Columbia’s Villa Tronco, in downtown Columbia, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this week. It is among the longest-serving restaurants in South Carolina.
Here are just a few others among the oldest eateries around the state.
Henry’s Bar and Restaurant (1930): Operating in the heart of Charleston’s downtown, Henry’s is known for its traditional Lowcountry menu that includes shrimp and grits and She Crab soup. 54 N. Market St.
Groucho’s Deli (1941): Harold “Groucho” Miller came to Columbia with a handful of recipes he thought up during his childhood in a Philadelphia orphanage. Over the next few decades, Groucho’s built a reputation for high-quality meats and cheeses and sandwich dressings, including the popular Formula 45 Sauce. 26 locations, including 611 Harden St.
Yesterday’s Restaurant and Tavern (1976): The man in the bathtub, famously perched atop Yesterday’s awning, has watched Columbia’s Five Points neighborhood grow up and thrive. Yesterday’s maintains a hearty menu of regional classics and comfort foods. 2030 Devine St.
Shealy’s Bar-B-Que (1969): The Shealy’s barbeque buffet keeps longtime customers coming back – and keeps the fires fueled in the rivalry with Lexington County competitor Hite’s, another long-serving staple. 340 E. Columbia Ave.
Tony’s Pizzalicious (1967): Tony’s may have gotten a new look and new menu items in the past 40 years, but locals still love this pizza and pasta mainstay. 975 Knox Abbott Drive
Maurice’s Piggie Park (1955): Maurice Bessinger began his barbecue dynasty in West Columbia before spreading to 11 locations across the Midlands. The restaurant celebrates its 60th anniversary this month by offering its signature Little Joe BBQ Sandwiches for $2 on Aug. 19-21. 1600 Charleston Highway, other locations.
Hite’s Bar-B-Que (1957): Hite’s has 12 years of service on its big barbecue rival, Shealy’s. Family owned and operated for nearly six decades, Hite’s cooks its meat in a pit with oak and hickory wood. It’s only open on Fridays and Saturdays. 240 Dreher Road
Zesto (1949) Chicken, burgers and ice cream are staple menu items at this food stop under the big ice cream cone. 504 12th St.
The Beacon Drive-In (1946): Opened on Thanksgiving Day almost 70 years ago, The Beacon’s seven-days-a-week menu includes sandwiches, side orders, plates, seafood, desserts, breakfast biscuits and more. 255 John B. White Sr. Blvd.
The Clock Drive-In (1954): Lots of local love saved this Greenville mainstay from closing its doors in 2013. More than 60 years after first opening, The Clock continues serving up diner favorites including burgers, barbeque and onion rings. 1844 Wade Hampton Blvd.
Lee’s Inlet Kitchen (1948): 4460 US-17 Business: Lee’s opened in a one-time country store with just 10 tables before expanding four times over more than six decades. It’s among the popular seafood spots along the coast.
Compiled by Sarah Ellis