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Salsarita's Fresh Mexican Grill, 2006 Devine Street: 24 May 2018   1 comment

Posted at 11:59 pm in closing

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I guess this train-stationesque building just was not meant to house a fast casual Mexican chain. If you will recall, this was the location of Qdoba until May of 2015, meaning that Salsarita's lasted about three years. The State's report is here.

Despite some stumbles locally in recent years, I have always been a Moe's partisan in the burritto wars. I hate the ambience at Chipolte, Qdoba burrittos always fell apart on me, and Barbaritos, at least locally, is Moe's lite, without the availability of ground beef. I had not really had an opinion on Salsarita's, not having been to one until recently. Finally having done that (though not at this location), I was a little weirded out when the staff took over my tray and brought it out to a table which was not the one I had been planning on. I honestly can't recall much about the food itself.

(Hat tip to commenter MB)

Written by ted on May 30th, 2018

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Fiesta Del Burro Loco, 960 Jason Boulevard (Myrtle Beach): 1 January 2018   1 comment

Posted at 11:58 pm in closing

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Burro Loco is a restaurant that has always interested me, because it seemed like it should be good, but never was. I have long had this place on an informal timeline where I would stop by about every five years to see if it was there yet, and it was due probably this year, but now it looks as though I will not get the opportunity.

The closing message on the restaurant site is pretty bland and noncommital (though it is nice that the staff were relocated). The Sun News essentially printed the same press release with no further information.

I find several things a bit curious however. First, there is no signage at the restaurant itself. Not your typical Closed for Renovations much less a more informative See us this fall! or whatever. Second, there is no indication at all that any work whatsoever has taken place here, despite four months having passed, and third, the door marquee indicates they were open until 10pm 7 days, not the 11pm weekend closing I would expect for a bar based hot-spot. I'm moved to suspect that the chain acted to stop the bleeding, but doesn't yet really have an idea what to do with the place. We'll see, and I hope I'm wrong as I would like to see this place finally get good.

Written by ted on May 7th, 2018

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Pancho's Mexican Restaurant, 5400 Forest Drive: 7 March 2018 (reflagged)   3 comments

Posted at 11:03 pm in closing

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My memory is a big vague, but I believe this restaurant (in the former Redbone Alley/Corky's building) actually started out as a San Jose, but that was causing some heartburn at the old Forest Drive San Jose which is now Pasta Fresca, so it was reflagged as Pancho's while still being in the San Jose family.

For whatever reason, that was undone on 7 March, and it is now officially a San Jose again (though some of the signs have yet to be changed).

Written by ted on March 8th, 2018

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Tijuana Flats, 106 Percival Road Suite 200: 4 March 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:24 pm in closing

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My sister mentioned that she had heard this place was closing, so I was able to get some interior shots in advance of that last week. I wish I had gotten the hot sauce bar, which was an impressive array of pumps.

Initially, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Tijuana Flats (and kept thinking it was Tortilla Flats for some reason..). It wasn't like a Moe's or Qdoba building hand-held burritos, and it wasn't really a sit-down Mexican restaurant, but somewhere in between the two. I finally figured it out though, and liked the place pretty well. In the summer, the front sidewalk was generally in the shade by the time I would get there, and it was nice to eat outside. In the winter, I liked to go the the back of the store and sit in the sunshine coming through the back windows. My only real criticisms are that I thought they needed a drink stand so you didn't have to go begging for refills (which they were happy to provide, but it's a quirk of mine) and I thought they should go with the sit-down Mexican restaurant concept of free salsa with the chips.

I'm pretty sure this is the first closing for the fairly new Jackson Square strip mall, though of course the whole former strip mall on the site was closed and razed years ago. The Tijuana Flats Lexington location remains open.

(Hat tip to my sister)

Written by ted on March 5th, 2018

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One Taco, Two Taco, 5225 Sunset Boulevard Suite A: December 2017   3 comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in closing

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According to the pictures from October 2016 above, One Taco Two Taco opened on 20 October 2016 in the former Buddy's Saucy Dogs location. From the notice posted on the door in the pictures below, it appears they lasted into November or December of 2017. I like tacos, but it's far enough away from me that I never go the chance to stop by.

