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La Costena Mexican Restaurant, 2470 Main Street (Elgin): late 2011   no comments

Posted at 12:38 am in restaurants

I leveraged a trip out to Sandhill the other day to go past Clemson Road and into Elgin. This is a little town (the kind where you will find an IGA) just over the county line that we used to drive through all the time down US-1 on our way to Hartsville -- before I-20 came through (ie: It's been a while!). At that time, the points that stuck most in my mind were the ramshackle looking pottery outlet (still there..), the Elgin Watch factory (the reason the town is not now called Blaney) and the Blaney Drag Strip.

I would still drive through from time-to-time when I lived in Fayetteville, and the double-nickel was still in force making the non-Interstate time penalty less than it is now. On one memorable late night drive, I found an overtuned car and had to ride off to summon help.

All of which is neither here nor there except to the point that I haven't gone through there much in the daytime since the 60s, and I was a bit surprised to find that I-20 has put it almost in the metro area. In particular, I saw a branch of a Columbia Mexican chain San Jose on White Pond Road heading to I-20, and I wonder if that had anything to do with the demise of La Costena on Main Street.

Commenter Miz T says:

They closed down a couple of months ago, which is quite sad. We frequented the place quite often and the workers knew my youngest daughter ever since she was a baby and called her by name. They had a mural of the history of Elgin painted on the side of the building. It is now a fruit and veggie stand.

You can see the produce stand in these pictures, though it is not clear to me if it is using the whole building or just the porch.

(Hat tip to commenter Miz T)

Written by ted on February 7th, 2012

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Shag Bistro, 566 Spears Creek Church Road Suite 104: 8 August 2010   no comments

Posted at 11:55 pm in restaurants

I wrote the first closing on this location when it was Mangia! Mangia!.

Shag Bistro opened not long after Mangia! closed, and while I never went there, I got the impression that it was an attempt to establish a place with more mass appeal than a somewhat upscale Italian restaurant. The name suggests something very casual and beachy, or at least the Shag part does. I've never been entirely certain what Bistro is supposed to connote in a restaurant name, but inasmuch as I have any impression, it goes in the opposite direction of casual and beachy.

Why didn't I ever get to Shag Bistro? Well, it's pretty much the same reasons I only got to Mangia! Mangia! once: location and presence-in-mind. That is to say, it's an awful long way to drive, and I usually would forget it even existed.

Of course, it's not a long way for people already in the area, but I suspect both Mangia! and Shag were just a little ahead of their time. I think everyone expects the metro area to hit Pontiac at some point, but while it might have already happened in the old economy, I suspect it will still be a while before the recession passes and the metro area starts building out again. The move of the Verizon call center from Richland Mall to Spears Creek will probably help area restaurants, but I guess it was too late for Shag.

(Hat tip to commenter Cheryl)

Written by ted on August 26th, 2010

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