there was a reason the place was so far below its potential. According to The Sun News the IMAX actually had a non-compete agreement with the Carmike 16 adjoining it at Broadway At The Beach. The fact that they would ever have agreed to such a thing kind of confirms my opinion of the amateur nature of IMAX management, but does explain why they never had the hit first-run movies. The ampitheatre re-opened this summer as a Carmike property, using a different big-screen technology called BIGD. I have not had a chance to check it out, but presumably there is no longer an issue of Carmike competing with itself.
Currently South Carolina has no IMAX locations. I believe that Charlotte is the closest outlet, but I have incorporated an IMAX stop into my Florida vacations for the last few years of big releases. Tampa had two, one at the port Canalside complex in Ybor City, and one at the big science museum. The Canalside location closed a year or so ago, and the last two years, I have hit the World Golf Hall of Fame location in St. Augustine for Dark Knight offerings. I'm pretty sure that this summer they had switched to digital projection, and it was much less impressive. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could see pixels at times. IMAX seems to be floundering at the corporate level as well as at the local. In recent years, they have diluted their brand by revamping mall-type multiplexes and labeling them IMAX. This, of course, leads Internet wags to label these outlets as "Liemax" locations, and there is no easy way to tell from their publicity which locations are true IMAX and which are not. In the meantime, Hollywood seems to be betting that High Frame Rate rather than huge screens is the next big thing. I guess time will tell, but in the meantime, even sharks and dinosaurs are gone from Myrtle Beach.