Joe Pasta reopens after recent rough patch

It's been a rough couple of months for Joe Pasta in downtown Charleston.

It's been a rough couple of months for Joe Pasta in downtown Charleston.

In January, the Italian restaurant's popular bartender Serjei Cahuantzi was killed in a car wreck on U.S. Interstate 526. Then in late February, a small fire forced the restaurant at 428 King St. to temporarily close.

But at 4 p.m. Friday, the 15-year-old establishment at King and John streets will reopen.

“While the fire was a definite setback, it's just another bump in the road on Joe Pasta's long-lasting journey,” owner Harrison Edelson said. “We're working hard to reopen bigger, better, stronger than ever.”

The last Fazoli's restaurant in the Charleston area will close March 27. Franchise owner Greg Morlock said the lease is up on the 4,200-square-foot building at 1808 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. in Westwood Plaza, and he's not renewing it.

The West Ashley restaurant operated for 18 years. Morlock bought the franchise for the closing restaurant and three others in 1999. The others closed over the years. Morlock is trying to help his 12 employees find jobs elsewhere.

The Charleston Record Expo returns 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Monster Music & Videos at 946 Orleans Road in West Ashley.

The biannual event will feature vinyl records from a wide variety of genres for sale from $1 to $100 or more. Admission is free, and appraisals will be offered for old records. Go to for details.

Johns Island has a new gourmet sandwich shop and bar. The Southern General opened earlier this week at 3157 Maybank Highway, across from the Fat Hen.

The 1,000-square-foot restaurant offers lunch and dinner with late-night hours on weekends, according to owner Timothy Erwin. It opens at 11 a.m. and is closed on Sunday.

J.C. Penney launches its new Joe Fresh shop inside the store Friday. The Canadian apparel brand offers women's, men's and children's fashions. Anyone who makes a Joe Fresh purchase in store or on from Friday through Sunday can enter to win $100 in Joe Fresh merchandise each month through the end of the year. One winner will be announced in every store.

Local J.C. Penney stores are at Citadel Mall in West Ashley and Northwoods Mall in North Charleston.

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Festival Centre in North Charleston soon will have a new shop. The Pet Mahal pet grooming, day care and boarding service has leased a 1,254-square-foot space at 5101 Ashley Phosphate Road, according to shopping center owner Brixmor Property Group. Shop owners Theresa Dowdy and Mark Sheppard expect to open in April. The shopping center is at Dorchester and Ashley Phosphate roads.

The Pantry Inc.'s 700-plus Kangaroo Express convenience stores in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are asking patrons to donate $1 at the register to support Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment in Randleman, N.C., for children ages 6-16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. The campaign runs for three more weeks.

It costs $2,500 to send one child to camp for a week at no cost to his or her family. Last year, the campaign raised more than $1 million and sent 400 children to the camp.

The campaign for the Cary, N.C.-based Pantry started in Charleston in 2009.

Do you know of a business that is opening, closing or expanding? Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or