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The Santorini Grill, 4525 Hardscrabble Road: September 2008   16 comments

Posted at 10:23 pm in restaurants

I only ate at The Santorini Grill once, about two or three years ago, I guess. I believe that the place had just been written up either in The State or The Free Times, and had gotten a pretty good review. After that, I meant to get out there several times, but the location, on Hardscrabble Road, just made it very difficult to do from Forest Acres. You had to take either I-20 or Two Notch to Clemson Road, and then go through a bunch of lights and it was just too much to make it a habbit. That said, the time I did get there, it was quite good. Their now-zombie site has a partial menu (it seems to be missing the "Greek" and "Dessert" pages):

I can't quite recall what I had, but it was probably either Spanakopita if I was going "Greek", or Lasagna.

I know I had trouble getting out there, but given how much the area has grown in the last few years, I would have thought that the place could have made it on the population that lives out there now. I don't know what happened -- perhaps Santorini was simply too upscale.

I see that it will become a pizza place. I wish them luck, but there was a "fancy" pizza place in the previous block of Hardscrabble (where Computer Renaissance is) and it lasted only a few months before going under (the space is some sort of Asian place now).

I like the Santorini building quite a bit. It's a nice structure, and I am partial to Lantana. It's a bit disappointing to see it from the rear and realize the nice smooth top lines are provided by false walls, but you really do need all that stuff on top of a restaurant, so there's not much else you can do. This final picture is from their zombie web-site. Normally I don't do that, but I guess in this case it's pretty moot. I include it because I like neon, and didn't get a chance to take any of my own pictures with the place lit up.

Thanks to commenter "Elizabeth" for the heads up that this place was gone!

UPDATE 9 June 2009: Well, apparently the North East Pizza Palace idea didn't pan out -- It's now another San Jose

Written by ted on September 28th, 2008

16 Responses to 'The Santorini Grill, 4525 Hardscrabble Road: September 2008'

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  1. I'm not sure what the fancy pizza place was, or where, but it wasn't in the Computer Renaissance location, or the Asian restaurant. That building is new, within the last year or so, and was trees before that. All the tenants in there are the originals.

    I live in one of the subdivisions behind Santorini Grill, and even I found it inconvenient to get there. Not for the location, but for the hours. Once they were open for dinner only, then opened up for lunch, then back to dinner only, wouldn't open before 5 even on weekends, sometimes closed on Sundays, sometimes closed outright for staff meetings.

    Once you did get in there, the food was fantastic; my wife swore theirs was the best lasagna she had ever tasted, a pronouncement that would surely have reduced my grandmother to tears. The service was always wonderful, and the food had the taste of very fresh ingredients, and was very reasonably priced. As the cost of food began to rise, so did their prices, and other amenities began to disappear, such as cloth napkins being replaced with paper napkins. We had accepted six months ago that this was inevitable, but it's still sad to see it gone.

    Jason

    29 Sep 08 at 10:44 am

  2. Hmm. Well, it was definitely on Hardscrabble though I may well be wrong about the location. I am sure it didn't last long.

    ted

    29 Sep 08 at 11:27 am

  3. Are you talking about Columbia Pizza Kitchen? In the plaza with the beef o bradys?

    Michael

    29 Sep 08 at 5:15 pm

  4. Hmm. The map puts it on the correct side of Hardscrabble.. I'll try to drive by some time, but I may have to totally retract my comment! It won't be the first time..

    Is it on the left side of the building, kind of narrow and deep?

    ted

    29 Sep 08 at 6:36 pm

  5. That would be the Beef O'Brady's building. There was a BBQ place in there for a few months after that CPK closed (it was HORRIBLE) and now there's a NY Butcher Shoppe in that location.

    Jason

    30 Sep 08 at 8:57 pm

  6. Well, I was quite unimpressed with it -- So I'm right that it is now closed, just that I had the wrong location for it...

    ted

    30 Sep 08 at 11:57 pm

  7. I live behind this place and the current story floating around the northeast is the same guy who owned this place also owned all the House of Pizza chains as well as the Village Bistro.

    Once Santorinis opened, the service in several of the HOP restaurants declined as he focused his efforts into Santorinis.

    As soon as he put his efforts into Village Bistro, (which is AWESOME btw - (not an employee)), this place began to suffer. For the first few years it was open, you couldn't get a seat in this place some nights.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you and commenter Jason about getting there. I live literally right behind this place. And I would always walk the 1/2 mile from my house. You can't even turn out of this place depending on traffic.

    The hours were always whacky as well.

    Joe V

    1 Oct 08 at 12:48 pm

  8. I was the "Elizabeth" who posted about this place being closed. My husband & I tried to go there a few weeks ago and saw it was closed and saw the sign for the new pizza place that would replace it. We loved Santorini and went there regularly so we were shocked that it closed. It's sad because we had our rehearsal dinner there 4 years ago when we got married so it holds some great memories for us and it won't be the same as a pizza place.

    Elizabeth

    10 Oct 08 at 3:12 pm

  9. Dang! I just passed the building for the first time the other day and thought it'd be a good place to check out.

    Payne

    14 Oct 08 at 5:15 pm

  10. I was a regular at Santorini when I lived around the corner. I moved to Blythewood and came back for dinner at it had changed. The quality of the food and taste was poor and so was the service. The menu had been cut also.

    Jennifer

    16 Oct 08 at 9:32 am

  11. i believe the House of Pizzas are separately owned. the way i've always understood it, the guy who owns Pontiac HOP opened Village Bistro while the guy who owns Bobby's HOP opened Santorini.

    scruffy

    18 Oct 08 at 1:17 pm

  12. Anyone else remember Pizza House at the intersection of 378 & I-26?

    Great little place. Had the same good vibe as The Villa in Five Points.

    Dennis

    18 Oct 08 at 3:43 pm

  13. oh yeah I remember that place, it was pretty cool.

    MR Bill

    20 Oct 08 at 2:26 pm

  14. Speaking of long-gone obscure Italian places, anyone remember Joe's Italian House? We ate there a lot when I was a young child (1965-ish). Very old fashioned and traditional, from Caruso on the stero right down to the checkered tablecloths and the candles stuck in wicker-covered chianti bottles. The pizza was very thin and crispy with huge bubbles in the topping.

    It was at the corner of Forest Drive and Sunnyside, where Jackie's Uniforms is now. (or possibly the next door down.)

    Dennis

    20 Oct 08 at 3:15 pm

  15. I loved Santorini's!! The owner also owned Bobby's House of Pizza (sold it shortly after opening this place). I am so sad to see it close down. This is a beautiful building....I wonder if he's selling it or really reopening it as a pizza restaurant????

    Sophia55

    19 Nov 08 at 7:28 pm

  16. I take it from your comment that the place is still not open as a pizza restaurant? If so, that seems like a bad sign. It's already fitted out as a restaurant. It doesn't seem like it would take 2+ months to get new menus and hire some new staff (and in the meantime, the bills on the place have got to be paid..)

    ted

    19 Nov 08 at 10:56 pm

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