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Lizard's Thicket / Westbury's / La Fogata / El Meson Mexicano Restaurant, 4545 Broad River Road: March 2011   23 comments

Posted at 12:26 am in closing

Wow! If IrmoJeff hadn't mentioned that this was a Lizard's Thicket, I never would have known that in fact this was the Lizard's Thicket, the original first location from 1977. You can see an artist's representation of what is clearly the same building on the company's history page, which says:

The original Lizard’s Thicket was a five room house converted into a restaurant with three small dining rooms and a small kitchen.

Now I go through phases of eating at Liz and not eating at Liz, but I find when I'm down, or fighting a cold or trying to get back on track after days of erratic eating that their Southern comfort food really hits the spot. I particularly like to get a vegatable platter with field-peas over rice and macaroni & cheese.

I'm not sure when the original location closed, but it was a good while ago though there is still one on Broad River Road.

La Fogata until fairly recently has seemed like the up-and-coming local Mexican chain, joining San Jose, Monterray and Casa Linda. They had this location on Broad River, took over the Pirmarily Pi location on Sunset and took over the Village Bistro location at Sandhill. I don't know if they over-extended, or just figured the economy would turn around faster than it has, but they've since closed this location and the Sandhill location. I've never eaten at a La Fogata, but comments on the Sandhill closing indicate it was pretty good.

I don't know anything about the La Fogata follow-on operation, El Meson except that it was also a local Mexican restaurant. Their door sign indicates that they may be back. The omens are mixed for that. On the one hand, the roof and roadside marquees are down. On the other hand the fixtures and decor are still inside.

Does anyone actually drink Clamato?

(Hat tip to commenter IrmoJeff)

UPDATE 25 May 2011 -- Well, it appears that even though the fixtures are still apparently in place, there will be no re-opening:

UPDATE 31 March 2012: Added Westbury's wing joint to the post title based on commenter IrmoJeff's info.

UPDATE 24 August 2012 -- Now Tain's Caribbean Cuisine & Bar:


Written by ted on April 19th, 2011

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23 Responses to 'Lizard's Thicket / Westbury's / La Fogata / El Meson Mexicano Restaurant, 4545 Broad River Road: March 2011'

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  1. Forget drinking just Clamato, which is bad enough, but it turns out that Chelada is the disgusting part of the sign. I had never heard of Chelada, and when I first saw the sign in the window, I thought it was just a neon sign separately for Bud Light, Clamato, and Chelada, which I assumed was probably some kind of Mexican beer, maybe some kind of mixed drink with tequila. The ampersand in the sign got me to thinking that something else was afoot, and a little googling proved that notion to be correct. Gag me with the weirdest mixed drink I've ever heard of: a Chelada is evidently a drink made with beer, Clamato, pepper sauce, lime, salt, and whatever spice the bartender wants to add. Budweiser actually sells the concoction in a can. Talk about disgusting, but I'm assuming it must be a drink that folks will actually drink.

    Michael Taylor

    19 Apr 11 at 2:54 am

  2. This was the first Lizard's Thicket, but there was also one in the truck stop at 26& Piney Grove, where Sportsman's is currently located. They left the gas pump up, and it still reads 89 cents/gallon. BTW, where is the "cents" sign on a keyboard now?


    19 Apr 11 at 12:54 pm

  3. Not the pump itself, the sign advertising the price of gas. I don't remember if both were open at the same time or not, but I think they were.


    19 Apr 11 at 1:18 pm

  4. PC ¢ = Hold ALT, type "155"


    19 Apr 11 at 3:52 pm

  5. The cent sign was never part of the 7-bit ASCII character set from which most PC keyboards are derived (regardless of the fact that old-style typewriters sometimes had a cent key, and that IBM's EBCDIC encoding included a cent).

    You can get one in HTML with & # 162 ; (¢)


    19 Apr 11 at 4:06 pm

  6. You can do dozens of other symbols with the methodology Mike used. Doing a simple web search will yield pages that have info on how to do it. Some common examples I use:

    ≈ 247, ÷ 7414, ½, 171, ¼, 172, ™, 0153, © 0169, × 0215, • 0149.

    * Be sure you are using the number pad off to the right for this...

    There are many other key combinations that you can use to generate a whole variety of characters. Simply do a web search and keep your eyes open and you should find several documents out there that go into a further explanation thereof. Those of you that have experience with different languages such as Spanish, French, German, etc. know that some words in those languages have accent marks on them. There are special codes that allow you to type those in as well. Examples include: ú: 163, ö: 148, á: 160, é: 130, ñ: 164, ¿: 168, ç, 135.

