Recent Comments

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

Meta

Western Steer / The Black Bull Restaurant, 1000 Knox Abbot Dr: Late March 2008   28 comments

Posted at 11:42 am in restaurants

Like Crazy Buffet, the Black Bull was a new tenant in an old steak-house building on Knox Abbot Drive. I never got around to eating at there, though it was somewhere on my "to do" list. It appears that may no longer be an option. The signs on the door suggest a remodeling, but in my experience of restaurants, "remodeling" is like open-heart surgery: You hope for a good outcome, but say your goodbyes anyway. And that's genuine, planned remodeling. The other signs suggest this came on very suddenly, and in fact the Black Bull web-site has no mention of the place being closed at all.

UPDATE 18 February 2014: Added Western Steer to the post title based on comments for the follow-up operation Hard Knox Grill.

Written by ted on March 26th, 2008

Tagged with , , ,

28 Responses to 'Western Steer / The Black Bull Restaurant, 1000 Knox Abbot Dr: Late March 2008'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Western Steer / The Black Bull Restaurant, 1000 Knox Abbot Dr: Late March 2008'.

  1. We ate there once, and were pleasantly surprised. (killer bread)

    The food was much better than that building and location led us to believe. Decor was not bad: clean, simple, everything seemed redone.

    The Black Bull really needed to be in a smaller, cozier, urban location. It would have been better on State or Devine St.

    Ironchef

    28 Mar 08 at 7:16 am

  2. What a shame! They seemed like they were trying hard -- the refurb looked great from the outside, but we never ate there. I do think this area will pop soon and good things will happen in this area. Something like a Zorba's needs to open in there! A locally-owned restaurant that people trust. Although they'd still have too much parking! :) Put a Starbucks in that lot!

    Brian

    31 Mar 08 at 12:58 am

  3. I wonder if the name was a factor as it kinda sounds like a steakhouse whereas they were trying to do something else.

    ted

    31 Mar 08 at 12:19 pm

  4. I live in this area now and am amazed by the lack of good restaurants around. It seems as though my girlfriend and I are always having to drive 10-15 minutes away for a solid dinner.

    Will

    8 Apr 08 at 2:31 pm

  5. I was a loyal employee of the Black Bull since the beginning. It was owned and operated by the Koutrakos Family (Grecian Gardens, Sparta Imports, Captain Tom's Seafood...). As employees, you were treated like members of the family, which made it an awesome place to work! But in reality, they treat you worse then any corporate restaurant!!!!!

    I worked the night before Easter and upon leaving spoke to the owners and nothing was said out of the ordinary. The morning after Easter, I was called by the manager who said she was called the night before (ON EASTER) and told by the owner that we were closing. As you can imagine, we were floored! Later that week, we were told that someone was interested in purchasing the restaurant, but we haven't heard anything other than "things are taking longer than expected, so my advice would be for you to find another job."

    ISN'T IT NICE THAT THESE PEOPLE DON'T EVEN GIVE THEIR EMPLOYEES A HEADS UP TO THE CLOSING. WE WERE JUST AS SHOCKED AS THE PATRONS TO THE RESTAURANT WERE! NO NOTICE, NO SORRIES, NO NOTHING! WE WERE TREATED LIKE CRAP - STICKING BY THEM WHEN THE RESTAURANT WASN'T DOING GOOD AT ALL AND THEN WHEN BUSINESS ACTUALLY STARTS TO PICK UP - THEY CLOSE WITHOUT LETTING ANYONE KNOW!

    My theory is that they didn't give us a heads up because they were afraid if they did, the employees would start looking for other jobs and leave them stranded. Well, instead all they have done is cause financial hardship for several good people! The Koutakos family is CRAP!

    BlackBull Employee

    6 May 08 at 8:21 am

  6. Free Times still has them listed as open for Biz as of this weeks paper

    Kc

    13 May 08 at 3:25 pm

  7. Well, they can't call every restaurant on their list every week and ask "Are you still open?". And realistically, they are much less likely to get a call saying "We are closed" than one saying "We're opening a new place this weekend."

    ted

    13 May 08 at 6:20 pm

  8. BlackBull Employee: That's how layoffs happen; you show up one day and you no longer have a job. That's life. What did you expect the owners to do?

    Wes

    26 May 08 at 1:31 pm

  9. Great food, friendly service, and GREAT greek coffee!

    Roberta

    12 Jun 08 at 7:50 pm

  10. I worked for the Koutrakos family for many years. They are really great people to work for. I was extremely close to the owners and although the closing of the Black Bull did come unexpectedly to the employees because business had just started to begin picking up, most of us knew that this was something they were considering. The food was absolutely wonderful, as was the staff. The last that I heard is that the deal to sell the restaurant fell through. They are basically going to wait until after the movie Nailed is filmed there and then they will probably re-open the restaurant. I am not sure if they will keep it as a Mediterranean or not, but it would be shame if they did not open another restaurant there since there are very few in the area worth mentioning.

