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Archive for the ‘steaks’ tag

Kingsman Restaurant / Griffin Chophouse / Royal Butcher, 924 East Main Street (Lexington): 18 March 2023   4 comments

Posted at 10:44 pm in closing














Griffin Chophouse replaced Kingsman Restaurant in this spot in 2020 (the Parkland Plaza location of Kingsman remaining open) and closed in mid-March of this year. There was also another location of Griffin Chophouse in Chapin which closed as well. Royal Butcher, also in this building, was apparently under the same ownership as the Chophouse and closed at the same time.

The current plan is that the space will re-open soon as a new restaurant, Bone-Appetite, although the site given for that operation does not seem to exist yet. The Lexington Chronicle has a good article explaining the ins-and-outs of the situation.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on April 26th, 2023

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JP's 4 Corners Southwest Grill, 150 Forum Drive: September 2017   5 comments

Posted at 11:29 pm in closing





















JP's 4 Corners was the followup operation to Arizona's and kept some of the same menu after the switchover. Since you could get a burger there, I would have been happy enough to try it out, but in the event never got around to it, especially as both Five Guys and Red Robin are also located at Sandhill.

I have to say that the reviews at Open Table are interesting to say the least, and almost prompt me to add a Sign #7 to the Signs Your Favorite Restaurant Is About to Close list:

7) Your restaurant is in Columbia South Carolina, and has no air conditioning during the month from Mid July to Mid August.

As far as I can tell, the Greenville location is still open, or at least no reviewers have noted it as closed yet. I believe that one also was once an Arizona's. The Web Site does appear to be down however as at least one review does note.

(Hat tip to commenter Steve)

UPDATE 4 May 2019 -- This place is refitting as Yummi Crab:




UPDATE 18 December 2019 -- Yummi Crab is now open:


Written by ted on September 18th, 2017

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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 8671 Highway 17 Bypass: 6 March 2016   1 comment

Posted at 11:45 pm in closing














Another day, another .

This location of the floundering chain apparently closed on 6 March, along with the Conway store, leaving the North Myrtle Beach location as the only one in Horry County (I have not checked on the one Georgetown location).

This particular parcel is behind Walmart at the southeast corner of the intersection of US-17 Bypass and SC-544. The area is still growing, with an active Kohl's/Home Depot strip across from Walmart and a Target anchored strip on the northwest corner. This resturant itself apparently did a very good business, but the problems of the parent chain nonetheless dragged it down.

Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 5579 Sunset Boulevard: February 2016   5 comments

Posted at 12:09 am in closing







There's not much to say about the closing of the Lexington Ryan's that hasn't been said elsewhere. I will note that I am a little surprised that this store, and the Two Notch Store both still have all the branding and signage up. Usually when a company that is still active closes a store, they like to get that down quickly to avoid associating the chain with failure. In my mind that means things are perhaps even worse than they seem, if that's possible.

(Hat tip to commenter ED)

UPDATE 7 June 2021 -- As mentioned in the comments, this place has been razed before becoming a gas station:




























Also adding map icon.

Written by ted on March 11th, 2016

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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 10052 Two Notch Road: 4 February 2016   8 comments

Posted at 11:18 pm in closing









There was a time, when I was living in Fayetteville, that I went to Ryans's serveral times a week for lunch. They had a good salad bar with the unusual topping option of roasted peanuts instead of sunflower seeds. They also had hoops of cheddar on the salad bar, and with those and the hot yeast rolls, you could make a decent impromptu semi-melted cheese sandwich to go with the salad.

As it happened, my work colleagues and I eventually discovered that the nearby pool-hall (go figure..) actually had a better lunch buffet and we kind of fell out of going to Ryan's, but I had generally good memories of the place until I had the occasion to drop by the Georgetown location a few years ago and be generally unimpressed, a condition which continued through my one visit to this Two Notch Road location in the Wal-Mart outparcel. I get the feeling from the company's recent travails that perhaps I was not alone in my unimpressed state, and the chain recently announced the closure of 74 restaurants of which this was apparently one:

The statement announced that 74 restaurants that it declared "underperforming" would close immediately.

