A series that lets you get to know the people behind local restaurants
ABOUT DEVINE FOODS
Address: 2702 Devine St. in Shandon
Phone: (803) 252-0356
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday
Menu: Greek-American cuisine
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Keith Stanton has been working at Devine Foods for 15 years. The Greek-American restaurant has been around since 1988.
What do you do here?
A little bit of everything. They call me operations (manager), but I cook, take trash out, whatever. ... The guys back in Dillon call me the consigliere you know, Tom Hagen from The Godfather. Im the Irish henchman for the Greek mafia.
So, what is good here?
My personal favorites are any of the (daily) specials. ...
If I had to pick my top three (from the menu), Id take spanakopita, the Greek pita burger or the half roasted Greek-style chicken. Those are guaranteed, lock-line winners.
What do you run out of every night?
Were pretty good keeping things in. The roasted Greek chicken will get gone pretty quick. And cookies. Our never frozen batter of oatmeal, pecan and chocolate chip. My marketing scheme is: We dont fake and bake this cookie; we make and bake this cookie. We dont play games. If they wanna play games, call Milton Bradley or Parker Brothers.
Who eats here?
Weve had all the coaches at USC, Bobby Knight, Billy Packer, Ric Flair Wooo Hooo.
We have a great many politicians, Lord have mercy. ... Weve had Ben or Jerry, one of them, I think it was Jerry, from Ben and Jerrys.
But most people come from the 29205 ZIP code.
Do you have regulars?
I honestly know 65 percent of our clientele. ... We have people who come in so often, if they dont show up we go looking for them to make sure theyre OK.
Biggest misconception about your place?
At least once a week I meet somebody in Columbia who has not been here or didnt realize were a restaurant because were stuck between two retail shops.
How many tables?
We have 21 tables. Some inside, some on the porch, a couple outside on the sidewalk.
Georgia and Angelo Trifos, (the owners), what they have done over all these years, they have built a business and a product that is consistent, that has afforded many people good jobs and created a clientele. ... Its stayed the same for the 15 years Ive been here. Thats almost unheard of. And its a beautiful thing.