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Key West Grill, 1736 Bush River Road: early 2000s   19 comments

Posted at 6:37 pm in closing

The Key West Grill is another entry on the list of restaurants I meant to eventually get around to, but in the event never did. In this particular case, since "Key West" is an island, I figured that the menu would be largely seafood, something which I don't eat at all, so I wasn't chomping-at-the-bit to go there and order the token burger or whatever the landlubber fare was. Since I never did, it's of course possible that I was wholly mistaken about the cusine. Taking the pictures above, I was impressed with the building, which seems as though it would have had a very nice dining ambience.

At any rate, Key West always seemed to have a fair number of cars in the lot, so I was somewhat surprised when they closed up shop. It's still a fairly good corner for restaurants though: I like both Fudruckers and El Chico which are across the street and next door respectively.

I do think at this point enough years have passed that Coca-cola probably ought to accept the fact that they aren't getting their equipment back.

UPDATE 3 November 2011:

Well the building is going down hill a little bit, or at least has started to be a target for "tagging". From the view through the front door, it appears that some work took place at some point, as ceiling insulation is all over and most of the ceiling tiles are missing (and the murals look like they were nice). Coke still hasn't gotten their equipment -- I'll bet it's not worth having by now, and the front door has that ubiquitious sign of non-occupation: unclaimed phonebooks.

On the plus side, the Piracantha bushes are doing really well.

Looking at he pictures below, you can tell immediately that the "feel" of photos from Closing-Cam 1.0 (above) and Closing-Cam 2.0 is completely different.

(Also added the full street address and tags).

UPDATE 5 November 2011 Added full 24 September 2011 photoset.

UPDATE 9 January 2018 -- As reported in the comments, this building has now been razed. Here are some pictures from 18 November 2017 of the then partial demolition and highlighting the murals:




























Photoset 24 September 2011

Written by ted on May 8th, 2008

Tagged with , , , ,

19 Responses to 'Key West Grill, 1736 Bush River Road: early 2000s'

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  1. No, if you don't eat seafood, you'd been wasting your time there. It was good seafood, though. There is still one in Myrtle Beach that we eat at occasionally. They blackened dishes very well, which is a huge plus to me. Some of the places around here think that just means to burn it.

    I think the last time we ate in Myrtle Beach, I inquired about the Columbia branch, and they told me it had closed several years before. I guess that's a good indicator that I had not missed it.


    12 May 08 at 10:47 am

  2. This place actually was a great restaurant. Columbia seafood restaurants that do not serve deep fried seafood as their primary dish never do too well. I just have to stick to the coast for good grilled fish.

    Joe Verant

    12 May 08 at 11:56 am

  3. Well, it's still a nice building, and a convient Interstate location. You'd think something else would have gone in there by now.


    13 May 08 at 12:24 am

  4. That place was a waste of time. My brother had his graduation dinner there and we had to wait 3 hours for a table he'd made reservations for; the food was mediocre at absolute best; it was horribly overpriced; the service sucked. And then they tacked on the automatic 18% tip. Went there once, never went back (even to their other locations).

    Ryan H

    20 May 08 at 2:08 pm

  5. Ate ther once and the service was horrible. The waitor forgot that we had placed an order! We made sure we let everyone know how we felt about it.


    22 May 08 at 10:19 am

  6. Here's one reason they may have closed, aside from the fact the food was over priced and mediocre. A friend ate there once and found a band-aid on her plate. They didn't charge her or her party for their meals (that's a no brainer) and offered her comps for future meals. Why would you want to go back after that?


    13 Jun 08 at 1:20 pm

  7. I ate there three times. Worst food and service I have ever had! The only reason I went back after the first time was because I was invited to a family function two other times. I am surprised that apparently other people had good experiences there. I never intended to go back so no great loss!


    16 Oct 08 at 12:35 pm

  8. The first Key West restaurant was opened in North Charleston, a few years before the Columbia one. It was open for a year or so after the Columbia location opened, then closed. A few years after the Columbia location opened, a Key West opened in Myrtle Beach. A few years after -that-, the Columbia place closed. Myrtle Beach version still open.

    Each restaurant opened with good food and service, then went downhill (except at Myrtle Beach).

    I suspect the owner(s) were simply moving, opening a new place as they did in each city. The older places either got sold or were not attended to, and the quality and business dropped off.


    22 Jan 10 at 3:02 pm

  9. The owner is actually an established hotel owner in Charleston, Jimmy Pallasis. He tore down the North Charleston store and built a hotel. He owns Town & Country in West Ashley and The Pavillion restaurant in the Market.


    23 Jan 10 at 8:26 am

  10. That place was nasty, and had slow service.

    Lou B

    23 Jan 10 at 9:00 am

  11. I went a few times and didn't mind it too much (they had a few things besides seafood that made it so that I could handle it)...but one year for my mom's birthday (ca. 2001-3) we were going to go there for her birthday but I discovered a "C" grade on the door so we didn't eat there that night (went to the Fatz that used to be at Colonial Village near Dutch Square instead) and ended up not going back. I think I read somewhere that they got a few C grades as well. My grandmother knew a few different folks that quit eating there for different reasons that I am unable to recall


    9 Jul 10 at 11:01 pm

  12. enlarging one of your photos shows address markers indicating that this place had an address of 1736 Bush River Road


    3 Nov 11 at 11:43 am

  13. Yeah, I wasn't very good about posting street addresses in the early days. I've got some more pix of the place to upload, I'll fix it then..


    3 Nov 11 at 12:27 pm

  14. Andrew, I will reply to your July 9, 2010 post, because you are here all the time and will see it. When I used to go there, it was 1993-1996ish. It really was good food back then. Bobby's explanation makes a lot of sense. I did know some people who were eating there around the time we were that were unsatisfied, but I personally did not have a bad experience. Prior to Key West, it was a nice place as well, but I never ate there. The name was Tavern on the Green, I think, with either an extra "E" as "Tavern(e) or "Greene." Or maybe I'm thinking of the Tavern that is actually on Greene Street in 5 points. Time to hit RCPL to research!!


    3 Nov 11 at 2:07 pm

  15. folks this building is having a date with the excavator...


    15 Nov 17 at 9:13 pm

  16. Started demolition on this building yesterday. The owner says no one has inquired on the site since the building closed and has decided at this point if he is going to sell it the building must go. Nice 1.5 acre lot right between I-20 and I-26.


    16 Nov 17 at 12:28 pm

  17. Leaving Bush River Walmart and trying to get onto I-20 to go home, my focus is always on the traffic on my right. But around noon on Feb 6, I finally looked left and noticed that the building is completely gone, even though I never saw the beginning of the demolition shown above. Maybe the property will sell now for another use.

    Ray L

    7 Feb 18 at 3:09 am

  18. I worked here back in 1998..This restaurant was beautiful inside and had so much potential- however a bunch of losers were in charge and ran it into the ground. They hired a lot of convicts on work release and the managers were completely inept. I always wondered why the owner didn't take more interest in this business...Sad really.


    6 Jan 19 at 12:16 pm

  19. I also used to work at this restaurant and agree with Julie 100%. For the most part the crew was a good group of people and worked hard to give the best service we could but the managers really let the place down and did not support the staff that worked hard so one by one we left. Thank you for taking the time to go take the photos as it was a nice walk down memory lane! If this is the Julie that I am thinking of who used to date a guy named Stan would love to catch up so any thing you could do to help us reconnect I would greatly appreciate. Cheers, Dave

    Dave Pennington

    17 Dec 22 at 10:59 am

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