Those included Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain and Country Buffet restaurants, according to the release.

"Ovation Brands was acquired by Food Management Partners in August 2015," it stated. "Since that time, we have continued to execute former management’s operating plan to stabilize and enhance the performance of the company. However, based on ongoing assessments of individual restaurants, it is necessary to shutter locations for the continued viability of the brands and our employees."

(Hat tips to commenters James R & Sidney)

UPDATE 29 October 2018 -- Now open as Magnolia Buffet:




Written by ted on February 16th, 2016

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Steak Mart, 2773 Rosewood Drive: 24 December 2014   1 comment

Posted at 2:01 am in closing











I generally like my steak in ground-beef form, but I have certainly noticed Steak Mart on the corner of Rosewood and Maple since it has been there for my entire life. As commenter Robert S pointed out though, they have closed up shop as of Christmas Eve after a 54 year run.

(Hat tip to commenter Robert S.)

UPDATE 19 October 2021 -- Now Koru Group Fitness:


Also adding map icon.

Written by ted on January 14th, 2015

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Arizona's, 150 Forum Drive: July 2014   6 comments

Posted at 11:06 pm in closing




I did not know that Arizona's was a chain, but they had at least two restaurants in South Carolina, one here at Sandhill and the other in Greenville. Both were bought out in late July by a North Carolina outfit and rebranded as JP's 4 Corners.

When Arizona's opened, I looked over the menu, and could not see a reason to go, and so never did.

Apparently the general concept has not changed a lot:

JP’s has maintained 90 percent of the original Arizona’s menu, but, under the direction of executive chef Tony Aponte, has some new additions.

The new menu ups the steak concept by adding three new signature steaks to the original one, each with a unique rub. Each is a reference to the four states that make up the “4 corners,” from which the restaurant takes its name — Arizona (original), New Mexico (cayenne and chili), Colorado (black peppercorn with blue cheese butter) and Utah (cinnamon spice crusted).

But JP’s is about more than just steak, Lawrence says. One of the restaurant’s new features is a house-made veggie burger that combines black beans and sweet potato and is topped with an agave sweetened chipotle-lime cream.

Looking at the menu, I get the same feeling I had looking at Arizona's menu: How is this Southwestern?

Western, I certainly see, but I thought Southwestern was supposed to have a dash of Mexican. That's got to be more than just invoking chipolte in a sauce. The Free Times in fact lists JP's under Mexican, but don't see it.

(Hat tip to commenter Jason)

Written by ted on October 1st, 2014

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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 1707 Charleston Highway: 26 January 2012   12 comments

Posted at 1:40 am in closing

When I lived in Fayetteville, there was a time when I ate lunch at Ryan's almost every day. I thought they had a very good salad bar with a number of unusual items, like peanuts (which are actually better on a salad than sunflower seeds in my opinion). They also had a cheese wheel of real cheddar, which when slipped into the excellent hot yeast rolls made a nice impromptu grilled cheese sandwich. The only minus factor was that the lettuce was shredded, sub style, rather than chopped into larger pieces as is usual.

At some point our lunch preferences shifted for one reason or another, and it was years until I tried Ryan's again. This time it was the one in Georgetown, on the section of 707 near the Wal-Mart, and I was not impressed. I don't remember if this was the case in Fayetteville, but by this point I definitely preferred booth seating, and there was none. The chairs were rather uncomfortable as well. The cheese wheel was gone, the peanuts were gone, and the yeast rolls didn't seem as good. I figured some of it might be that particular store, so several years after that, when I was on Two Notch near my lunch time, I dropped in at the store there, and found it to be about the same.

In later reading, I learned that while the chain was originally started by an Upstate company, it was eventually sold to a national chain running several different buffet operations, and I suspect this is when the place's character changed.

That firm, Buffets Restaurants Holdings Inc. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy (for the second time..) on 18 January 2012. As part of that, they closed or planned to close 81 or their 494 stores (which include Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Fire Mountain, and Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse in addition to Ryan's).