    Dani

    17 Jun 08 at 9:27 am

  11. Filming Nailed there? That's interesting! My sister said a street near her was closed for filming too.

    ted

    17 Jun 08 at 11:53 am

  12. yeah I've noticed a lot of filming going on over that way lately. I ate there once and the food was good. I also remember a cute and very attentive waitress. The look of the outside and the name made it sound like a steakhouse but it was totally different.

    Mr Bill

    26 Jun 08 at 4:03 pm

  13. ted

    26 Jun 08 at 5:53 pm

  14. I like the Free Times (can't get enough of those Rant and Raves!), but don't trust the sections that are plugged in to fill spaces every week - like the restaurant listings. They're not always up to date. Call first!

    ColaRai

    26 Jun 08 at 7:00 pm

  15. Thanks for the link to Nailed. It doesnt sound like a project I'd put any money in.

    There's a Columbia landmark that I think is failing...Maurice Bessingers' Piggy Park. Over the last 3 to 5 years, the food hasnt been nearly what it used to be. Indifferent and half-effort.

    A great bbq place my family always takes me to when I'm in Cola for visits is out in Lexington..a buffet. Small and painstakingly clean and friendly, and everything on the buffet is good...and the name of it has completely flown out of my head. I'll ask and post it.

    Anna

    26 Jun 08 at 8:49 pm

  16. Yep. I remember when the Charleston City Paper was still listing a restaurant that had been closed at least two years.

    ted

    26 Jun 08 at 10:43 pm

  17. Yeah I worked on Nailed while we were filming at Black Bull restaurant. Unfortunately, the Bull's bad luck forced itself on the production as the crew struck for a 6th time. It was supposed to be the last day of filming and the pivotal scene of the movie, but it was never completed and the production left town. Oh well.

    Zach

    4 Oct 08 at 1:25 pm

  18. The new business moving in here will be called the "Hard Knox Grill," touting a "Rockin' good time," according to the sign.

    badger

    27 Aug 09 at 2:46 pm

  19. The Grand opening for the new HARD KNOX GRILL will be on Sept.18th with BD Bryant Band opening the venue and a band from Charlotte by the name of Fearknot will be opening for him. You all will know the Bass Player Garry as he plays duo with DB allot. I am glad he is bringing his band to Columbia finally!

    Richy

    3 Sep 09 at 8:57 am

  20. The rumor I've heard is that the "new" owner of the restaurant is a "Family Friend" of the previous owner. Maybe they will have some luck, as the Koutrakos family had the wrong idea of turning a seafood restaurant into a fine dining restaurant. Still think a really good steak house would go over great there.

    SCBrat

    7 Dec 09 at 9:43 pm

  21. Hard Knox made it into the State paper:

    http://www.thestate.com/2010/07/15/1377028/on-the-scene-hard-knox-grill.html

    Sounds like it is still owned by the same family, and it was a Western Sizzlin' when it was first built.

    jamie

    16 Jul 10 at 8:41 am

  22. I think the reporter made an error. It was a Western Steer.

    badger

    16 Jul 10 at 10:59 am

  23. I always thought Western Steer was the Crazy Buffet.

    jamie

    16 Jul 10 at 11:52 am

  24. I believe the Hard Knox was the Western Steer and the Crazy Buffet was the Western Sizzin'.

    bud

    16 Jul 10 at 12:33 pm

  25. Right. The Sizzlin' lasted a little while longer than the Steer (which would later be renamed "Mom 'n' Pops."

    badger

    16 Jul 10 at 1:54 pm

  26. Looks like it's time to add Hard Knox to this.

    Nobody

    16 Oct 10 at 11:48 pm

  27. One additional note: After the Steer moved away from the 'family steakhouse' concept to the mega buffet, they would change the name of the restaurant to "Mom 'n' Pops." They changed the name on this one and on St. Andrews Rd. Same company, just a name change. But I don't recall whether the one in Lexington (which later became the Sagebrush) changed names or had already closed by then. Here are the two logos: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.scripophily.com/webcart/vigs/westernsteermomnpop'svig.jpg&imgrefurl=http://scripophily.net/wessteermomn.html&h=159&w=628&sz=20&tbnid=WMFJykJ1ge7TkM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=355&zoom=1&usg=__2z8p7f04yDbTrGo8slrekuinvrU=&docid=rpOT95cZLVKGLM&sa=X&ei=Rk8DU9ibBKacygHj7oHoDg&ved=0CDsQ9QEwBA

    badger

    18 Feb 14 at 7:18 am

  28. Does anybody remember what restaurant was in this building in the fall of 1996? It was no longer Western Steer then, and had not yet become Captain George's. I recall it being an independent (not chain) restaurant with a non-specialty menu. Whatever it was didn't last long, and it probably closed sometime in 1997, making way for Captain George's.

    59 Ford Wheelman

    2 Jul 14 at 11:50 am

Leave a Reply

Tags

Recently Updated Posts

Blogroll