I have only eaten at any Sonny's once, and this was the one. For some reason, several years ago when we were staying in Fernandina, nothing would do for my niece but that she have some corn on the cob. My memory is a bit hazy, but I think she had been quite kid-finicky in restaurants on the trip and it was a chance to get her to actually eat something if we could find a place. In the event, it seemed that Sonny's was the only game in town for supper corn that evening, and we hied thither. I'm finicky myself so I had the salad bar, which was pretty good, and my niece did get, and eat, her corn, so all was well.
I know I would have noticed if the place, past Sadler Road on the way to the bridge, had been closed during my last trip in October 2014, and Tipadvisor page and pictures suggests the place probably closed in December of that year.
I passed many other Sonny's locations in my most recent Florida trip, so apparently the chain as a whole is doing OK.
Now the chicken you can't get here goes well with the tacos you can't get next door.
(Hat tip to commenter John Barrs)
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I remember I was at a conference once in San Diego and a group of us walked into the Gas Light District looking for restaurant that someone had heard of that specialzed in garlic. Well, I like garlic and it was an excellent meal, but I recall thinking it was too bad that Columbia (much less Fayetteville where I was then living) could never support such a place.
I had a similar thought when I read the opening press for Columbia's bacon bistro Sizzle: Can Columbia really support a bacon restaurant?. Unfortunately, the answer appears to be: no, and arrived before I got around to checking it out.
(Hat tip to commenter Matt)
As you know, I don't wish failure on anyone, and certainly the crew at this Cross Hill Market burger joint seemed nice enough and I'm sorry for their jobs, but to be frank, I couldn't figure out how they lasted as long as they did.
I ate here twice, probably about a year apart, the last time in April or May of this year. When I had decided to go, I picked the place because it was a very nice Spring day, and I knew they had patio seating. In the event, by the time I got there, the sky had clouded over, and the temperature had dropped too much for outside seating to be comfortable.
Taking myself inside, I remembered why I had not been back after my first time. The interior was sort of dark and cave-like, not cheery at all, and everything seemed kind of industrial and not homey. In addition, the burgers were quite pricey and I felt like I was paying Red Robin type table service prices for counter service. And while there was certainly nothing wrong with the burgers, I would not count them in the running for Columbia's best. Also, given the location, I wondered after both times why I hadn't just gone to Smash Burger across the street, something I'm guessing a lot of people did.
(Hat tip to commenter Elizabeth)
There's already been a good bit of discussion on this in Have Your Say but Utopia Food & Spirits, a local music venue and restaurant across from Cross Hill Market, has closed after suffering extensive electrical damage on 20 June.
Although I posted about their move from Rosewood to this location, I'm afraid the place was not really on my radar, but they seem to have been doing good work providing a showcase for local bands. Unfortunately repairing all the damage was just too expensive given the current economy.
The Free Times has the story here.
(Hat tip to commenter Justin)
I have to admit that since I don't like clothes shopping and since nobody has ever mistaken me for someone who does sports, I couldn't place this storefront in my mind and had to drive around the plaza looking for it. In the event, it turns out to be in the suite formerly occupied by La Bag Lady which closed in 2012.
It appears to be chilly in there.
(Hat tip to commenter mamarose)
I see this storefront has already attracted another business: Laptops For Less. It's a little odd that the Radio Shack marquee is still up there. Usually a chain which is still in some form of existence wants their logo off of former locations. And there *are* still some open stores though the present continued existence of RS as an entity is pretty tenuous at the moment.
Harrell's Bicycle World apparently sold out to Bike Street USA in 2014, but that operation, which also bought out Bike To Nature did not long survive the expansion, apparently liquidating in November of 2014. It appears the chain's main strategy was buying out local stores and then functioning as sort of an IGA for the bicycle market:
Pat Patregnani, an avid cyclist and the CEO of marketing advertising firm Zimmerman Advertising, founded BikeStreet USA in 2012 and launched into the market with an aggressive business plan, acquiring independent bicycle shops and rolling them up into its corporate structure. Under BikeStreet, the stores would benefit from leveraging technology like point of sale systems, inventory management and websites that would be handled by BikeStreet, as well as marketing and greater buying power from its larger scale. Former owners and managers would receive backend operational support, allowing them to focus on taking care of customers and servicing bikes.
"BikeStreet was also founded by folks without multi-unit store experience," he said. "When you go from one shop and you're in there everyday and you can control everything. You have your eye on everything and then you go and own 17 locations, you have to have a different set of skills to manage 17 stores, 17 managers, 17 set of employees. That's just not suited for enthusiasts without multi-store experience," he added.
(Hat tip to commenter Aaron)
Coming off of I-77 and heading downtown on Saturday gave a really stunning view of Charlotte's downtown. The sky was dotted with puffy clouds and the skyscrapers were laid out almost artistically. I really wish I could have pulled over and gotten a shot.
I was headed to the Convention Center for this years iteration of Charlotte's Heroes Convention which I have been checking out out over the years as often as I could since the days when it was a few meeting rooms at the old Holiday Inn on Woodlawn.
This year, I didn't attend any of the panels as it took all of my time just to completely canvas the main show floor. My impression is that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a new hit with costumers, though there was no single theme for the majority of costumes. I think I did notice a bit of fall-off in the Frozen costumes since Amelia Con. Stan Lee was there for photo-shoots, but the line was so long that I didn't attempt to see him. There were plenty of other creators there as well, and I bought a number of indie books for myself and my nieces, more than I've scanned below.
Anyway, it's not a bad drive (I-77 seemed a little less pot-holed this time) and there's a reasonable nearby lot, so if you get the chance next year, I recommend you check it out.