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Local chain restaurants in SC

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I was passing through Columbia on business today, so I treated myself to lunch at Rush's on Harbison, which is, IMO, the closest thing SC has to Whataburger. It got me thinking: How well would this Columbia institution do in other parts of the state?

For the sake or argument, let's say Rush's expands to the other two large metros (Charleston & Greenville), in return, the following also expand:

  • Charleston's "Ye Old Fashioned"

, and,

  • Greenville's "The Clock"

Would The Clock be well received in Charleston? How well would Rush's do in Greenville? Can these different experiences transcend their local markets, and be well received in other cities, or are these examples a bit "too provincial" to be well received outside of their core markets?

Discuss.

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I love all three of these places. I think Rush's would do very well if they were to expand. Lizard thicket tried a Greenville location a few years ago. There is a current trend of Chas restaurants opening up G'ville locations (High Cotton, Liberty Tap Room, and Boathouse). I thing Ye Old Fashioned would do ok but I'd prefer a Kickin Chicken or Yo Burrito.

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I love all three of these places. I think Rush's would do very well if they were to expand. Lizard thicket tried a Greenville location a few years ago. There is a current trend of Chas restaurants opening up G'ville locations (High Cotton, Liberty Tap Room, and Boathouse). I thing Ye Old Fashioned would do ok but I'd prefer a Kickin Chicken or Yo Burrito.

There is a Yo Burrito in Columbia in addition to Charleston. I didn't know Liberty Tap Room was from Charleston or had a Greenville location. I do know the Columbia one is very good, and I recently went to the one in Myrtle Beach. I think Ye Old Fashioned is KILLER, and would love to see it expand! Rush's is also excellent, don't see why it hasn't expanded. Lizard's Thicket and Maurice's tried but failed, not sure why LT would fail, although that sort of chain is fading out of popularity (look at the disappearing Shoney's). Maurice is too controversial, plus his mustard-based bbq is not loved out of the midlands (although it should be--all bbq styles are sooo delicious, right?)

By far the most successful S.C. chains that have expanded to other cities within, and now out of state, are Charleston's Sticky Fingers (which I think stinks), and my fave, Hilton Head's Wild Wings. WW has got it right, and I hope it keeps growing by leaps and bounds--go Wild Wings!

Of course, this is a Georgia chain, but I was living in Statesboro and enjoyed the ORIGINAL Zaxby's there. It was called just "Zax" back then, but had to change to Zaxby's due to another chain having claimed the name Zax. I also remember Mellow Mushroom, another favorite Ga. chain, when it was in its infancy in Statesboro and just a few other Ga. cities. It's tha bomb, too.

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Isn't Mellow Mushroom out of Athens?

As far as chains go there is also Fatz Cafe, which started in Spartanburg which is now in most large cities in SC and in many other states too. I think they are currently owned by a company in Greenville (Taylors). I'd like to see more Sticky Fingers around the state(Anderson, Spartanburg and Rock Hill to name few). Maurice's would be good, but as you said, it would be too controversial. Melvin's in Charleston is better anyway. And then there's the whole mustard base thing. I don't think everyone gets it. I think all BBQ should be treated equally :) I think that Rush's would do very well in other parts of the state. Its a relatively unique thing and its got a good reputation. I know that when I was at Carolina, every time I would go to one I would put a note in their suggestion box to open a location near campus.

The Clock has locations already in most every county in the Upstate, so their expansion southward would probably not be a big deal. I think that they are all franchise operations because I've never seen any advertising or a website for them.

As far as the failed expansion chains, lets be honest about it. Lizard's Thicket is not the best meat & 3 out there. Its good for what it is (especially as a poor college student) but when you try to move into other cities which already have meat & 3 establishments, the competition just doesn't work. For the LT in Greenville, I think it was at Pleasantburg & Laurens Rd or somewhere in that vicinity, which really isn't the ideal location for that type of restaurant. I know that if LT tried to move to Spartanburg, they would never be able to compete with Wade's Restaurant- which is really why Spartanburg doesn't have many other meat & 3's. I didn't realize Maurice had tried to expand, but like I said, the controversy around him is self-explanatory.

