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Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 114 Afton Court: May 2013   5 comments

Posted at 1:15 am in Uncategorized

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Here's another closed Monterrey on the west side of the metro area.

Afton Court seems to be something of a hard-luck street over the last several years with the closing of Ritz Camera (though technically on another street) and more recently Bailey's.

I like the use of steps on this lot, including a set descending towards the adjacent movie theater.

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

Written by ted on June 3rd, 2013

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Rosa Linda's Restaurant & Taproom, 3415 US-17 (Murrells Inlet): April 2013 (arguably)   no comments

Posted at 1:00 am in Uncategorized

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Well, this is no surprise I'm afraid.

I've told how the original Rosa Linda's was the first Mexican (ish) restaurant where I was a regular, and an important part of my beach trips from the 80s into the oughties, so I was quite excited when the original Rosa Linda's family started to re-establish the restaurant in the former Hoof 'n' Finz in Murrells Inlet where US-17 business and US-17 bypass reconverge around Inlet Square Mall.

When they finally re-opened, everything tasted exactly as I had remembered it, from the yellow rice to the pinto beans flavored with crisp bits of lightly cooked onion. My only disappointment was that the new floor plan (and possibly elevation..) did not make a pizza oven possible as I had really loved the pizzas in the old locations. (And after all it was "The Mexican / Italian Connection").

My only concern was that attendance seemed very light the times I was there, and sure enough I found it closed on one of my 2011 trips.

Later, I heard it was open again, but the story seemed a bit confusing. Basically piecing things together from the Rosa Linda's Facebook page, and some things that local restaurant writer Becky Billingsley (who often seems to know more than she puts down) had written (here, here, here, and here)., I think the story was this: The original owners had a silent partner in the re-establishment of Rosa Linda's and when the initial financial goals weren't met, the silent partner took over the operation with some grandiose plans for making it a chain.

I was a bit reluctant to go back, as the original manager knew me by sight if not by name, and I didn't want to undercut her, but after I saw that they had moved to Texas, I figured it would be OK to check it out. My thought was that the new management would have tinkered with the menu, possibly adding some standard Mexican fare such as chile rellenos etc while keeping the signature items in place. In fact that was not the case, and the menu was completely new without any of the historical Rosa Linda's items. I thought it was acceptable, but gave me no reason to come to Rosa Linda's in preference to the many other Mexican restaurants on the strand. I mean, no Mexicana Mud? Come on!

After that, the place showed the dreaded Rule #1 from signs your favorite restaurant will soon be closing: The hours changed. More to the point, though the place was not supposed to be seasonal, it closed for the winter with a note on the roadside marquee that it would be open again in March. When I went down in March, the sign said it would be open again in April. I think we all know how that story ends! When I went down in early May, the branding signs (except for the parking lot marker) had all been taken down, there were Home Depot boxes and packing tape inside, and the new phonebooks sat in lonliness outside the front doors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on May 14th, 2013

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Taco Cid / San Jose Restaurante Mexicano, 604 Columbia Avenue: 2007 (moved)   7 comments

Posted at 11:40 pm in Uncategorized

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Here's an interesting little restaurant building in Lexington. It was last a San Jose until that operation relocated to 115 North Point Drive, but the building obviously predates that. It has a familiar look, but I can't quite place it. I would say the front extension was not part of the original building.

The building looks a bit forlorn now, but the murals are a nice touch.

UPDATE 22 April 2013: Added Taco Cid to the post title based on the comments and the 1985 phonebook.

Written by ted on March 27th, 2013

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Taco Bell, 515 West Main Street (Lexington): 4 April 2011 (moved)   10 comments

Posted at 1:47 am in Uncategorized

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As mentioned in the comments on the Lexington Blockbuster this adjacent old-school Taco Bell moved to a new store a couple of years ago. Personally I like these Southwestern style locations more than the "modern" style they have adopted recently. Several in Columbia have been repurposed recently (though the one on Knox Abbott is still vacant), but this one looks as though it may be too far gone for that.

UPDATE -- Work is underway:

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UPDATE 17 February 2014 -- Now a Cook Out:

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Written by ted on March 18th, 2013

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Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 5570 Sunset Boulevard Suite 1: January 2013   3 comments

Posted at 12:51 am in Uncategorized

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Well, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. It certainly appears to be the latter case here. This Monterrey is in the strip mall associated with the Sunset Boulevard Wal-Mart in Lexington, and, given the manger scene still not taken down, appears to have closed sometime around Christmas.

