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In Charleston, Mexican restaurant to open, Carrabba's closes, Brooks Brothers in bankruptcy

Taco Kitchen

New Mexican restaurant Taco Kitchen will open at 6 a.m. Friday at 2065 Savannah Highway. Warren L. Wise/Staff

A new dining establishment with roots in the Acapulco area of southern Mexico will bring its authentic dishes to Charleston later this week. 

Meanwhile, two nationally known chain restaurants — Carrabba's Italian Grill and Cracker Barrel — go dark permanently a short distance apart in Mount Pleasant while iconic retailer Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy and could possibly shutter more stores.

In West Ashley, Taco Kitchen will launch an assortment of Mexican appetizers, breakfast and lunch tacos, flaming fajitas, plates and sides, and daily lunch specials at 6 a.m. Friday on Savannah Highway.

The product of Norberto and Lupe Castrejon, the new diner will be open Monday through Saturday until 2 p.m. It's closed on Sunday.

The restaurant will include a salsa bar with 10 different kinds of hot sauces. Prices to serve one person range from a $2 breakfast bean and cheese taco to $14.50 for a fajita plate with a choice of beef, chicken, shrimp or sausage that's served with charro beans, rice, tortillas, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and a salad.

The restaurant, at 2065 Savannah Highway south of the Interstate 526 terminus, seats 42, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, only 18 diners will be allowed inside at one time. Take out and delivery within a five-mile radius also are available.

Within eyesight of the Mexican restaurant is another dining venue that's in the works in West Ashley.

The Deli

A former bank on Savannah Highway near Interstate 526 is being upfitted for a new restaurant called The Deli. An opening date has not been announced. Warren L. Wise/Staff

A former bank is being upfitted for a diner called The Deli. The operator could not immediately be reached for comment, but it is believed it could open by late summer or early fall.

Also in West Ashley, a new breakfast restaurant recently opened.

Eggs Up Grill, open 6 a.m.-2 p.m., can be found at 3875 West Ashley Circle. Owners Kevin and Teresa Arnold are no strangers to the franchise world.

Eggs Up Grill West Ashley Circle

Eggs Up Grill recently opened in the Harris Teeter-anchored West Ashley Circle Shopping Center. Warren L. Wise/Staff

The married couple of 24 years has owned three fitness centers in South Carolina. Teresa also owned a residential cleaning business for 10 years.

The new restaurant is currently open at 50 percent capacity and is ensuring customers and staff are staying safe by supplying staff with masks and gloves.

Cracker Barrel

Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel has permanently closed its restaurant in Mount Pleasant. Provided

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Lights out

Two chain restaurants within about a mile of one another recently shuttered their outposts in Mount Pleasant.

Cracker Barrel and Carrabba's Italian Grill, both on U.S. Highway 17, are now shut down.

Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel closed its restaurant at 2183 Highway 17 while Carrabba's darkened its diner at 2668 Highway 17, both within the past couple of weeks.

Cracker Barrel opened in Mount Pleasant on Labor Day in 2012, adding its country-food options with a third location in the Lowcountry. The 8,960-square-foot diner sat in front of Harris Teeter supermarket in Six Mile Marketplace Shopping Center.

"We are deeply saddened to share that this location has permanently closed," according to a message on the restaurant's telephone recording.

The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company did not elaborate on the reason for closing the 177-seat restaurant and adjoining retail store, but the closure comes during the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed several other dining establishments in the region.

Cracker Barrel offers two other Charleston-area restaurants in North Charleston and Summerville. They remain open.

As for Carrabba's, a telephone recording says, "This location is now permanently closed."

Part of Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands Inc., Carrabba's offers another Charleston-area restaurant near Northwoods Mall in North Charleston. Bloomin' Brands also operates, among other diners, Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill. The latter two have restaurants in the Charleston area. 

As for Brooks Brothers, the prestigious Manhattan-based retailer that dates back to 1818, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday after searching for a buyer since last year.

It was already in the process of closing 51 stores because of the pandemic. It operates more than 200 stores in North America and 500 worldwide, including a shop at 205 King St. in Charleston and at Tanger Outlets in North Charleston.

Both of those locations are temporarily closed, according to the retailer's website. It's unclear when or if they will reopen.

"We are in the process of identifying the right owner, or owners, to lead our iconic Brooks Brothers brand into the future," a spokesperson told CNBC. “It is critical that any potential buyer aligns with our core values, culture and ambitions. Further details on the sale process will be made available in the coming days."

Do you know of a retail business that is opening, closing, expanding or in the works? Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

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