If there is a truism about living in the Triad, it is this: people here love to eat out. More than any place I’ve lived, the residents of Greensboro enjoy dining out. A lot. Ask anyone who’s tried to get a table here after 6 pm and they’ll most likely tell you they had to wait. As the area’s population has exploded, so has the strain on Greensboro’s dining circuit. Yet despite all this, the place is littered with the corpses of eateries that for one reason or another, couldn’t take the heat. Some of these fine establishments were ahead of their time, others suffered from poor location, but a few died sudden and mysterious deaths. This post is dedicated to these wonderful joints, that for whatever reason, went the way of the dodo. Let us all join hands now and fondly remember:
Simply Italian – Doomed Italian Drive-thru
Simply Italian used to be located at the corner of Hilltop and Highpoint road near Adam’s Farm in Greensboro. It opened right after I moved to the area in 1994 and lasted less than a year, but what a year! The place was built around an old instant photo processing building and as such had no interior or exterior seating. You had to drive or walk up, order and take your food away. Simply Italian served some of the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten and offered huge quantities of classic Italian dishes for just pennies. You could order an entire 12″ lasagna for $7.00 and they’d even throw in garlic bread, utensils and more. The day Simply Italian closed was a sad one for me and my friends. A classic example of pricing yourself right out of business.
Hey Mon – Bermuda Triangle Swallows Caribbean Cafe
Formerly located at 2408 Spring Garden St. in Greensboro, Hey Mon was a jumping little joint that featured wonderful Caribbean flavors including spicy jerked chicken sandwiches, wraps and my all-time favorite – Caribbean cole slaw. When I worked at Image Technology, Hey Mon was one of our absolute favorite places to visit for lunch. The place was always packed and sometimes there was even a line out the door. One day at lunch, our group found the restaurant closed and a sign on the door saying they were moving. We were disappointed that we didn’t get our lunch, but excited that Hey Mon was moving into new, and possibly larger digs. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months and still no Hey Mon. To this day I have no idea what happened to this awesome eatery. It’s almost like it never existed.
Sushi Rock – Seppuku, Sushi Style
This wonderful sushi house used to be located on Battleground Avenue and was known for its reasonable prices and wonderful decor. When my friend Talos first introduced me to Sushi Rock, I knew I had found my new favorite sushi restaurant. It didn’t take long to realize however, that the place was in trouble. Crowds thinned and prices rose slightly and then one day it was just gone. Thankfully there’s no shortage of good sushi restaurants in the Triad. My current favorites are U.S. Sushi at the corner of Eastchester and Wendover in Highpoint and the always yummie Asahi on West Market St.
Pie Works – Death by a Thousand Cuts
I know what you’re thinking. Pie Works isn’t dead, at least not yet. Technically that may be true, but if you’ve lived here as long as I have then you may remember that there used to be many more Pie Works’ than the one (yes, there is only one left) on Lawndale Ave in Greensboro. Pie Works serves up some of the best gourmet pizza this side of New York and yet the franchise is faltering. I used to frequent the small Pie Works that lived down on West Market back in the day, but that location didn’t last long and is now a laundromat. There used to be a Pie Works in Winston Salem as well, but that too is gone. There are now a grand total of 3 Pie Works locations in Louisiana compared to one in North Carolina. Like it or not, I fully expect the Lawndale location to visit that big pizzeria in the sky in not-too-distant future. I think I’ll miss the Rosemary Roast most of all. My stomach is sad.
Bo Hogs – Another Pig Bites the Dust
When Bo Hogs opened a few years back at the corner of West Market St. and Muirs Chapel road, the last thing I thought Greensboro needed was another BBQ place. Marked by good service, a friendly atmosphere and excellent food, Bo Hogs quickly changed my mind and it became my favorite NC barbeque joint. That was their kiss of death. Although they seemed constantly busy, like many other eateries I’ve fallen in love with, one day they just closed. No explanation was given and no forwarding address was left on the door for a new location. I calling the developer to find out what happened, but only got a cryptic “The owner decided to close it down.” in response. Oh the horror! Today, my favorite Triad BBQ places are Prissy Polly’s of Kernersville, Carter Brothers BBQ in High Point and Country BBQ on Wendover Ave. in Greensboro. Pig places may come and go, but there will always be a hush-puppy in my heart for Bo Hogs.
Restaurant Death Watch
Finally, here are a list of places that as of this writing, seem to be alive and kicking, but that I’m keeping a close eye on. My track record indicates that at least one or more of these places may go belly up within the next 3 years for no other reason than I enjoy eating there.
– The best Greek restaurant in Greensboro, hands down. Took up the mantle after Pita Works closed in Quaker Village. Place is always packed to the roof at lunch, which unfortunately means it’s probably doomed.
– Brazilian steak house that hosts the Iconfactory’s annual Christmas party, or as we call it, “The Night of Meat“. Awesome food, great service. Seems underpriced for all-you-can-eat top notch cuts of meat. Danger Will Robinson!
– Their original location across the street on West Market was small but cozy and inviting. The new all-glass building is no bigger (maybe even smaller), but also cold feeling and loud. I’ve eaten there just once since they moved. This will be the one time when it’s not my fault when they go. Good food but their architect doomed them IMHO.
What about you? Have any favorite restaurants that bought the farm? Feel free to add yours in the comments below. Misery loves company!