    Those of you with Macintosh computers can push the alt key with another keyboard key and something similar can come up as well (but not on the right number pad if your keyboard has that).

    It is something interesting to sink your teeth into and this is my recommendation as to how to go about it...


    19 Apr 11 at 8:15 pm

  7. Thanks for all the info. I haven't really used a typewriter in the past 13 or 14 years, so I haven't missed a ¢ sign before!! I don't think anything cost under a $1 anymore. It just sorta struck me that I had not seen one in awhile.


    20 Apr 11 at 8:35 am

  8. Hello, does anyone know how long this location has been closed up and there has been no business in here? Please let me know we might consider it for a country cooking restaurant.... thanks I will be watching for posts..


    15 Jul 11 at 12:49 pm

  9. Probably no more than 4 or 5 months. Less than a year for sure. Of course that doesn't mean the building is in good shape -- There was that note on the door about "updating installations".


    15 Jul 11 at 3:11 pm

  10. I think we may check it out and see if it is up to code and see what we may do about putting something in there. If the building is up to code there should be no problem getting open soon and get some good food back in this place. Has anyone eaten there? Or has anyone heard anything about the building?


    15 Jul 11 at 11:18 pm

  11. I think we may check it out and see if it is up to code and see what we may do about putting something in there. Has anyone eaten there? Or has anyone heard anything about the building?


    15 Jul 11 at 11:19 pm

  12. I drove by this location today, and although i wasnt paying close attention, it looks like some new business has opened here. I didnt get a good look at the sign, and im pretty sure i ran a red light trying to look back, but i think the name of the place was something like Taine's or Toine's. And the "I" was a stylized palmetto tree. So maybe it was Tan's. Not sure if its a restaurant or a hair salon or a tanning place. Maybe its a check cashing place. I dont know, but there were a half dozen cars in the parking lot.

    Also, its bugged me ever since i first posted about this building in Have Your Say, that there was another restaurant that had occupied this space for awhile, and it finally occurred to me tonight (about 4 seconds after i Googled the address :D )

    This building was also a restaurant called Westbury's for awhile. I think it was a wing joint, but im not 100% sure of that.


    30 Mar 12 at 11:38 pm

  13. Westburys?

    OK, I'll add that to the post title.


    31 Mar 12 at 12:05 am

  14. @Jonathan, @Andrew:

    The best way, in my experience, to get special characters is to use the Windows Character Map, under (All) Programs / Accessories / System Tools.

    The first 85 or so after the regular keyboard characters are probably the ones most used. They range from Non-breaking Space (Yeah, I know. You're gonna use *that* one a lot. :) through a lower-case y with a diaraesis (ÿ).

    If you click on any of these, you will see a notation in the lower-right corner of the character map window giving the Alt+ key combo to type it in directly. For the remaining ones, there's always the CM window's copy/paste functionality.


    17 Apr 12 at 9:03 pm

  15. One Cristmas many years ago, I took my mother and her mother out for Christmas dinner. This Lizards Thicket was the only non fast food restuarant open and we had a great dinner.


    17 Aug 12 at 8:00 pm

  16. Taino's, the restaurant that had opened here after La Fogata/El Meson has now apparently closed as well. I drove past it every weeknight and it never seemed to have more than 2-3 cars in the parking lot.


    25 Nov 12 at 10:43 pm

  17. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think this was the original Lizard's Thicket location. I think the original location was in a house on the east side of Broad River Rd. just north of Rush's.


    21 Jul 13 at 2:37 pm

  18. Did you look at the Lizard's Thicket link in the post? The picture on their site sure looks like this building to me..


    22 Jul 13 at 12:28 am

  19. Ted, I can't get to their site but I know this is not their original location.


    22 Jul 13 at 2:01 pm

  20. Bob, check out the Lizard's Thicket history page and scroll down to the picture profiling the Broad River location it mentioned...the pic in the 24 August 2012 update looks a lot like the pictured original Broad River location...


    22 Jul 13 at 9:41 pm

  21. One Christmas many years ago, this was the only restaurant that was open. I took my mother and grandmother for Christmas lunch.


    1 Aug 13 at 8:50 pm

  22. Signs are on the building, and I think even the road sign that this is going to be a La Fogata again. "Mexican Buffet."


    7 Nov 13 at 8:37 am

  23. After at least a year announcing it, La Fogata Mexican Buffet has finally opened. Have not tried it yet, and with the time it took to open, the business does not look promising. When Taino's was there, they never actually looked open. I think the building is cursed.


    29 Nov 14 at 5:09 pm

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