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Kentucky Fried Chicken / El Taco Casa / Sarullo#39;s / Birds On A Wire / Yo Burrito, 2631 Devine Street: Early June 2011   20 comments

Posted at 5:54 pm in Uncategorized

Well, this is already getting talked on on Have Your Say, so I may as well go ahead and post early today..

I realize this will get pushback from a lot of folks (sorry Jonathan!), but I never really found the food at Yo Burrito to be as good as the chain burrito stores. In particular I thought it didn't come close to my favorite, Moe's. The burritos always seemed on the dry side to me (particularly the rice), and while they had a lot of different types of salsa, they managed to do that without hitting on one I really liked (and they served it in ridiculously small cups). What I did like about the place was that the service was always friendly, and that they had a nice semi-patio area where you could sit and watch the passers by on Devine Street while sometimes a bird would hop in through the window -- I would do that for Sunday lunch from time to time. That may be possible again later -- note the "Thanks for 9 Years" door sign that says a new restaurant is coming this fall.

I'm pretty sure Yo Burrito started in Charleston, and that's where I first encountered them, at their original location near the College of Charleston Campus. There were famously evicted from there when the college took over the building, but were able to relocate in the same area. As far as I know they are still open in Charleston, but I have not checked..

Interestingly, I "learned" of this closing though my daily perusal of Google Analytics -- software that tells me what keywords people are searching for when they come to the site from search engines. Yesterday I got several hits on variations of "Yo Burrito closed", then commenter south mauldin confirmed it earlier today.

(Hat tip to commenter south mauldin).

UPDATE 8 June 2011: Verified El Taco Casa from the 1976 yellow pages, and I think we've talked about KFC starting here and then moving across the street before, so I added both to the post title. Also added Birds On A Wire based on the comments.

UPDATE 12 June 2011: Added "Sarullo's" based on the comments.

UPDATE 23 December 2011 -- Renovations are underway, and the place is to be Burger 77 Tavern in January of 2012:

UPDATE 20 March 2012 -- Burger 77 Tavern is open:

UPDATE 5 April 2012 -- Some better pictures:



Written by ted on June 7th, 2011

Tagged with , , , , , ,

20 Responses to 'Kentucky Fried Chicken / El Taco Casa / Sarullo#39;s / Birds On A Wire / Yo Burrito, 2631 Devine Street: Early June 2011'

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  1. As far as the Charleston Yo Burrito on Wentworth is concerned, I had heard that they were closing but can't confirm that they ever did or did not, so the Columbia closing was unexpected.


    7 Jun 11 at 9:34 pm

  2. If this is the same place, this is an old service station that was turned into a pizza joint back in 1976 or so. they left the car lift in and put a booth on top of it. They'd occasional raise the booth up. Wouldn't fly nowadays, but to a ten year old, it was a pretty darn cool concept.


    8 Jun 11 at 6:30 am

  3. Ate there once and though it was not bad, it was not great. With the advent of Moe's and Qdoba (right down the street), the burrito market is saturated!!

    My first visit to the building was when it was a KFC in the late 60's (actually had fried shrimp on the menu as well as chicken). It went mexican, then Bird's on a wire started there. I really, REALLY miss Bird's!


    8 Jun 11 at 2:15 pm

  4. This was the site of the original Birds on a Wire before it moved down Devine Street to where Cantina 76 is now.


    8 Jun 11 at 10:31 pm

  5. OK, that looks like a consensus -- I'll add BOAW too..


    8 Jun 11 at 10:35 pm

  6. Thanks for the mention, Ted! Yea, I enjoyed the shrimp burrito, the rajun cajun. I like Moe's as well. Moe's had fish tacos, but took them off the menu. It's the "more eclectic" menus I enjoy. I can get beef and chicken burritos anywhere...Still, a lot of people walk into a pizza place and order a pepporoni pizza so there is definitely a need for the ordinary. Yo had a pineapple/habanero salsa, I believe that I really enjoyed. You can't really fault them for the cup size, you could go back and get all you wanted (although it was an additional cost for the " saksa bar," unlike Moe's). Moe's has small cups as well. That way, there is less waste. I need to try Chipotle. Still, what we can all agree on, closings most of the time are a bad thing. This was an "independent" Mexican restaurant that shuttered.


    9 Jun 11 at 8:42 am

  7. Oh yeah, certainly didn't want it to close!


    9 Jun 11 at 9:52 am

  8. I especially enjoyed the cacti outside of the front door. They consisted of styrofoam spraypainted green with toothpicks sticking out of them.

    south mauldin

    9 Jun 11 at 12:22 pm

  9. Saw on another posting that ChiefDanGeorge said he ate there a couple of weeks ago and it had gone downhill. See, I ate there two years ago and it was stellar. If I'd eaten there recently, I might think different. We just did not get over there to Devine more often, and with the "saksa," um, "salsa" bar for two, lunch entree for two, with tip with two teas, ended up being a $26+ lunch. Can't do that much nowadays.


    9 Jun 11 at 2:45 pm

  10. If I recall this was Surillo's (sp?) Pizza before it became Birds???


    10 Jun 11 at 11:16 am

  11. I think the name was actually "Sarullo's," but I don't recall exactly which building it was in. I'm thinking the time frame was approximately 1978-1981?


    11 Jun 11 at 2:51 pm

  12. Yes - this was Sarullo's. Great pizza. Yo Burrito did not excite me. I think I went there twice.

    Anyway, I thought KFC was on the other side of Devine, where Shandon Pres. has parking now?


    12 Jun 11 at 3:02 pm

  13. OK, adding "Sarullo’s".

    I think we discussed the KFC thing before, and the consensus was that they started here and then moved across the street to 2630 Devine.


    12 Jun 11 at 6:47 pm

  14. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see Yo Burrito close down. The quality of their food had really gone downhill since last year. The last few times I was there, they didn't have my favorite salsa (the spicy chipotle flavor). Too bad.


    9 Aug 11 at 7:30 am

  15. I think before this was Sarullo's it was a place called "The Pizza Boat." I don't think I ever ate there, but I remember a big paddle wheel was painted on the side of the building.


    27 Oct 11 at 5:12 pm

  16. Hi Ted, Fantastic website, such a nostalgic trip, I love it. This was indeed Sarullos and I remeber going there in the early 90s. They closed in the mid 90s, I believe, and moved around the corner on King street across from where Mediterranean Tea Room is now, in a house next to that filling station. Pizza was FANTASTIC! Not sure why they couldnt stay open.


    16 Oct 13 at 3:17 pm

  17. Wow, thatís what I was looking for, what a stuff! present here at this weblog, thanks admin of this web page.


    25 Feb 16 at 11:36 am

  18. It was called "Sarullo's Pizza Boat" officially, but we just called it Sarullo's. My college apt was a few blocks down on Meadow st. We ate at Sarullo's whenever we could scrape up enough cash. Frank, the owner- his mother was Sicillian, he used her bread recipie... we LOVED it, it was really dense, & went great with his pasta. I tried to get the recipie on several occasions, but Frank wouldn't part with it!

    Brian Gilbert

    31 Mar 20 at 8:45 pm

  19. And before it was Sarullo's, it was a KFC. I remember going there when I was very young... 1968 or so? That was a big treat at our house.

    Brian Gilbert

    31 Mar 20 at 8:48 pm

  20. Originally, this building was a Sinclair gas station. Then it became a KFC. Someone once told me that it was the first KFC in Columbia, but I can't swear to that.


    1 Apr 20 at 10:45 am

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