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Mangia! Mangia!, 566 Spears Creek Road Suite 104: December 2009   12 comments

Posted at 1:52 am in closing

Well, it seems that the second location of Mangia! Mangia! is now history. I believe I ate there only twice, once in West Columbia, and once, very recently, in the new Spears Creek location.

I don't recall much about the West Columbia visit, but I chose pizza at the Spears Creek venue, and found it pretty good. Not necessarily "drive almost to Elgin" good, but nice.

I have no idea what happened to the place, but I suspect the "drive to Elgin" factor did have something to do with it. In the first place, "out of sight, out of mind" -- I only visited recently because I kept forgetting that the place existed. Second, timing. It's clear that the area is going to experience the eastward drift of the metro area as the Two Notch Corridor and Sandhills already have, but the recession has probably pushed that back, and the density just wasn't there yet. Or I could be completely wrong, though it sounds like the new operation there, Shag Bistro is thinking along similar lines, in antipation of the dining business from the Verizon call center relocation..

Added bonus, interesting clouds and sunset driving back from Spears Creek.

(Hat Tip to commenter Stewart)

UPDATE 22 February 2022: Updating tags and adding map icon. Also adding suite number to the title.

12 Responses to 'Mangia! Mangia!, 566 Spears Creek Road Suite 104: December 2009'

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  1. Mangia! Mangia! is another victim (like Village Bistro and much of Sandhills) that has a misconception of the demographics of this region of Northeast Columbia. I will admit there are many homes in that area that I couldn’t pay for in a life time; why does everyone ignore the main population of this region? Drive around and se what restaurants and stores are busy.

    When I read the articles in the paper prior to this opening, it spoke over and over of the affluent and a place for them to go. How many affluent are there and how much do they actually dine out. The writing was on the walls when they went from a fine dining place to advertising early bird specials and two for one deals.

    I think the sign of a restaurant failure is when the owner states they are going to do something that has never been done before. OMG. We are not Charlotte nor Charleston nor Atlanta. We maybe have 1% variety of the restaurants they have, but maybe there is a reason.

    Not to digress, but look at Bower Pkwy. You have a brand new Tsunami and a Hudson BBQ across the street. Hudson’s is in a “cursed building” that has been many places. Tsunami, beautiful restaurant and awesome sushi; barely ever has cars in the lot. Hudson’s does buffet BBQ and chicken and other country cooking. I bet Hudson’s does 3 turns at lunch. There is a line out the door every lunch. Dinners are not far behind.

    My point is, I am no genius. But failures, as sad as they are, like Mangia Mangia are so predictable even before they server their first place. Demographics and demand.


    25 Dec 09 at 8:42 pm

  2. We are not Charlotte nor Charleston nor Atlanta. We maybe have 1% variety of the restaurants they have, but maybe there is a reason.

    Well said. If you are not a chain, or an eatery that has been in Cola for 20 plus years, consider yourself lucky if you can survive in this backward city.


    26 Dec 09 at 11:29 pm

  3. Solstice has been a success in the NE. But in general I agree.


    27 Dec 09 at 2:03 am

  4. As a restaurant owner, I understand that demographics and demand are an intrical part of business. However, if we want nice restaurants in Columbia to remain, we MUST make it a priority to patronize them. Maybe you won't be able to afford to eat at the restaurant as often as you would some of the other local flavors, however, it is so important to do your part to support them. I personally like Hudsons, and am glad to see them doing well. I just don't think we as columbia citizens need to overlook some of the nice local privately owned restaurants that are trying to bring something other than country cooking (which I enjoy) to the area.


    29 Dec 09 at 5:17 pm

  5. Tammy, I am with you 100%. My paycheck for the past 15 years has come from providing services to the hospitality industry in all of SC and other parts. My father, who worked in the beer industry for over 25 years was a big influence on me. He use to make a comment that i saw far too often. He was always amazed by restaurant owner that came into town and boast of doing something that has never been done before. Maybe there's a reason? In my experience, these are the places that have the shortest lifespan.

    I have had friends and acquaintances from the Charleston restaurant come to the midlands to show us how to do restaurants. When most of these fail (Garibaldi's is the only to have stayed), they are first to call us rednecks and say we dont appreciate good food. That may be the case. When I go to Olive Garden and Outback in Harbison on a Friday night at 6:00 and they are both on hour waits, it amazes me. According to national Restaurant Association nubers for 2007; the average table service restaurant is around 5500 square feet and does between $1.2 and $1.5 million a year. I heard the Olive Garden Harbison is on track to do $6 million in sales for 2009. I have never had a bad meal nor experience at OG, but I can also name 6 restaurants in Columbia with better Italain food. Again, I have dealt with new restaurants that always boast that no one in town does "real Italian" and they are going to bring their grandmothers recipes and introsuce true Italian cuisine. Many of these fail within a year. The population does like genuine Italian, they like Olive Garden and Italian.

    My over point I was trying to make is, the Midlands has a population mix that is over all, consistent. Much of the residents of Northeast, Irmo, Lexington, and etc are 2nd and 3rd generation. As we do have some population that moves in and out, we are not the melting pot of some cities. Call us set in our ways or what. There is not enough influx of peolple from New England, or texas, or the Mid West, or the West Coast to support unique concepts that may offer a flair.


    30 Dec 09 at 2:22 pm

  6. love your website


    4 Feb 10 at 12:33 pm

  7. O'Reilly and Tammy, missed your posts over the New Year, so I guess I can thank Morehead for their post for me to finally read it. I love to read fact based comments from informed posters. Not necessarily "opinionized" like myself, who knows what I like, but does not have inside experience. So, here is goes; go to Myrtle Beach and look at the cars at the Red Lobster! People like consistency. Olive Garden will always taste the same, no matter what city you are in. The same goes w/ Red Lobster, Outback, etc. People don't branch out. I would bet that 40% of people who eat in these restaurants don't even glance at the menu anymore. They'll have what they had last time, which is the same as the time before that, etc. I think back to the comedian who was making fun of the people who traveled to New York and ate at the Applebee's in Times Square.

    Monterrey's, San Jose, Casa Linda, etc. A Speedy Gonzales is a Speedy Gonzales, whether they are shredding the chicken or cubing it. None of those places hold a candle to authentic Mexican, where English is not spoken. The Triangle City area used to be the hub of quality Mexican food in the city. Too bad those places close down.


    4 Feb 10 at 2:29 pm

  8. The Shag Bistro has just closed as well.


    11 Aug 10 at 9:07 am

  9. A new restaurant is opening in this spot on February 1. It is called the Stonefire American Grill. The owners are supposedly somehow associated with Saluda's in Five Points. What is not known is whether this restaurant is a franchise of a similarly named restaurant chain located in California.


    27 Jan 11 at 3:26 pm

  10. Ate at Stonefire Grill last Saturday night. Food and service was excellent. Roasted chicken was delicious. They brine it for 24 hours. Also pulled pork made on site was great. Hope they make a go of it.


    10 Feb 11 at 1:10 pm

  11. has a promo for Stonefire on the website today. Has anyone dined at Stonefire on the weekend. If so, is casual dress ok?


    24 Mar 11 at 6:23 am

  12. Had a good time at Stonefire Grill last weekend and used a coupon to get a good discount on my meal.


    20 Apr 11 at 4:10 pm

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