I was passing through Columbia on business today, so I treated myself to lunch at Rush's on Harbison, which is, IMO, the closest thing SC has to Whataburger.

You mean closer than the Whataburger in West Cola on Meeting Street? :)

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Redbone Alley in Florence tried a Columbia location, but it failed. I think there is a Redbone in Sumter now.

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You mean closer than the Whataburger in West Cola on Meeting Street? :)

Now now, lol. I'm talking about the Texas based, orange & white roofed (or is it rooved?) version.

Whataburger.jpeg << these things

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I was passing through Columbia on business today, so I treated myself to lunch at Rush's on Harbison, which is, IMO, the closest thing SC has to Whataburger. It got me thinking: How well would this Columbia institution do in other parts of the state?

Would The Clock be well received in Charleston? How well would Rush's do in Greenville? Can these different experiences transcend their local markets, and be well received in other cities, or are these examples a bit "too provincial" to be well received outside of their core markets?

Discuss.

The "Clock" isn't one company. It's a group of independent short order places under one name. I know of several "Clock's" in Greenville alone, along with Pete, Petee's, etc. For some reason, there were several Greek families that immigrated to the area post WWII and opened up short order places, including the Greenville area Stax chain. I'm sure there are already independent short order places in Charleston, under different names, similar to Pete, Petees, Clock's, etc.

I was always under the impression that the first Zaxby was in the old house on Lauren's Rd. in Greenville?

BBQ chains are not known for their excellent quality. There is one, has outlets in Greer, Mauldin and Easley, whose name escapes me, but that does a good job with pork BBQ.

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^I think that was just the first Zaxby's in Greenville (and probably SC too). I could be mistaken though.

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[quote name='whitehourseview' date='Nov 22 2007, 11:52 AM' post='893837'

BBQ chains are not known for their excellent quality. There is one, has outlets in Greer, Mauldin and Easley, whose name escapes me, but that does a good job with pork BBQ.

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Not quite a SC restaurant, but with Takosushi opening in Greenville (first 2 stores in Augusta and Aiken), I think that's a real possibility for a new local chain restaurant. They're hugely successful in Augusta and Aiken, and it's one of my favorite restaurants back home now, so I'm interested in hearing what you Greenville people think... These 3 stores are all owned by the creator, but he is actively pimping out to franchisees and wants the franchise to get big. I believe there's talk of a franchised store somewhere in NC next...

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From SC2TX columbia has whataburger. the one is West Columbia was a really old one until they recently tore it down and rebuit it.

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From SC2TX columbia has whataburger. the one is West Columbia was a really old one until they recently tore it down and rebuit it.

There are apparently many places across the country that use the "whataburger" name that have no connection or affiliation with the Texas-based Whataburger chain. See my photo above...the ones with the orange & white color scheme are the ones I'm talking about. The one in Cola is not part of the chain.

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?T...amp;whichpage=1

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[quote name='whitehourseview' date='Nov 22 2007, 11:52 AM' post='893837'

BBQ chains are not known for their excellent quality. There is one, has outlets in Greer, Mauldin and Easley, whose name escapes me, but that does a good job with pork BBQ.

Are you referring to Mutts?

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I'm adding my vote to Rush's expansion. They would be very successful in Greenville, I believe. I know of many families (mine included) who ALWAYS stop in Columbia at Rush's on the way to AND from the beach. In addition to the families that I personally know, I typically see a couple other families with school stickers from Upstate counties stopped at the restaurant as well. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I'd love to have them in the Upstate.

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...

BBQ chains are not known for their excellent quality. There is one, has outlets in Greer, Mauldin and Easley, whose name escapes me, but that does a good job with pork BBQ.

