A popular Myrtle Beach restaurant has outgrown its spot so much that even the owner cant find a parking space some evenings.
But not anymore. Angelos Steak & Pasta -- after 23 years at 2011 S. Kings Highway and 32 years in business in Myrtle Beach -- is moving less than a half mile south to a much bigger building -- with three times the parking.
The current location will shut down after serving the last customers on Wednesday evening, and the restaurant will reopen in the new location at 2311 S. Kings Highway at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The restaurant had planned to move to the new location in June, but ran into delays with the renovation work.
The spacious, 13,700-square-foot building -- which has been home to restaurants, a timeshare sales office and Pavilack Realty -- has been overhauled with Mediterranean-themed interior and has sprawling dining areas, larger buffet space, bar area with seating for 60 patrons (compared to the 16-seat bar in the current location) and 172 parking spaces, compared to 54 at the current restaurant.
And with the extra space, owner Angelo Antonucci is considering adding a spot for live music on special nights and has his eye on outdoor dining to possibly add later.
Now that we have room to do it, he said of the live music, possibly jazz. And ultimately Id like to have an outside dining venue.
Patrons also will find more offerings on the buffet -- including more pizza choices and a daily chefs special -- and can even make reservations in the new location; Angelos didnt accept reservations in the current spot because there was too much demand to hold tables.
But the backbone of the business hasnt changed: same employees -- about 50 now but that swells to 80 in the summer -- and the same Italian recipes and the trademark steaks that are delivered to the table in cast-iron skillets.
Its just time, said Rosanne Hudock, who has waited tables at Angelos for 25 years. Theres just so much more he can do that he cant do here.
Bobby Moore, a cook at Angelos who started as a busboy in 1984 when he was in the seventh grade, is ready to work in the more spacious new kitchen.
You see how we dont have much room, he said standing in the small area by the grill in the current location where he cooks the steaks. Its kind of cramped in here. I wont have to worry about bumping into these guys at the new location.
Angelos sold 75,000 steaks last year, Antonucci said, adding that his business hasnt been hurt by consumers cutting back because of the down economy.
As long as they keep the same steaks, Im fine, said Jeffery Madaris, a local who has been eating at Angelos for 15 years and was celebrating his birthday there Monday evening.
The restaurant has done much better than Antonuccis first foray into food along the Grand Strand. After helping his family run a sandwich shop in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio, Antonucci and friend Steve Straka opened a similar eatery on Second Avenue North in Myrtle Beach in 1980. It lasted only three months.
People wanted a side of grits with their Italian meatball sandwich, he said.
But the owners quickly retooled, offering an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner for $2.99 at the suggestion of a local restaurant manager. It was a hit.
Antonucci attributes the restaurants longevity to its combination of steaks and pasta buffet because the mix caters to families by letting dad order a steak and the kids enjoy pizza and pasta.
Thats the advantage weve got, he said.
A sports bar that Antonucci is involved with will fill the old restaurant spot. R&R Sports Bar and Grill, which will have live music on the weekends and the usual sports bar offerings, aims to open within a month, Antonucci said.
As for his new restaurant location, Antonucci said he invested about $1.75 million in buying the building and renovating it with a decked-out kitchen and walk-in coolers, murals and pastel painted walls. Theres also relics giving a nod to his roots, including two large mirrors owned by his grandparents that date to the late 1800s decorating one of the dining areas and his grandfathers wine press dating to the early 1900s on display in a hallway.
I wanted a Mediterranean theme so people will feel like they are in a totally different environment, Antonucci said.
And it will be easier to find a parking space -- as long as the number of customers doesnt grow substantially.
If it becomes an issue [again], Antonucci said, Ill be happy.