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Pizzera Opa, 7320 Broad River Road: August 2018   1 comment

Posted at 10:28 pm in closing

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Well this one is a shame. Pizzera Opa was the new name for Zorba's Express which was here in the Publix plaza for many years, and was the follow-on restaurant for the crew from The Parthenon in Five Points. The Parthenon was my favorite pizza in town, and when I was living in Aiken, I would come back to Columbia on weekends and take my father to The Parthenon Saturnday evenings.

When I discovered Zorba's Express, the pizza was just as good as ever, and the manager, who remembered me from the Five Points days, would always come out and say hi. Unfortunately, the new location was just too far out for me to visit more than a handful of times; I wish it would have been more, and I wish them well.

(Hat tip to commenter IrmoJeff)

Written by ted on November 14th, 2018

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Firenza Pizza, 5232 Sunset Boulevard Suite G: September 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:18 pm in closing

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I did another closing for Firenza on a store on Bower Parkway that never actually opened.

This one, in the Lowes plaza in Lexington actually did open, but not for too long. The State pegs the Grand Opening as 9 January 2018, with various free pizza promotions, so that was a run of about 9 months.

I had to check online to make sure I had the right place as there is no sign on the door, and all the fixtures inside look to be at the ready for the next day of customers (It was raining hard enough that I didn't get any pictures of the inside). It appears from looking at the company web site that this was the only store in South Carolina, and that the closest location is now in Charlotte.

So far Mod is the only one of this current wave of "fast" pizza places that I have tried. It's starting to look like perhaps a number of them built out too fast.

(Hat tip to commenter James R)

Written by ted on September 18th, 2018

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Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, 610 Main Street: July 2018   4 comments

Posted at 11:18 pm in closing

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Uncle Maddio's was the follow-on in this location for Jasmine Deli & Cafe and opened sometime in 2013. I never ate there, and had not realized until looking at this post that in fact Uncle Maddio's is a chain of franchaises based in Atlanta, and is another fast casual pizza concept like Persona, Blaze, and Firenza.

Looking at the company web site, it appears this was the only South Carolina location, and the next closest is in Charlotte.

Written by ted on August 16th, 2018

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Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria, 1202 Main Street: July 2018   4 comments

Posted at 11:06 pm in closing

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The signage still posits this closing as temporary, but the Free Times has verified that it is, in fact, permanent.

This spot has been the home of a number of restaurants over the years, including Capitol Cafe, Cat & Cleaver, Dunkin' Donuts (almost), Fever, and Roll Call Deli.

I never ate at Persona due to the fact that I rarely go downtown at lucnch time, and would go some place with parking if I did. I will say that I would not use that name for a restaurant as the first thing I think of is Persona Non Grata..

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

Written by ted on August 13th, 2018

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Persona Pizza / Firenza Pizza, 1270 Bower Parkway Suite C: March 2018 (coming?)   6 comments

Posted at 12:02 am in closing

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Firenza is an interesting name for a pizza place because it suggests both "fire" and Italy (Firenza is the native name for the city we call by the exonym "Florence").

Fast casual pizza is now officially a thing, and Firenza is one of the chains in that market. This particular store, in Columbiana Station has not been here long. Commenter Heath reported in November of last year that this slot opened as a Persona Pizza and was just converting to Firenza at that point. Actually, Persona is the only one of these chains I have been to, and I was happy with my meal at the Woodhill location, so I'm not averse to checking out Firenza, Blaze or 1000 Degrees. Interestingly, as you can see in the pictures, there is a Blaze just across the street from this location.

Exactly what is going on here is a bit cryptic, but apparently it is an upfit of some sort and Firenza promises to return.

(Hat tips to commenters Heath & James R)

UPDATE 23 March 2018 -- Hmm, commenter Heath notes that apparently the place never actually opened as Firenza after Persona shut down. Maybe they got distracted by the Lexington opportunity. Anyway, I'm changing the title line qualifier from "(temporary)" to "(coming?)".

Written by ted on March 23rd, 2018

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Pizza Man, 341 South Woodrow Street: 15 October 2017   6 comments

Posted at 1:50 am in closing

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To a first approximation, Pizza Man on Woodrow seemed like the kind of place I would like: Open late & serving pizza.

In the actual event, I only ended up going there once. The pizza was a style I didn't really care for, and was a bit overcooked, and the place was so dim that I could hardly see a page while I waited for my order. I probably should have given it another chance, but in the end never got around to it.

Here is a State story on the (then upcoming) closing, and here is a story on the final auction.

(Hat tip to commenter Justin & co)

Read the rest of this entry »

Rooftop Pizza Pub, 4478 Rosewood Drive: November 2017   1 comment

Posted at 11:21 pm in closing

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I never managed to eat at this place, former location of Moe's Grapevine, although I tried once. As I recall, I stopped by one Friday evening about 9:50 and found the place in the process of closing. I was quite surprised that a "Pizza Pub" would close at 10PM on a Friday night. To be fair, they offered to make me a pizza anyway, but I really dislike being in a place that is actively trying to close, especially if I am the only customer, which I was, so I passed.

In retrospect, being empty on a Friday evening was not a good augury for the longevity of this place, and unfortunately that now seems true.

Here is The State story on the pre-opening of the place, and here is the Free Times story on the finalized "Detroit Pizza" theme.

And in the meantime, Well, well:

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(Hat tip to commenter badger)

UPDATE 21 May 2018 -- Eric's San Jose is now open in this location:

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Written by ted on November 13th, 2017

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Gina's Pizza 2 Go, 6903 Saint Andrews Road: Summer 2017   3 comments

Posted at 12:38 am in closing

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Gina's was the follow-on in this building to Little Caesar's & Custom Pizza. As far as I can tell from the Yelp reviews, they must have closed some time between June and late August of 2017. I never partook as I don't do take-out, and it's way away for me, but the reviews are pretty good.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on October 6th, 2017

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Embers Woodfired Pizza & Grill, 843 Polo Road Suite 4: 2017   1 comment

Posted at 11:29 pm in closing

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Embers moved into the old Pie-Tanza location in this upscale little strip mall on Polo Road probably some time in 2014. In the event, I ate there once, and decided it was ok, but nothing special enough to make the drive. (I do recall that they had fixed the water pressure issues in the bathroom that had affected Pie-Tanza).

When I was out that way today to use the contract Post Office in the convenience store, I noticed a new nameplate on the building. The new tenant is Upper Crust, also a pizza establishment. Since their sign proclaims that they were founded in 2017 (17 March 2017 according to The State), that's what I will use as the closing date for Embers.

Written by ted on July 14th, 2017

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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)

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