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Rossi's, 9639 North Kings Higway (North Myrtle Beach): November 2017   1 comment

Posted at 12:02 am in closing

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Back in March, I found myself driving to the beach on the North route, and much earlier than usual so that it was still daylight when I hit Florence. Just East of Aynor the road conditions sign was declaring heavy traffic ahead on US-501. I doubted that was really the case so early in the year, but decided to take the way-North route of SC-22 and finally get a chance to hit Rossi's Italian for dinner, something I had been meaning to do for many years, but, generally being on the South Strand, had never gotten around to.

Well, it seems I should have gotten around to it earlier as I found the place gone.

A media search found two stories on the closing, one from WFMB and one from The Sun News.

Apparently Rossi's closed in November of 2017 due to issues with the management of the Galleria plaza, where the restaurant had been located since its opening in 1983. The plan was to reopen at 7753 N. Kings Highway in April of 2018, but for some reason that never happened. I did find one Facebook reference to them pledging to "Try again", but nothing seems to have yet come to pass.

I guess if I have learned anything writing this blog, it's that when you think I ought to get around to that someday, you're asking for trouble if you don't.

Rosso, 4840 Forest Drive: 18 February 2019   2 comments

Posted at 7:21 pm in closing

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Well, this is a shame. Rosso was the follow-on operation in this corner of Trenholm Plaza to Tuesday Morning, and as you can see from the shots above, the space was completely gutted and remodeled in preparation for Rosso's arrival.

The place was a bit more upscale than I am, but over the years I liked to sit on the patio and have the Margherita Pizza (they didn't really have "normal" pizzas) while reading and watching the people go by. They often did have very good soups as well. If they had any weaknesses, it was that the bread was often some sort of rolls rather than something fresh baked and that they liked to monkey around with the Creme Brulee: No I don't want raspberry lemon-peel Creme Brulee or whatever, I want Creme Brulee Creme Brulee.

The place sold a few years ago, and went slightly more upscale with individual cloth towels in the bathroom. At that point, it also exhibited one of the warning signs, when the hours were changed to a significantly earlier closing. After that, I was rarely able to make it any more though I was hoping I would get a chance to revisit sometime during the Spring. Hopefully they will find a new spot.

(Hat tip to commenter Beth)

Written by ted on February 19th, 2019

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Vacchio's Greek & Italian Bistro & Lounge, 1505 Charleston Highway Suite A5: June 2018   1 comment

Posted at 12:00 am in closing

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I ate here twice for lunch, and both times got sort of a weird vibe and the impression the place wanted to be a night club more than a restaurant. The second time I was there, a girl came out of the kitchen and sat at a nearby table, crying. It was very uncomfortable, and I decided that was it for me.

(Hat tip to commenter David B)

Written by ted on July 19th, 2018

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Allstar Pizza, 1965 Augusta Highway: Fall 2016   no comments

Posted at 10:59 pm in closing

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Not sure exactly when Allstar closed, but Columbiafoodienews says that Papa Gios was prepping this spot to open on 16 December 2016, so Allstar must have been closed for probably a month or more by then. I'm just going to say "Fall 2016".

I do love me some pizza, but I never made it to this spot. Lexington is a good drive, and if it were normal hours, and I were going that far, I would probably get some Parthenon style pizza at Pizzeria Opa or it it were later, Uno.

Interestingly, Papa Gios seems to have all its locations in Orlando and the Midlands, which is a fairly unusual distribution.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Northern Style Pizza, 7210 Broad River Road: Summer 2016   1 comment

Posted at 11:11 pm in closing

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Northern Style Pizza replaced Touchdown's Wings & Things in this little Broad River Road endcap location, which had previously been a Sammi's Deli and probably a few other things before that.

The last Yelp review is from June of 2016, so I'm going with a "Summer 2016" closing date. The replacement operation, Papa Gio's, is also a pizza & Italian restaurant. Their sign says "Established 2007", so they must have moved here from another location, but not one I am familiar with.

Written by ted on May 8th, 2017

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Carrabba's Italian Grill, 200 Graces Way: 16 February 2017   70 comments

Posted at 11:56 pm in closing

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Well, I have to say I am not too surprised about this. I ate at this Carabba's with some regularity, and twice in recent months I arrived well before the posted closing time to find the place with the doors locked. During one period, they even changed the Friday/Saturday closing hours back from 11:00 to 10:00 or maybe 10:30, I forget, but the point is that changing the hours either officialy or by fiat is Sign #1. The last few times I was there, they had started an annoying laser light show in the parking lot as if to say We are still here, and we are fun!

