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Archive for May, 2019

Al-Amir, 1734 Main Street: April 2019 (Moving)   no comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in closing

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Al-Amir is on the move again. They have had locations on Devine Street (twice), South Main, Saint Andrews Road, Sparkleberry Crossing and Sandhill.

Now they have left the old Elite Epicurean location at 1734 Main Street, and are relocating north to the old Taste Of China Hut at 2431 Main Street.

The State has two relevant articles. The first mentions the challenges of running a restaurant at that location:

"At night, the lighting here is bad and there are homeless people, and people doing drugs (along Laurel St.)," he said.

It feels unsafe, but he hears that Columbia Police are putting a substation in the former United Way location at 1800 Main St.

"After 18 years (in the business overall, Al-Amir has been on Main St. since 2014) and pouring every penny we have into the place, we've had to maneuver to keep the restaurant," he said. "We have loyal customers ... there just isn't enough to sustain the business."

To draw a bigger lunch crowd, they added some Southern specialties, but I have to think given they can't season with pork, that would be a pretty limited endevour.

The second article continues the story, with its outcome: the move down the street.

I like Al-Amir, but for me the biggest issue with this location was parking. The old Taste Of China Hut does have its own parking lot, so hopefully that will be better. I also wish that it was easier to get what I want sometimes. The way the menu is set up makes it difficult to put together my favorites.

I'm not sure when the new location will be ready. It looked very much still in progress when I drove by a few weeks ago.

(Hat tip to commenter Mr_hat)

Written by ted on May 17th, 2019

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NBSC / Synovus Bank, 9370 Two Notch Road: Spring 2019   no comments

Posted at 10:40 pm in closing

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Here's another de-branching, this one on Two Notch more or less across from Spring Valley. You can see the NBSC signage up at LoopNet, and I find the area description from RealtyTrac rather interesting:

For the surrounding community of Columbia, SC 29223, the nearby schools are above average and include Windsor Elementary, E L Wright Middle and Richland Northeast High. The overall crime risk for this area is slightly high with 4 criminal and sex offenders residing within 1 mile. The natural disaster risk for this area includes very low earthquake risk, very high tornado risk, and minimal flood risk.

Written by ted on May 16th, 2019

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Shooey Malone's, 1605 North Lake Drive: 30 April 2019   2 comments

Posted at 11:54 pm in closing

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Well, here we are again at 1605 North Lake Drive, the former home of Dam Bar & Grill, Bentley's Beach House, and Mari's Lake House & Levi's Lake House.

I have to confess, that being so far from the spot, I have never visited any of these incarnations. It seems like a reasonable location. While it doesn't actually have a lake view, it is close enough to the lake that it will be about the first restaurant people returning to Lexington will see, and there doesn't seem to be any competition in the immediate vicinity.

Based on the history, I expect another restaurant here before long, and I wish them luck.

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on May 15th, 2019

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Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, 130 Forum Drive Suite 14: 21 April 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:45 pm in closing

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I have to admit that the one time I tried Rita's (the one in Harbison) I was not impressed. I had the Key-lime ice, and it had such an after-taste that I eventually had to buy a salty snack to chase it with. Perhaps I would have been happier with custard.

At any rate, the one at Sandhill is now gone, leaving just the Lady Street location locally. Of course as there is now apparently a Pelican's on every corner, your options for slushes are still pretty good.

Written by ted on May 14th, 2019

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Heroes & Dragons, 1621 Broad River Road: Early May 2019 (Moved)   1 comment

Posted at 10:57 pm in closing

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I last wrote about Heroes & Dragons in 2016 when they moved from their standalone building further down Bush River Road back to Boozer Shopping Center (where they had been before, in the Manifest wing).

Now they have moved again, this time much further down Bush River Road, almost at I-20 in fact, and are, I believe in the old Power One / Sissy's Furniture building:

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I've bought a number of things at the various locations over the years; I'll have to get by the new store as well.

(Hat tip to commenter Nobody)

Mattress Firm, 5061 Sunset Boulevard: Fall 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:58 pm in closing

Written by ted on May 10th, 2019

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Rossi's, 9639 North Kings Higway (North Myrtle Beach): November 2017   1 comment

Posted at 12:02 am in closing

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Back in March, I found myself driving to the beach on the North route, and much earlier than usual so that it was still daylight when I hit Florence. Just East of Aynor the road conditions sign was declaring heavy traffic ahead on US-501. I doubted that was really the case so early in the year, but decided to take the way-North route of SC-22 and finally get a chance to hit Rossi's Italian for dinner, something I had been meaning to do for many years, but, generally being on the South Strand, had never gotten around to.

Well, it seems I should have gotten around to it earlier as I found the place gone.

A media search found two stories on the closing, one from WFMB and one from The Sun News.

Apparently Rossi's closed in November of 2017 due to issues with the management of the Galleria plaza, where the restaurant had been located since its opening in 1983. The plan was to reopen at 7753 N. Kings Highway in April of 2018, but for some reason that never happened. I did find one Facebook reference to them pledging to "Try again", but nothing seems to have yet come to pass.

I guess if I have learned anything writing this blog, it's that when you think I ought to get around to that someday, you're asking for trouble if you don't.

Domino's Pizza, 9810 Two Notch Road Suite B: May 2019 (moved)   no comments

Posted at 11:04 pm in closing

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Domino's at Polo Plaza has moved across the parking lot and around the corner to the freestanding building at 9814 Two Notch Road, which used to house Blockbuster Video and then A Goodnight Sleepstore.

As you can see from the pictures, they are only occupying the north half of the building, and the south half is still for lease.

(Hat tip to commenter LD)

Blue Cactus Cafe, 2002 Greene Street Suite H: 3 May 2019   no comments

Posted at 10:37 pm in closing

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To the best of my memory, I have only eaten at the Korean/Southwestern Blue Cactus Cafe once, probably in the late 80s, when it lived up to its reputation of being quirky and slow, but with good food. Since then, it has changed ownership within the family, and has now finally closed.

The Free Times has the story.

The storefront is in an interesting location: A sort of sunken walkway along the front (back?) of a large building with many other tenants. It's not hard to get to, other than the usual Five Points parking issues, but if you are just driving by, you would never know it was there.

(Hat tip to commenter ED)

Written by ted on May 7th, 2019

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Nestle Toll House Cafe / Planet Smoothie, 461 Town Center Place Suite 1: 28 April 2019   1 comment

Posted at 1:29 am in closing

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I got a couple of reports in June of 2017 that this place had closed. I actually did drive out there to get some pictures, and found that they were actually closed for upfitting as they were adding a Planet Smoothie operation.

In the event that must not have worked out for them, as they are closed for good this, with their Facebook page citing "Many factors" in the decision.

To me, the location appears pretty good as it is catty-cornered from the Sandhill movie theaters, and would be a good place to get a snack while waiting for your movie. Of course that only works if your movie is pretty early.

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

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