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Citta del Cotone, 2150 Sumter Street: 15 June 2019   2 comments

Posted at 11:16 pm in closing

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I was unaware of this newish pizza joint until commenter Heath mentioned that it was closing. It's down the section of Sumter Street north of Elmwood, someplace I hardly ever go. Apparently a co-owner made himself notorious on social media recently and that hurt business, or at least that's the take at The State. Well, I don't do social media, so I missed all that, and anyway apparently that gentleman is no longer involved with the restaurant, so I decided I would check it out before it closes on Saturday.

It's a very small place, with only one lowtop table that I would pick as a favorite, but there is also some bar and hightop seating. You order at the counter, but they do bring the food to the table. They are fancy enough that they don't have pepperoni as an ingredient, so I ordered the Pizza Margherita (pictured above). I thought it was pretty good. The crust could have been a little crisper, and I whould have preferred a basil leaf on each slice, but it was quite tasty. I could never be a regular here because they do not have fresh brewed tea, but they do have some beer, wine and bottled drinks.

Here are stories on the closing from The Free Times and Cola Daily

(Hat tip to commenter Heath)

Written by ted on June 13th, 2019

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Pho Viet, 2300 Decker Boulevard: 28 March 2019 (Moving)   2 comments

Posted at 12:55 am in closing

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The Free Times reports that Pho Viet closed on 28 March of this year, something that I had not noticed.

I have only had Pho once, and it was here. I thought it was quite good, but I didn't care for the fact that they only allowed one tea refill.

This building was originaly a Burger King, and after that, it was a Zesto. In fact, you can still see the Zesto influence on the drive-through and Thank You signs.

The Free Times also reports that this is not the end for Pho Viet but that they are moving to 9308 Two Notch Road. This is the former site of Farm Bureau Insurance, and in fact that building was setting up to be a restaurant called First Class Bar & Grill which never came to fruition, but which probably cut down on the prep work for Pho Viet.

On a semi-related matter, there is apparently some type of major construction going on in this plaza, judging from the storage containers all about. I have seen a number of Food Lion stores being upfitted recently, so perhaps that is is, though I did not see any evidence of construction at Food Lion itself.

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Palmetto Kitchen, 3330 Highmarket Street (Georgetown): Late 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:38 pm in closing

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I had noticed this restaurant on US-17 ALT/US-521 heading into Georgetown for years, but never ventured to stop in as I knew nothing about it, and the timing was usually bad. My assumption was that it was a meat-and-three. That appears to be incorrect, as a bit of googling reveals that it was more of a seafood operation (though there was country cooking), and that it may have had its own boat for seafood supplies.

There were no cars the last few times I drove by, and in January of 2019, there was a real estate sign on the place. On my coastal visit over Memorial Day, I noticed that all of the Palmetto Kitchen signage is now down as well. Looking at the place's Facebook page I think that unfortunately the owner passed away and that the place closed not long afterwards.

Cellar On Greene, 2001 Greene Street Suite D: 25 May 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:48 pm in closing

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Cellar On Greene is on the West side of the Claussen's building, and adjacent to another restaurnt under the same ownership, Mr. Friendly's. I have never been by, but google says:

Creative pub plates are doled out in a chic space with wines, craft beers & a retail wine shop.

The owner says the place will probably become a catering operation, Fat Beagle Catering. The State has the story here.

Written by ted on May 22nd, 2019

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Al-Amir, 1734 Main Street: April 2019 (Moving)   3 comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in closing

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Al-Amir is on the move again. They have had locations on Devine Street (twice), South Main, Saint Andrews Road, Sparkleberry Crossing and Sandhill.

Now they have left the old Elite Epicurean location at 1734 Main Street, and are relocating north to the old Taste Of China Hut at 2431 Main Street.

The State has two relevant articles. The first mentions the challenges of running a restaurant at that location:

"At night, the lighting here is bad and there are homeless people, and people doing drugs (along Laurel St.)," he said.

It feels unsafe, but he hears that Columbia Police are putting a substation in the former United Way location at 1800 Main St.

"After 18 years (in the business overall, Al-Amir has been on Main St. since 2014) and pouring every penny we have into the place, we've had to maneuver to keep the restaurant," he said. "We have loyal customers ... there just isn't enough to sustain the business."

To draw a bigger lunch crowd, they added some Southern specialties, but I have to think given they can't season with pork, that would be a pretty limited endevour.

The second article continues the story, with its outcome: the move down the street.

I like Al-Amir, but for me the biggest issue with this location was parking. The old Taste Of China Hut does have its own parking lot, so hopefully that will be better. I also wish that it was easier to get what I want sometimes. The way the menu is set up makes it difficult to put together my favorites.

I'm not sure when the new location will be ready. It looked very much still in progress when I drove by a few weeks ago.

(Hat tip to commenter Mr_hat)

Written by ted on May 17th, 2019

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Shooey Malone's, 1605 North Lake Drive: 30 April 2019   5 comments

Posted at 11:54 pm in closing

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Well, here we are again at 1605 North Lake Drive, the former home of Dam Bar & Grill, Bentley's Beach House, and Mari's Lake House & Levi's Lake House.

I have to confess, that being so far from the spot, I have never visited any of these incarnations. It seems like a reasonable location. While it doesn't actually have a lake view, it is close enough to the lake that it will be about the first restaurant people returning to Lexington will see, and there doesn't seem to be any competition in the immediate vicinity.

Based on the history, I expect another restaurant here before long, and I wish them luck.

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on May 15th, 2019

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Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, 130 Forum Drive Suite 14: 21 April 2019   1 comment

Posted at 11:45 pm in closing

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I have to admit that the one time I tried Rita's (the one in Harbison) I was not impressed. I had the Key-lime ice, and it had such an after-taste that I eventually had to buy a salty snack to chase it with. Perhaps I would have been happier with custard.

At any rate, the one at Sandhill is now gone, leaving just the Lady Street location locally. Of course as there is now apparently a Pelican's on every corner, your options for slushes are still pretty good.

Written by ted on May 14th, 2019

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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.

Domino's Pizza, 9810 Two Notch Road Suite B: May 2019 (moved)   no comments

Posted at 11:04 pm in closing

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Domino's at Polo Plaza has moved across the parking lot and around the corner to the freestanding building at 9814 Two Notch Road, which used to house Blockbuster Video and then A Goodnight Sleepstore.

As you can see from the pictures, they are only occupying the north half of the building, and the south half is still for lease.

(Hat tip to commenter LD)

Blue Cactus Cafe, 2002 Greene Street Suite H: 3 May 2019   no comments

Posted at 10:37 pm in closing

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To the best of my memory, I have only eaten at the Korean/Southwestern Blue Cactus Cafe once, probably in the late 80s, when it lived up to its reputation of being quirky and slow, but with good food. Since then, it has changed ownership within the family, and has now finally closed.

The Free Times has the story.

The storefront is in an interesting location: A sort of sunken walkway along the front (back?) of a large building with many other tenants. It's not hard to get to, other than the usual Five Points parking issues, but if you are just driving by, you would never know it was there.

(Hat tip to commenter ED)

Written by ted on May 7th, 2019

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