I can't put it on this store, but the chain as a whole has done some things I don't like in recent years, such as doing away with the olive oil bottles at the tables, and eliminating my favorite goto dish, the Tagliarini Picchi Pacchiu.

Still, I liked it well enough that it continued to be on my list. I agree with commenter Sidney about Location, Location, Location!. The last time I ate here (probably only about a week ago) I had actually been heading for the Olive Garden around the corner fronting Two Notch, but it was too packed to deal with, so I drove around and found that.. not to be the case here.

If anyone is curious about the Pizza Buffet called out on the big sign, that has nothing to do with Carrabba's, but was for this operation. In fact, I think that sign is mostly for a Graces Way development that never developed. The places that *are* down there don't bother to list on the sign.

(Hat tip to commenter Steve)

Written by ted on February 18th, 2017

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Stromboli's Pizza & Wings, 4910 Bluff Road: late 2013   1 comment

Posted at 12:29 am in closing

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Commenter Mr. BO pointed out this Bluff Road closing after recently wanting a pizza on that side of town, but it appears that Stromboli's was gone long before that.

I wish I had known about this place when I was working out on Bluff Road, so that maybe I wouldn't have had to drive all the way to Garners Ferry to find a halfway decent lunch.

(Hat tip to commenter Mr. BO)

Written by ted on June 28th, 2016

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Stephano's, 420 Columbia Avenue: Mid May 2016   1 comment

Posted at 12:54 am in closing

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The State has the story of this Lexington closing for Stephano's. The long and short of it is the owners are retiring, and the building will re-open as The Root Cellar, "featur[ing] locally grown meats and produce".

It's still hard for me to believe that a restaurant opened in 1977 has been around almost 40 years -- 1977 seems like just yesterday.

UPDATE 9 June 2016 -- Here is The Free Times on 'The Root Cellar'

UPDATE 11 July 2016 -- The Root Cellar:

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Written by ted on June 8th, 2016

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Romano's Macaroni Grill, 148 Harbison Boulevard: May 2016   24 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing

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The first time I encountered Macaroni Grill was in Overland Park Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City). I used to get sent there often for contract work we were doing for US Sprint, which had a headquarters just a few blocks from the restaurant. It was a lively place, always crowded and with vigorous service: The servers would write their name in bold strokes on your table, and there were usually a few who would burst into Opera arias several times during a meal. The food was good too; they had an excellent Margherita pizza along with standard Italian dishes, and the bread was top-notch: large flavorful loaves served with cracked pepper and olive oil from bottles on the tables.

(The only negative about this particular place is that it has the distinction of being the only restaurant I've ever gone where the hostess implied that a bribe would get us seated..)

Anyway, after I stopped being sent to Kansas, I was glad to find that a Macaroni had opened in Columbia and I went a number of times, but it was never quite the same. There were definitely no singing servers, the Margherita pizza was off the menu and the bread loaves seemed smaller, and not as flavorful. I took a several year break after concluding that I had gotten mild food posioning after one visit, and the next time I went back, the place was almost empty, the menu was odd, the olive oil bottles were gone and I had the feeling that I was imposing on the staff by ordering food. When they brought the bill while I was still eating, and without offering me dessert (it was well before offical closing) I decided I was in no hurry to come back, and in fact did not.

Still, those were some good times back in the day..

(Hat tip to commenter Steve)

UPDATE 17 May 2017 -- I see that the Overland Park location I mention above has closed.

UPDATE 30 August 2017 -- The upfit to BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is done, and they will be open on 4 September 2017:

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Written by ted on May 16th, 2016

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Tony's Pizza Downtown / Tony's Italian Eatery, 1120 Washington Street: April 2016   4 comments

Posted at 12:14 am in closing

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Considering the place was open from 1981 and considering how much I like pizza and Italian food in general, I'm not sure how I was totally unaware of Tony's. Perhaps because of the location, if ever I saw it, I thought "no parking", or perhaps it's because they closed at 2:30 and it would always be later when I would drive by -- I don't really know. At any rate, this Washington Plaza storefront is vacant now.

(Hat tip to commenter Julie)

Written by ted on May 10th, 2016

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