Henry's Smokehouse is definitely good for a BBQ chain. They have at least a couple locations in the Greenville metro.

One that I really loved but is now no longer in business was Aussie Outback Burgers. They made one of the finest burgers around and had at least three locations in Greenville before closing up. If you want a really good burger from a fast food joint, I recommend trying one of the sirloin burgers at Jack In The Box. Surprisingly fantastic flavor!

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One that I really loved but is now no longer in business was Aussie Outback Burgers. They made one of the finest burgers around and had at least three locations in Greenville before closing up.

I tried it, but couldn't get past the fact that it was primarily a one-man shop in terms of one person handling cash, flipping burgers, cutting veggies, taking orders... it seemed that when things were busy, cleanliness would be compromised.

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Taylors-based Fatz Cafe is planning to expand into a fifth state in 2008. Restaurants in Virginia will be among 7 set to open next year: Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina already have units... This was reported in the Greenville Journal a few weeks back. It's great to see SC-based chains expand.

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^I think that was just the first Zaxby's in Greenville (and probably SC too). I could be mistaken though.

How old would that Zaxby's be? I remember Sumter has it's Zaxby's for a while (since the mid 90's). Back then I thought it was just a restaurant local to Sumter.

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How old would that Zaxby's be? I remember Sumter has it's Zaxby's for a while (since the mid 90's). Back then I thought it was just a restaurant local to Sumter.

I distinctively remember going there in seventh grade, which was 1999. So, it's been there at least that long. Can anyone else give us a year prior to that?

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Carolina Wings has my vote :)

This used to be a chain around Columbia but they have now opened in Florence, Pawley's Island, Charlotte, and Beaufort

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well here in virginia there are some zaxbys but only in salem & in roanke, But whataburger well in richmond we used to have one but it was in the WORST place you could go route 1 The BAD part or route 1 jeff davis highway about a mile or so from an abandonded farm fresh store.

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Several Groucho's franchises opened outside of Columbia, but they failed miserably. The quality was awful at most of them from what I've heard about a few of them. Even their newer location on Forest Dr. here in Columbia - it's right by my office, and I've been disappointed by it. Mushy bread, lower quality meat and only about half as much of it, obviously microwaved, and they forgot the chips.

Duke Sandwich Co., based out of Greenville, opened a location on Forest Dr. here in Columbia not too long ago. The chicken salad sandwich I had was okay, but definitely nothing to write home about. No better than buying a loaf of bread and some ready-made chicken salad from Publix, or ordering one for 1/2 the price at the little sandwich shop in my office building. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing though. What's the best thing to order there? I might give it another chance.

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I don't know about that. The Groucho's in Spartanburg is doing amazingly well. Its been packed every time I've been in there. The food is always great. The only thing its lacking is that its not the original in Five Points. The one in Charlotte did quite well too, though the owner decided he didn't want to run a restaurant anymore so it closed. Major disappointment for me. I think you just have some bad management there.

I have the same sentiments about Duke Sandwich Co. Its not bad, but I want something that is better than a grocery store sandwich.

Welcome to the forum!

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Several Groucho's franchises opened outside of Columbia, but they failed miserably. The quality was awful at most of them from what I've heard about a few of them. Even their newer location on Forest Dr. here in Columbia - it's right by my office, and I've been disappointed by it. Mushy bread, lower quality meat and only about half as much of it, obviously microwaved, and they forgot the chips.

Duke Sandwich Co., based out of Greenville, opened a location on Forest Dr. here in Columbia not too long ago. The chicken salad sandwich I had was okay, but definitely nothing to write home about. No better than buying a loaf of bread and some ready-made chicken salad from Publix, or ordering one for 1/2 the price at the little sandwich shop in my office building. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing though. What's the best thing to order there? I might give it another chance.

A Grouchos of Forest Drive? I didn't even realize there was one there. What part of Forest Drive is this?

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