The Georgetown store is one of the ones that shut as well, but it appears that the Two Notch location will stay open as the firm works on recovery.

Props to the manager for writing a personal note.

What's next for this site? Experience would suggest an Asian buffet or a Mexican restaurant (and more power to them if that happens..)

(Hat tip to commenter Mr. Bill)

UPDATE 22 April 2020 -- Commenter Mr. Bill sent in some pictures of the demolition of this building, which I manged to lose for a while. Here they are:



Written by ted on January 30th, 2012

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Western Sizzlin Steak House / A Touch of Class / Family Auto Centers, 4250 Beltline Boulevard: 1980s/2010   5 comments

Posted at 12:21 am in Uncategorized

I've written before of my first experiences with a "Steak House" at Ponderosa in Trenholm Plaza, and how after that we became regulars at Quincy's on Two Notch.

After I moved out on my own, I mentally divided steak-houses into tiers. In the top tier were Quincy's and Ryan's. In the middle tier were Western Sizzlin and Golden Corral, while in the bottom tier were Western Steer and various one-offs. These weren't hard and fast, and over time Ryan's went way down in my estimation, while Golden Corral came up while Western Sizzlin stayed solidly middle tier the whole time.

The ad from the 1974 phonebook says there were Sizzlin locations in Charleston, Savannah and Brunswick. By the time I moved to Fayetteville in 1985, there was certainly one there, on Raeford Road within walking distance from my apartment, and I believe there was one nearby on I-95 as well (though it could have been a Steer), which the owner's wife took as a special decorating project producing the most jam-packed-with-decor steak house in existence.

The one in Faytetteville was gone the last time I checked (July 2009), as are both here in Columbia (the one on Knox Abbott was a number of restaurants including Crazy Buffet and Hot China Buffet and is now vacant again). I'm pretty sure the one in Charleston is gone, or at least I've never run into it. I have no idea about the one in Brunswick either, but the one in Savannah ("Pooler", actually) is still going strong. That has been our way-point on trips to Florida for many years, and we take a picture in front of one of their signs on each trip. They seem to keep staff forever, and one of the waitresses always used to recognize my us by remembering my father though she saw him no more than twice a year. Over the years, the buffett has gained in importance in comparison to the "steak" aspect, but it's still solidly middle-tier and comfortable.

After the Sizzlin closed, the place became another restaurant A Touch of Class, which I can't recall at all. Obviously at some point between then and now, the original Sizzlin building was torn down and the Family Auto Centers trailer-office etc was put on the lot, which sold used cars, with the inevitable (though always welcome) fuzzy streamers.

Postscript: Just noticed that in the yellow pages ad, while the main graphic does say Western Sizzlin if you look closely at the pictured building (click through to the higher res shot), the building's sign and the building itself clearly says Western Sizzler!

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Written by ted on July 21st, 2010

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Ryan's Grill, Buffet & Bakery, 7550 Garners Ferry Road, 9 February 2009   15 comments

Posted at 12:05 am in closing

Well, you can't say they didn't make an effort at this Wal-Mart outparcel on Garners Ferry road. This building originally opened as a Fire Mountain Grill, which was explained to me once by a friend with contacts in the food industry as the brand Ryan's corporate used to move back into markets where they felt the Ryan's brand had been tarnished by the local franchisees.

I always felt that Fire Mountain was a bad name since it invoked images both of volcanic tropical islands like Hawaii and of heat and spiciness, none of which had anything to do with the food served. At any rate, they ran it as that for a few years, then transitioned it back into a Ryan's, which didn't last long at all.

The building looks quite impressive, especially when viewed end-on and from below, as when you walk in from Garners Ferry. Currently it's for sale. The sign doesn't mention that you get all the fixtures, but that seems to be the case -- they are still in there at any rate.

As an aside, and appropos to nothing, I parked in the lot at Aldi across the street from Ryan's while taking these pictures. I decided as long as I was parked there, I would go in -- What a weird and unpleasant place!

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Written by ted on June 19th, 2009

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