Yesterday, my wife told me that she was out running errands and noticed that T-Bonz in Mt. Pleasant had closed up shop and was in the process of being converted into something else. Then I saw in the City Paper that 16 Market St. downtown and A Culinary Art Company over in Mt. Pleasant had closed their doors, too. Suddenly it seems like we've got restaurants folding up left and right. Here's my short list of recent closings:
Uni Bar over on Savannah Highway in West Ashley. The place was called Marie Laveaux's for a while--a New Orleans style cafe--then was replaced by Uni Bar, which started out as a noodle bar and switched over to sushi but still couldn't make it.
West Ashley Bait & Tackle--the cool pastel green building with cheap beer, good food, and free music, now boarded up tight.
Turtles Raw Bar--Long Point Road
Mia's Cafe--Savannah Highway--meat and three at lunch, French bistro at night.
J. Bistro--Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant--this is a big one, one of the better restaurants in Mt. P.
Arlaana--Daniel Island--I loved eating lunch there, but it was always so empty . . .
Cereality--the restaurant chain that specializes in selling bowls of cold cereal to college kids, closed its King Street franchise location back in the fall. The Charleston franchise attracted a good breakfast crowd but, oddly enough, "business was slow the rest of the day."
Baker's Cafe--Daniel Island--They moved out to Daniel Island from King Street to keep down the rent, but that apparently wasn't enough. Their Monte Cristo sandwich is now a departed Charleston classic.
The Ship's Store at Daniel Island Marina--I was going to feature the Ship Store's "Hook's Mate" in my Critics Picks selections for the upcoming Best of Charleston issue of the City Paper as "Best Sandwich from a Restaurant You'll Never Be Able to Find." And now you'll REALLY never be able to find it. I dropped by the other day to, um, fact check the sandwich and found the place locked up tight and the fixtures halfway removed. Rats!
There's bound to be more.
Side note: the T-Bonz website announces that they have not permanently closed the Mt. Pleasant location but rather have shut it down for rennovations and will convert it into "Liberty Taproom & Grill" which will "center on celebrating the American farmer and the rich bounty they put on our tables. It is a celebration of America's melting pot of rich ethnic cooking styles and innovative handcrafted small batch breweries." I have no idea what this means, but the site says it will be a "high volume concept." One can only assume they are referring to restaurant traffic, not noise, though neither sounds particularly attractive to a diner.