The Catch-Up: San Jose hopes to open lakeside in the fall, Lexington steakhouse to debut

By Natalie Szrajer and Jordan Lawrence
Posted 8/16/23

A popular local Mexican restaurant chain is expanding in Lexington County. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get 50% of all subscriptions for a limited time. Subscribe today.

You can cancel anytime.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The Catch-Up: San Jose hopes to open lakeside in the fall, Lexington steakhouse to debut


A popular local Mexican restaurant chain is expanding in Lexington County. 

San Jose is looking to add a location on Lake Murray along U.S. Highway 378 in Leesville and possibly move out of its location along that highway next to a Publix and into a new space across the street.

“We are working to open the one on the lake hopefully this fall,” said Susana Ortega, an employee with San Jose.

The other prospective location, which would sit across from the Hendrix Crossing shopping center west of Lexington proper, it’s up in the air, with Ortega telling the Chronicle the property is for a future bid and there is no timeline for opening at this time. If the bid goes through, the current restaurant may move into the new spot.

There is a sign up on the lot up for bid that says “future home of San Jose Mexican Restaurant.” The area on Highway 378 in the Lexington area has seen growth, with several new businesses opening the past couple of years. Recent additions include a Mavis Tire & Brakes and ModWash car wash.

This is in addition to growth opposite Highway 378 along Augusta Highway/U.S. Highway 1 and Wise Ferry Rd., where multiple new housing developments are either in progress or planned to start construction.

As for the San Jose currently being constructed in Leesville, Ortega says it will be similar to the one in the Hendrix Crossing shopping center but will offer parking for boaters. There is a sign up at the lakeside location that proclaims it to be the home of San Jose at The Lake & Marina, announcing that boat slips are available. Boaters will be able to park and grab a bite as long as they have a boat slip.

The property — which houses Hollow Creek Marina and was formerly home to the Spirit of Lake Murray yacht and the FishWater Beer Garden — changed hands in 2021.

There are currently 17 San Jose locations in the counties of Lexington, Richland, Kershaw and Orangeburg, according to the restaurant’s website. Ortega said each restaurant is independently owned and operated by family members. Some family members may own more than one. 

“We are a family of 10 and we operate separately,” she explained, referring to the San Jose locations in addition to the COA and Masa restaurants in Columbia. — NS

Lexington steakhouse sets opening date

Another anticipated Lexington County restaurant has set an opening date.

Southern Smoked Tavern, the steakhouse-leaning concept set to take over from Griffin Chophouse at 924 E Main St. Suite C (attached to Midtown Fellowship Church near downtown Lexington) is set to open its doors Aug. 17.

The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. that day.

“After this week, we’re going to start by opening five days per week (Wednesday - Sunday) lunch and dinner so that we can wrap up some construction / remodeling and give our team a little break,” Ron Pereira, CEO of local hospitality company Happy Fork posted to Facebook. “In a few weeks, we’ll move to seven days per week, lunch and dinner.”

The company, which continues to build out its Chapin Commons shopping center in that county municipality, operates the restaurants Bakon and Chophouse of Chapin out of that property.

“As we get settled in, we’ll be working on our happy hour, brunch features, daily lunch specials, dinner features, delivery apps, online ordering, etc so you might want to follow our page to keep up on our progress,” Pereira posted. — JL

Cayce church burned by alleged arson celebrates renovated worship hall

Trinity Baptist Church has fully put itself back together after arson scarred its sanctuary in early 2022.

The Cayce church on Charleston Highway suffered extensive damage to its foyer and smoke damage to its sanctuary after a fire that Paul Peter Lavoie is accused of starting after breaking into the building on Feb. 24.

The church held its first service back in the sanctuary on Christmas Eve, and last weekend, after nearly a year and a half, it unveiled its renovated worship center with a Celebration Sunday that included a Family Carnival in addition to the regular blended worship and contemporary worship services.

“We are very thankful to have a few members of the fire department here with us this morning. Thank you guys for being here, we really appreciate you and all you do,” Senior Pastor Eddie Oakley said during the day’s second service.

“Our purpose is to love, reach and grow fully devoted followers of Jesus for the glory of God,” he added, addressing the guests who were on hand for the special day. “So for all of you that are here this morning, that’s our hope for you, that you are able to just take a step closer to understanding God a little better and understand how much he loves you. That’s what we’re all about, that’s what we hope you experience this morning.”

Lavoie’s court case for charges of second degree burglary and second degree arson is still pending, according to court records. — JL

san jose lake murray, mexican restaurant leesville, lexingotn steakhouse, southern smoked tavern, columbia food, sc buisness


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here