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(Hat tip to commenter ED)

Written by ted on January 23rd, 2018

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Barberitos, 105 Saluda Pointe Court Suite B, October 2017   8 comments

Posted at 11:42 pm in closing

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Well Barberitos at Saluda Pointe is definitely gone, and it looks like a complicated situation.

I actually ate at this location at least four or five times. I first encountered Barberitos in Fernandina Beach Florida and enjoyed it there. At the time I found it, I put it in the category hierarchy below Moe's but above Qdoba & Chipolte (I have yet to visit a Salsarita). The way Moe's has been imploding locally lately, I might have moved it to a regular lunch spot if it were in Forest Acres.

One thing I do find odd about the Columbia locations (here and in the Vista), is that while the Florida stores have the expected ground beef filling available, the Columbia stores have only ground turkey -- I was somewhat put off by that, and went with the veggie option. I don't know why that choice was made, or if it had an impact on sales here. The place was always pretty quiet when I would drop by, but I eat lunch so late that's not a good indicator.

(Hat tip to commenter Jason)

El Burrito, 934 Harden Street: 24 April 2017   1 comment

Posted at 11:53 pm in closing

Well, today was the final call at El Burrito on Harden Street. In the event, I think I only ate there once or twice. It was good, but somewhat out of the way, and I tend to go to places with parking lots. Still, 16 years is a good run for a restaurant, especially in Five Points, and they went out on top of their game.

The Free Times has an interview with owner Suzi Sheffield which talks about the early years and the history of the building (which was originally a twin to the much remodeled Schiano's on Forest Drive).

Apparently it is still up in the air whether the developer who bought this and neighboring buildings will raze and build or just re-purpose.

UPDATE 12 July 2017 -- Finally got around to take some post-closing pix:

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Written by ted on April 24th, 2017

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Riveras Mexican Food, 646 Sunset Boulevard: January 2017   2 comments

Posted at 12:14 am in closing

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I was vaguely aware of this place, but never got around to checking it out. The stone facade is something you saw on a number of buildings from the 70s -- I don't think anyone does that anymore.

Apparently this little plaza was the site of a bit of martial history.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Written by ted on February 14th, 2017

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Eric's San Jose, 6118 Garners Ferry Road: 22 December 2016   3 comments

Posted at 10:54 pm in closing

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Well, this has already been discussed extensively on Have Your Say, but Eric's San Jose on Garners Ferry closed on Thursday 22 December 2016.

I believe I may have eaten in the building a few times when it was a steakhouse, but can only recall eating at Eric's once, when I found it of a piece with the Columbia Mexican restaurant scene: perfectly acceptable, but nothing special.

According to The Free Times:

Owner Eric Leon has sold the property to some developers who plan to build a cellular store and other retail shops...

UPDATE 8 February 2017 -- As mentioned in the comments, this building has been razed:

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UPDATE 6 June 2017 -- The new building is going up (pic from 19 May 2017):

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UPDATE 13 September 2017 -- The new building is almost done:

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UPDATE 25 October 2017 -- Now open as a Verizon location (relocated from here):

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UPDATE 21 May 2018 -- The new Eric's San Jose location at 4478 Rosewood Drive (the old Rooftop Pizza Pub location) is now open:

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Written by ted on January 4th, 2017

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Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen, 8717 International Drive (Orlando): October 2016   10 comments

Posted at 2:25 am in closing

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Well, Don Pablo's continues to dwindle away to nothing. As I wrote here, I used to like to go to the Columbia Mall location. Then when that closed, I was working in Augusta and used to like to go to that location. Then that closed, and I would hit the Charleston location from time to time, then that closed and I would stop by the Charlotte location once or twice a year, then that closed, and I would try to go to the Arlington location when I was in DC on business (hard if I had no car..), then that job evaporated and I would stop by the Atlanta location once a year or so, then that closed and I would hit the Greenville location when I had a leisurely weekend, then that closed, but I figured I could still hit the Orlando location on one of my periodic runs through Florida..

Well, no more. Orlando closed in October after the chain filed for Chapter 11 on 4 October 2016, as I found well after the fact.

It wasn't a total loss, driving down International, I had seen another Mexican place, Chuy's, so I backed up to there and had an excellent chile relleno, probably the best one I've had since I was in San Antonio.

Oh, and I don't think I know of a good way to be fired

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but this *definitely* is not it.

Written by ted on December 23rd, 2016

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