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Archive for May, 2012

Virginia's Grille, 6039 Monticello Road: 2009   no comments

Posted at 12:40 am in Uncategorized












Virginia's Grille (or "Grill" in the phonebooks listings) looks to have been a walk-up Edna's type operation on Monticello Road, just north of I-20 (and near the Amoco Food Mart). Commenter tonkatoy indicated that he recalled a The State article on the place, but like him, I am unable to find anything in the online archives.

Interestingly, the property is currenly being offered for rent as retail rather than restaurant space.

Written by ted on May 9th, 2012

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La Bag Lady, 4840 Forest Drive #5: April 2012   no comments

Posted at 2:21 am in Uncategorized









I was never entirely sure whether this store in a corner of Trenholm Plaza next to the old Radio Shack location was LA Bag Lady as in Los Angeles or La Bag Lady as in kind of French. Their site uses the "La" capitalization, but goes on to namecheck L.A., so I'm still not entirely sure. At any rate, it was never a matter of prime importance to me as handbags are way down on the list of things I pay attention to.

Interestingly, all the phonebooks I have access to at home list only the Sandhill location for the shop, but this one definitely existed until very recently, as you can see in the picture at the top of Eden's Trenholm Plaza site page.

(Hat tip to commenter mamarose)

UPDATE 9 May 2012 -- Here are some pictures I dug up from Trenholm Plaza's redevelopment back in 2008. They are from 2 July and 5 September of that year:





Written by ted on May 8th, 2012

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Burns Auto Parts, 1315 Calhoun Street: 15 April 2012   2 comments

Posted at 1:08 am in Uncategorized











This Calhoun Street building has much more character than modern boxy auto parts stores and I especially like the style of the logo as well. The interior has an old fashioned look too, though I like that less well than the exterior. Judging from the door note, Burns was a family business, and 50 years is a nice long run and well deserved retirement.

(Hat tip to commenter GA Lemons)

Written by ted on May 7th, 2012

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Creative Kids Toyshop, 725 Saluda Avenue: late April 2012   no comments

Posted at 12:55 am in Uncategorized









I have to admit I wasn't aware of Creative Kids in Five Points until I heard it was closing, despite having bought a good number of toys the past several years. It looks to have been an interesting place (though that big guy up front is a little scary :-)

(Hat tip to commenter Mike D)

Written by ted on May 5th, 2012

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Building, 8707 Percival Road: 2000s(?)   5 comments

Posted at 11:19 pm in Uncategorized




This building on the north side of Percival Road, has kind of a "church" look to me, but there's no steeple, and no signage of any kind. I would expect more windows in a church as well..

Written by ted on May 3rd, 2012

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Austin's / Bove Restaurant & Bar / Pastaria 811, 11359 Ocean Highway / The Exchange: 2011 / 2012 (closed,moved)   6 comments

Posted at 12:56 am in Uncategorized


I never went to Bove as my impression of it was always that it was too tony a spot for me to be a regular. It was the type of place that had named chefs and a deep wine selection.

Some time last year, it occurred to me that I never saw any cars there, and I stopped to take a look. There was no indication whatsoever that the place was closed, in fact there was what seemed to be a unique-for-the-day menu posted on the door and all the fixtures were in place. However, that menu never changed, and now that I was paying attention, there were no cars ever.

Bove was on US-17 in Pawleys Island, just north of the Sonic and south of the new Fresh Market. A few miles north on 17 in Litchfield Beach is an office complex and small mall called The Exchange.

My memory is that The Exchange was built in the late 1970s or early 1980s as a very upscale place. I particularly remember that on the north side of the gallery, just above where the tourism office now is (if indeed *that* is still there..) there was a specialty cheese shop, with all sorts of exotic cheeses that you could not (then) find in a typical grocery. There were also jewelers and upscale clothing botiques as well as some art galleries. Well -- it was simply a place that the Grand Strand was not ready for. First, I doubt they truly realized how seasonal the market was -- just because things looked good in June and July didn't mean that you would see customer-one in October, and second, that's not the kind of crowd that came to the beach in those days. Certainly now there are a bunch of well off retirees, but people toting a load of kids to the beach and Pavilion weren't going to have the time or inclination to peruse fancy cheeses -- essentially what happened is that every original tenant went bust over a very short period of time.

The second incarnation of the place was as an art mall. There were several galleries, one of which was very good and stayed many years and others which came and went. There were also spaces for painting classes and exibits and a couple of artist studios.

During this phase one of the long term tenants, The Coffee & Chocolate House opened. I never could understand how they subsisted on the meager foot traffic, but finally decided that mostly the place was a work area for their catering which seemed to carry them (and as far as I know they are still there).

The other long term non-art tenant was Pastaria 811. They were in a back slot which had originally (during the inital incarnation of The Exchange) been some sort of deli, and were a very good Italian restaurant. In fact, I would say they have the best bread on the Grand Strand, and one of the best pizzas in South Carolina (curiously, the other best pizza in SC is now less than a mile removed). In addition, the salads and pasta dishes like "stuffed shells" were quite good as well.

I should probably have tried to cut down the number of pictures of the place that are below after the break, but I'm a little sentimental about it as I ate there with both my mother and father.

As the years passed I ate there less frequently because my hours gradually shifted to the point I would go out to lunch at 3:00, and the Pastaria is one of those places that closes between lunch (ends at 2:30) and dinner (starts at 4:00), but still I would catch pizza there every now and then.

A year or two ago they did a major expansion, opening a new dining room area in what had been part of the Chocolate & Coffee House space (in the meantime, the good art gallery had moved in with the Coffee house), so I was very surprised, after they went to that expense, to hear that they were moving. I can only figure that 1) The Exchange was continuing to implode and they feared for its future stability and 2) The opportunity to get a building directly on US-17 that was already outfitted as a restaurant was too good a deal to pass up.

At any rate, they started moving into the old Bove space in January, and are now up and running. I went by recently, and the bread, stuffed shells and pizza are just as good from the new kitchen as the old.

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Hmm..   no comments

Posted at 11:06 pm in Uncategorized


Written by ted on May 1st, 2012

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Tony O's Pizza, 780 Saint Andrews Road: late 2011   18 comments

Posted at 10:59 pm in Uncategorized











Tony O's Pizza is the follow-on operation to Steak Out, in a little building next to the Waffle House (and in front of Cussin' Bill's) just west of the I-26/Saint Andrews Road interchange.

I had noticed some time late last year that it was a Friday or Saturday night, prime pizza time, and the place didn't seem to be open. I wasn't totally sure as it was rather late. Even stopping by didn't settle matters, since as far as I could tell, everything inside was ready-to-go and there was no posted sign. The fact that the door was chain locked seemed unusual, but not conclusive.

Finally I stopped by one night and there was a sign on the door indicating an emergency and that the place would re-open in early March. I certainly hope everybody is OK, but it seems clear now that at the least, the place is closed for an extended period (though the sign is now gone).

UPDATE 19 May 2012 -- As commenter Andrew notes, the signs for Tony O's have now been taken off the building, so I'm taking "temporary?" off the post title:



UPDATE 23 June 2012 -- As mentioned in the comments, this is to be another Nick's, and the "coming soon" sign is already up:

UPDATE 12 September 2012 -- Work continues on Nick's:



Written by ted on May 1st, 2012

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