(Hat tip to commenter Beth)

Written by ted on February 9th, 2013

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El Toro Mexican Grill, 806 Saint Andrews Road: Thanksgiving 2012   6 comments

Posted at 12:48 am in Uncategorized

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This spot on Saint Andrews Road just east of the I-26 interchange has been much restauranted over the years as you can see here, here, here and here.

In general my theory is that it's too hard to get back to I-26 from this spot, or indeed to do anything requiring coming out of the parking lot and going westbound on Saint Andrews Road. In this case though, there may have been other factors in play as sadly a security guard was shot and killed here on 25 August 2012 as detailed in this State story. While it appears the culprits were caught, that incident certainly has to have given people pause. And while it appears to have been related to a late-night switchover to night-club operation, still I would have hesitated to go myself after that even during the day. I certainly would not have taken any kids.

At any rate, the place seems to have kept on until Thanksgiving at which time they closed down, and did not re-open as planned. Curiously letters are already peeling from the roadside sign, and missing from the rooftop marquee.

UPDATE 27 Jan 2013: Added the bouncy-castle picture of the Grand Opening.

Written by ted on January 5th, 2013

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San Jose Restaurante Mexicano, 801 Sparkleberry Lane: October 2012 (temporary?)   3 comments

Posted at 11:52 pm in Uncategorized

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I haven't eaten here too often, but it was fine the times I did, and it has certainly managed to outlast most of the other restaurants in the Sparkleberry Crossing development, so I'm a little curious about what's going on at the San Jose on Sparkleberry Lane. I take it that the place will reopen after the facade work currently in progress, but I'm puzzled as to why it's being done in the first place. As I recall it, the building looked nice enough, and rather southwestern, with its stucco exterior. I can't see that adding bricks over that will improve things (though from the work around the side windows, it will still have a bit of southwestern flair), and it certainly can't be cheap.

UPDATE 13 December 2012: Updated the closing date from "December 2012" to "October 2012" based on commenter Sidney's info.

Written by ted on December 10th, 2012

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San Jose Foods Inc Distribution & Warehouse, 1160 1st Street South Extension: 2010s   no comments

Posted at 1:21 am in Uncategorized

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Given that the San Jose Mexican restaurants are still around, I suspect their supply operation has moved rather than closed, but I noticed this warehouse for sale in an industrial park off of Bluff Road the other day (the park is where you see that huge flag flying on the side of I-77).

Written by ted on November 7th, 2012

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El Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Bar & Grill, 2219 Broad River Road: August 2012   15 comments

Posted at 12:24 am in Uncategorized

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Continuing yesterday's Mexican theme -- I have often noted this El Monterrey on Broad River Road, just North of I-20, and thought to myself that it was in an awful location: very close to the I-20 interchange (which is busy, and backs up) but without access to a traffic light.

That turns out not to be exactly true, as I found out when I stopped to take these pictures. In fact, the back of the parking lot has a cut-through into the Economy Inn parking lot, and thence to Briargate Circle, which does have a stop-light. It even looks as though they got enought business from the hotel side (or expected to get enough business from the hotel side) to set up the back of the restaurant with a second facade.

Apart from the access situation, I was never tempted to stop here because in my experience the local Monterrey chain comes in behind the Casa Linda, San Jose and La Fogota chains -- nothing drastic, just not one of my preferred marquees. (And if I was in the general area, I would probably hit El Chico anyway).

(Hat tip to commenter Thomas)

UPDATE 8 April 2014 -- Well, this place tried to open as La Reyna Del Sur, which I take to be a nightclub concept. Literally it means "Queen of the South", and is also the title of a famous Telemundo telenovela (and the novel it is based on). Just from the picture of the lady in question, it appears she was from *very* far south. At any rate, the sign went up, but the club never opened, and now the building is for sale:

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Written by ted on August 24th, 2012

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Qdoba Mexican Grill, 6070-A Garners Ferry Road: Late July 2012   4 comments

Posted at 12:46 am in Uncategorized

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Here's another Qdoba gone. I know the chain has also lost two stores on the Grand Strand in the last few years, so I have to wonder how well they are doing overall. I have to admit that I have not been impressed the three or four times I have stopped at a Qdoba. In particular, the burritos tend to fall apart quite easily and spectacularly, something that almost never happens at my favorite chain in this category, Moe's. (Barberitos is pretty good too, though we have none locally). On the other hand, commenter mamarose who reported this closing says that the Five Points store is doing quite well.

As of 21 August 2012, the electronic billboard near the Rosewood / Garners Ferry intersection was still advertising for the Woodhill location.

(Hat tip to commenter mamarose)

Written by ted on August 23rd, 2012

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