Breaking News Nugget – Blossom Deli to Close

Susan says…

As I was driving to work this morning constantly switching radio stations to find music instead of talking and failing miserably, I paused at V100 for the local news.  I heard that Blossom Deli will be closing their doors this weekend.

Closed for dinner.  Closed for lunch.  Closed.

This is the second Sohovich restaurant to close.  First Billy’s, which was open and then closed and the open and then closed.  Now the nostalgic Blossom Deli that reopened under Bill Sohovich’s reign 16 years ago.  You’ll recall that recently the Blossom closed for dinner and then again offered dinner on a limited basis with a revamped menu.  Is this a sign that Soho’s could be next on the chopping block?  I hope not. 

This is indeed sad news for Charleston diners.

14 responses to “Breaking News Nugget – Blossom Deli to Close

  1. The Charleston Gazette has a story on the closure as well.

  2. We can only hope that they’ll turn it into one of them there Myrtle Beach style fried food joints. . . with lots of diffrient beers.

  3. I must have missed the story about Sohovich owning a bunch of “Myrtle Beach style fried food joints.”

    Please, point me in the right direction.

  4. demosthenes.or.locke

    The lack of parking really killed their dinner…. Several times I wanted to take my wife there for dinner, but the prospect of walking through a parking garage or down two blocks in 90 degree heat or snow when we could go somewhere similar with better parking always killed it. Now the parking issue seems silly, but that definitely hurt their business. I’m surprised he couldn’t make money on it with the crazy lunch crowd… Most of the other places downtown seem to get by on that.

  5. There was, and there remains, a City of Charleston parking garage right across the street. Seriously, it’s half a block away. Hale Street after 6:00 is almost always chock full of open – and free – on-street parking. It’s the other side of the block. And there are plenty of times of the year when “90 degree heat or snow” isn’t an issue.

    If the denizens of Chemical Valley won’t take a two block stroll to get to one of the better places to eat in CRW then this town is well and truly f****d.

  6. “90 degree heat or snow”

    How often is it snowing or 90 degrees in Charleston WV? That my friend is a poor excuse, and yet I hear it alot from family back in my hometown.

    Charleston simply won’t support quality food establishments. You get a few from time to time who try to make a go of it, but they eventually fold. Its a chain dominated market in an overweight state with people who panic at the idea of having to walk 100 ft from their car.

    Its because of excuses like this (parking, costs too much compared to chain restaurants that pile on food, just not convenient) that I’ll never be able to move home to open a quality restaurant. Doesn’t even have to be fine dining. I could sell the best sandwich you’ll ever eat for $5 out of a street cart, and people will choose going through the drive through at McDonald’s over it. If it isn’t fast food, a Darden chain, or country cooking most people in Charleston and WV in general don’t want it. Heck…I dropped over $50k on culinary school, cook food that people in Pittsburgh buy for $30 or more, and I can’t get my family to let me make it for them FOR FREE when I come home to visit. They’d rather go to Bob Evans. I’m starting to believe that even having a food blog about the cuisine in WV is somewhat redundant.

    To the authors/participants of this blog and in the state who appreciate good food, you have my sympathy. My heart goes out to people like Sohovich, the owners of the Bluegrass kitchen, Lola’s Pizza, or the couple that run the two creperi cafe locations. They’re all fighting an impossible battle. Its really saddening to see one of my favorite places in town go to waste because nobody took the time to walk 2 blocks in our many blizzards/heat waves that we experience every day in WV.

  7. If you think the food at the creperi is quality, then I won’t try to find out where your restaurant is located in Pittsburgh, because I’d probably be disappointed in your fare. Most of the locals are culinary wimps and won’t try any new foods. We don’t dine out often, because we are constantly disappointed. With the money saved, we can then splurge on more expensive cuts of meat, etc. We make several trips per year to Pittsburgh to stock up on ethnic foods in the Strip District. By joining a gourmet group that meets once a month, we, along with our appreciative friends, enjoy meals that are better than can be found in any local restaurant. Even caterers in the area offer very little in the way of creative dishes. You can always tell when Zandos caters an event. It is the same shredded cheddar cheese mold with grape jelly in the center (that melts into a ghastly sight before the night is over), and tiny biscuits with salty country ham. An instructor at the culinary school at the Greenbrier once told me, if you have a penchant for cooking, you can always prepare a better meal at home than is served at a restaurant.

