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Shoney's / Santa Fe Mexican Restaurant, 7371 Two Notch Road: 2007   17 comments

Posted at 11:50 pm in closing

I don't have a lot to say about Santa Fe. It was one of the Mexican run Mexican restaurants in town. These tend to fall into three categories: The San Jose affiliated, The Monterey affiliated and the independants. Regardless of affiliation, they tend to have bland tomatoey salsa with no hint of heat and over-cooked, unsalted chips. Since chips & salsa are my favorite part of a mexican-style meal, I don't go to these places much unless I am with someone. I would place Santa Fe about on par with the San Jose restaurants, and not quite as good as the Casa Linda independant.

The building itself started as a Shoney's, back in the days when they were "Shoney's Big Boy". We would often go there for Sunday dinner, and would always get the latest "Big Boy" comic book. For dessert I would get the Ice Cream Sundae Cake: hot chocolate syrup poured over vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two layers of warm chocolate cake and all topped with whipped cream. Pure goodness!

We went less after the Big Boy days, and the whole chain got into trouble in the 90s with this location shutting down as part of the retrenchment. You can still see the Captain D's restaurant next door. The two chains have the same ownership, and they liked to co-locate them.

UPDATE 30 April 2009: It's to be an all you can eat buffet called Savannah's

UPDATE 10 September 2020: Update tags, add map icon.

Written by ted on January 26th, 2008

Tagged with , , , , , ,

17 Responses to 'Shoney's / Santa Fe Mexican Restaurant, 7371 Two Notch Road: 2007'

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  1. Use to go to this when it was a Shoney's all the time.


    2 Mar 08 at 4:15 pm

  2. Sante Fe rocks! They started with locations in Sumter and Greenwood and this location has moved to Decker. This is one of just a few Mex restaurants in town that have authentic Chile Rellenos and Chiles Poblanos. The 32 oz Dos Equis is a perfect companion to their fare as well. About the only thing I find authentic with Casa Linda is the decor. Taquiria Mi Publeto in Lexington is a very fine establishment for authentic Mexican, especially for seafood and (real) tacos; apparently they have opened one in W. Cola too. Viva Sante Fe!


    11 Apr 08 at 2:34 pm

  3. Scratch the comment on Casa Linda, I was thinking of El Chico - blah!


    11 Apr 08 at 2:54 pm

  4. Yes, Casa Linda is run by Mexicans, and is one of the "authentic" places; I generally like it better than Monterrey or San Jose. The thing is I don't really like authentic as far as Mexican food goes. A big part of it is the chips & salsa. I got into that before I really got into Mexican in general, and to me it's still the best part of the meal, and is where I think the authentic places really fall down. I want something very spicy and with character, not that bland chunky tomato goop with no heat.


    11 Apr 08 at 11:27 pm

  5. Other than Mi Publito, Santa Fe is as authentic as you can get. They never closed, but opened a location at Decker in preparation to close the Two Notch location two month's later. They said the rent was cheaper and they would not have to raise their prices, and could still offer free sweat tea.

    Chiles Poblanos, rice and beans - $4.25, 32 oz Dos Equis - $2.25, Being the only person in the restaurant who is not Mexican - Priceless

    There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's Mastercard


    14 Apr 08 at 7:25 am

  6. I spoke with the manager at Santa Fe shortly before they were about to close. My understanding is that the owner of the building raised the rent on them significantly, and therefore they decided to close down the location.

    The other location was opened quite a bit before they closed down the 2-Notch location - as the manager explained it: "Oh, we have another location on Decker".



    29 May 08 at 1:11 pm

  7. If that's the case, the building owners outsmarted themselves because it's been empty for months now.


    29 May 08 at 1:42 pm

  8. Hopefully this isn't a bad sign, but the new restaurant at this location hasn't opened. Their sign said Opening June 2009 and now just says Opening 2009.


    28 Jul 09 at 11:34 pm

  9. Well, the picture above says "May 1", so slipping to June and then "just 2009" can't be a *good* omen.


    28 Jul 09 at 11:42 pm

  10. Still waiting on Savannah's to open, and it's now October. Last time I was over that way (maybe a month ago), it looked like they were still working on the place.


    9 Oct 09 at 10:09 pm

  11. Yeah, last time I noticed the sign they had changed from something specific to something general like "Opening in 2009", and even that's looking shaky now!


    9 Oct 09 at 10:21 pm

  12. This has a new sign on it now saying "Grandma's Kitchen Coming Soon - Now Hiring." Best of luck. They have their work cut out.


    6 May 11 at 8:06 pm

  13. Yeah, I saw that and have been meaning to update with a picture, but somehow it's always night when I drive by.

    Third time's the charm, hopefully.


    6 May 11 at 9:59 pm

  14. Yes, We have been working to get this place ready for opening. Thanks. We know its gonna be great.


    12 May 11 at 7:21 pm

  15. Grandma's Kitchen is coming soon.....
    country buffet.... a few items on the menu,
    a kids menu & very kid friendly.
    Serving Breakfast Buffet only, Lunch, & Dinner.


    12 May 11 at 7:25 pm

  16. This building is the reason there is no business in there. The owner's of this building need to do some work in order to lease it to the right person for a business to be placed in here. We got in there and did all kinds of work such as painting, and cleaning and bringing our own things but there in the end have been unable to open the doors after a 4 months time lapse. We are willing to open but not put anymore money into the building itself because we are not buying the building we are just leasing the building. When this whole deal started we were told that different people owned it and that there was nothing wrong with the building. But after we found the actual owner of the building there was 2 major things that need to be done to the building. There is no flooring in the dinning area that needs to be dealt with and the hood & fire system will not pass code. We are the 3 business that has tried to open the doors to some good food and business in this building but the owner of this building is wanting to lease it "As Is" and we do all of the work and put all of the funds in. We cant do this we will not do this so Grandma's Kitchen will not be opening at this location and we are in search of a new location. I hope that anyone that is looking for some good ole country cooking will follow us to a new location soon. I will post when we have something new. Thanks.


    15 Jul 11 at 12:37 pm

  17. Best of luck! Within a mile or two there's the old Charleston Crab House location, the old Stellini's location, the old Olive Garden location, the Jumbo Asian Buffett / Red Lobster location, the old Cici's Pizza / Gabby's Pizza location, the old Taco Bell location, and the old Villiage Bistro / La Fogata location..


    15 Jul 11 at 3:18 pm

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