This note was posted on Rhino’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon:
“Sadly, we announce the closing of the restaurant after dinner service Saturday evening. We’ve had a short but good run but have found our location unsustainable . . . We do intend to to continue catering and the food truck but are going to take some time to regroup until after the first of the year. Please keep our employees in your thoughts as they try to find new employment; we’re trying to assist them as much as possible during this difficult time. Thank you for your continued support as we reorganize so we can continue to provide you the amazing food and service you have become accustom to. — Stephen and Lisa Self, Tony Cooper”
We’ve seen a few successful food truck operations try their hand at a brick-and-mortar restaurant with mixed results. Crawdaddy’s was the first, landing at 239 Broad St. and continuing to be a destination stop. We’ve likewise seen a few others try with some success since then (barbecue, baked goods).
Most recently, we’ve watch Rhino Ribs become Rhino Smokehouse & Catering. Stephen Self and partners took a well-known spot at Armuchee Village, serving barbecue and an assorted menu with plenty of thumbs up. But while the reviews were good — 124 five-star reviews out of 134 total via Facebook — there haven’t been enough people through the door since opening last spring. Self is telling his regulars that they’ll close the restaurant at 3349 Martha Berry Highway as of Saturday.
During the Rhino Rib days and even with the restaurant, the word we’ve heard the most about the barbecue and sides has been a consistent “Incredible.”
Some trends in that area:
- Armuchee has been a hot bed of restaurant movement this year. Chuck Patel closed WOW after 10 years only to give way to a relocated La Conquista (from further north on Martha Berry). Sam Edwards went north rather than south when he relocated Sam’s Burger-Deli/Schroeder’s just up the road from the original spot. He’s nailing it at the new location, one that’s become something of a destination with its unique aircraft design and airborne VW bus.
- The Rhino site has had a history of hits and misses in recent years. We recall another barbecue, a country cooking “meat and three,” a sports-themed restaurant, Mexican and then back to more barbecue with Rhino’s.