  8. Well said, Nick. The 90 degree heat and snowy winters didn’t seem to bother the lunch crowd.

  9. What a shame! I don’t know if actually walking a block is the problem. People will walk the WalMart parking lot, but for some reason see walking in town as something altoghether different. I hope someone takes this over.
    Quarrier St diner is opening??

  10. This past weekend, I went to Red Lobster with the family. I’m not a fan but that’s where they wanted to go. Anyway, it took nearly fifteen minutes to get from the interstate to the Sourthridge complex. Then, the parking lot was, literally, full. Apparently the holiday weekend made everyone in CRW crave mediocre chain seafood and Italian (neighboring Olive Garden was packed too). I had to drop the folks off at the door and I ended up parking in the old Billy’s lot, easily as far from the door as my earlier-mentioned downtown parking solutions.

    Bad weekend overall for West Virginia, as The Warner theater in Morgantown closed on Sunday. That leaves one place in the state that will play non-studio pablum – the Cinema in Huntington.

    So, in the spirit of constructive criticism I suggest the FU bloggers start reviewing restaurants in Pittsburgh and Columbus, since that’s where we Mountain Staters will need to go to find civilization within driving distance.

  11. The lot is always full at Red Lobster, Ryans, Applebee’s, etc but the Blossom has to close.
    That says it all for culinary culture in Charleston.

  12. The parts don’t add up here and I suspect there is more to this than most of need to know. It’s a shame and I hate to see it happen but sometimes they happen.

  13. to mollymoocher

    While the creperi would be merely ok anywhere else, they provide a selection of ingredients that is unique for Charleston’s breakfast scene which says a lot about the food there. Offering something as simple as shrimp, feta, olive oil, red onion and mesclun greens is unique for Charleston. I have to give them at least some credit for attempting to inject some character into the local food scene. The culinary scene in Pittsburgh is only somewhat better. The city still has a focus on bar food where different takes on the Pittsburgh salad is considered eye catching by the average joe. Can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen order their steaks well done.

    I’m still relatively green in my career and experience. you are correct that for most people in school or in the industry the best food is the stuff we make at home in our free time. Most of the places I’ve worked (The flying fish in Morgantown, PF Changs, Rolands in Pittsburgh, the Church Brew works in Pittsburgh) have food that was ok. The small french restaurant I work at on the south side is the first place that I can honestly say has better food than I can make on my own. Much of what we have on the menu is local with a seasonal menu, and the restaurant is similar in size to the Blue Grass Kitchen. Unlike the blue grass kitchen we actually know how to season our food. Its expensive (between 20-30 bucks for an entree that won’t stuff you), but the food is some of the best I’ve had.

    The strip is great as a foodie playground in Pittsburgh, but stay away from Wholey’s. The seafood there is usually in poor condition (cloudy eyes, slimy, half of a bag of mussels already dead). Some of the best food in the area is sold out of street carts. A friend of mine worked there for a time and was reprimanded for attempting to properly store some of the chicken that they sell. Just avoid buying food from the place unless it comes frozen (like the gator/crawdad tails I got last week for gumbo).

  14. Not much more to add to what Nick wrote.
    Ash hit the nail, about lunch at the Blossom. Rob A. took the words out of my mouth.

    I lived in Pittsburgh ( Liberty and Grant) in the business district over 2-3 years. Loved it. Walked to work. Walked to get groceries. Walked to ball games. Walked to restaurants. Walked in mid-winter snow and cold. Drove my car once every two or three weeks. The point is that I grew up in a medium size city ( Minneapolis) and generally walked 4 to 5 blocks from parking to work (in 0 – 25 degree temps in foot deep snow , uphill both ways). Of course there are over 1000 restuarants in a 2 square mile area downtown. So you could walk 100 feet or 5 blocks for lunch or dinner.

    Lived in Florida – St Pete, Ft Myers. Walked blocks ( or across parking lots) in 95 to 100 degree heat, or 30 degree temps during St Pete winters.

    My wife and I will miss Blossom. But face it, Charleston is slowly dying. I have lived in Charleston on and off over 20 years, and am now convinced that a non-chain decent Charleston restaurant is an oxymoron.

    Just a final note – we had dinner at the Stardust Cafe in Lewisburg last weekend. We had marlin served with nicely seasoned Jasmine rice and carrots. That meal was probably one the the best we have had in a nice eclectic setting. Ranks with or above, Paris, Bacelona, Sitges, Amsterdam, McCrady’s in Charleston SC.
    Makes you wonder why lil ol Lewisburg can succeed and Charleston cannot.

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