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New restaurant on tap for the old Dianne’s, Tallulah location on Devine Street

The former Dianne’s and Tallulah restaurant is being eyed by a hickory-N.C.-based restaurant Backstreets Grill
The former Dianne’s and Tallulah restaurant is being eyed by a hickory-N.C.-based restaurant Backstreets Grill jwilkinson@thestate.com

Hickory, N.C.-based Backstreets Bar & Grill is eyeing the old Dianne’s and Tallulah location at 2400 Devine St.

Casey Peissel, the stepson of Backstreets Grill owner Brian Norris and a University of South Carolina graduate who will run the restaurant, said the family is doing its due diligence to purchase the building during the next few weeks.

“Assuming no major issue is discovered, yes we will be opening our restaurant ‘Backstreets Grill’ there,” he wrote in a text.

Norris has said the new restaurant will be identical to the North Carolina location, which he once described as “halfway between fine dining and neighborhood sports bar.”

The restaurant had been slotted for a building at 3006 Devine St., next door to the new Urban Cookhouse. They had even received a parking variance to locate there.

Peissel declined comment on that deal. However, developer Frank Cason, who was brokering it, said the cost of the build-out, among other issues, was “too high.”

The Dianne’s building, which most recently housed Tallulah restaurant, was listed for sale or rent by NAI Avant last July.

A description of the property said it had been “recently renovated with more than $600,000 worth of improvements ... Fully equipped and functioning restaurant with walk-in cooler and 16-camera alarm system. Only thing that needs to be changed are the locks and alarm code.”

Norris opened the Hickory restaurant in 1996. Its motto is “Great Food. Good Friends. Bad Parking.”

The family chose Columbia, Norris has said, because Peissel is a 2014 USC graduate loves the city and wants to stay.

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