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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 534 Saint Andrews Road: 2000s   5 comments

Posted at 12:49 am in closing

When they initially started out, I liked Ryan's a good bit. When I was living & working in Fayetteville, there were a couple of years where I ate lunch at Ryan's several times a week. I particularly enjoyed the salad bar, which I believe they had dubbed The Mega-Bar because it had peanuts instead of sunflower seeds and wheels of cheddar slices of which went well with the large, hot yeast rolls. About the only drawback was that the lettuce was shredded rather than torn.

After I left Fayetteville, it was a number of years before I ate at a Ryan's again. As it happened, I was in Georgetown one afternoon and stopped in at the US-707 location. I'm afraid I found it much less appealing that I had remembered. I found the chairs clunky and uncomfortable and the salad bar was much diminished, with no cheese, rolls or peanuts. I later talked to a friend of mine who at the time was writing cash-register and point-of-sale software for the restaurant industry, and he said he had heard that the owners of the Ryan's brand were unhappy and felt that a number of their franchises had trashed the brand's reputation. (Their solution was to open a new chain called Fire Mountain to go into areas where the Ryan's name was bad).

Anyway, I don't know exactly what happened to this Ryan's on Saint Andrews. It may have been an exemplary store which simply suffered from the location and the chain's falling fortunes, but whatever reason, the building is now not even a restaurant at all, but has been converted to offices.

Written by ted on February 8th, 2009

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5 Responses to 'Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 534 Saint Andrews Road: 2000s'

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  1. I'm pretty sure the St Andrew Ryan's closed right around the time the Fire Mountain, which is now back to being called Ryan's, opened in Harbison. I always just assumed they had "moved" the business there.

    A side note about the Harbison Fire Mountain/Ryan's: It seems to be going down the same path as Ted outlined in his original post. Anyone who ate there a couple times when it first opened and then didnt eat there for a couple of years would be sorely disappointed now. I remember the first time i went there, just after it opened, and the grill chef basically forced me to take multiple pieces of steak, chicken and sausage from the huge mound of food warming on the grill. Just a couple of weeks ago, i had to wait while the guy working that night took 10 minutes of his valuable time to do me the favor of overcooking me a steak.

    Not to mention it cost my family of four(2 adults a 12 yr old and a 9 yr old) almost 50 dollars with tip to eat there. I doubt we'll be back.


    9 Feb 09 at 12:28 am

  2. I think you're right about them closing it when fire mountain opened.

    I go to the one on Charleston highway sometimes and it's okay. They are pretty slow about bringing food out. Onetime they had about 5 different kinds of chicken (which I don't care for) and no other kinds of meats. I don't think I've been back since.

    Mr Bill

    9 Feb 09 at 11:41 am

  3. The history of Ryan's is a shame. Just like some of the older steak houses that have closed, Ryan's chain is doomed. IMHO, Ted is correct, when Ryan's served the Mega Bar, everything was fresh. Then some bright person at corporate started cutting corners. Ryan's used to have the best fried chicken wing legs in the business. They changes brands years ago to a more "crusty" style that almost breaks your teeth.

    Then they changed the name from Ryan's Steak House to Ryan's. Steak was almost removed from the menu expect for certain nights and what they are serving is not even close to select beef. (Road Kill)

    Last time we went to Ryan's in Lexington, the food was just about not fit to eat. Why can't the chains figure out the simple rule, keep it simple and offer value at a fair price. Feeding a family of four with terrible food for $50+ will not keep me coming back. Remember when you used to walk in and order your meal? Now you just get to go to the trough.


    27 Jul 09 at 3:05 pm

  4. I agree. I live near the one in West Columbia and it usually sucks. I remember they used to have really good chicken fingers on the bar but not anymore just about 10 different ways of cooking chicken that has no taste. I love it when they put burgers on the bar but when they run out it takes a hour to get more out there.


    28 Jul 09 at 1:29 pm

  5. Ate many a Sunday lunch here after church, and had soccer/basketball/baseball banquets here growing up. I miss the Putt-Putt a few doors down even more.


    30 Jan 13 at 2:41 pm

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