One Signal restaurant closes, another opens

One Signal restaurant closes, another opens

March 15th, 2012 by Emily Crisman in Local Regional News

Southern Star Take-Away owners Rick and Nancy Adams have closed their upscale Signal Mountain restaurant Seventeen Ninety, but mountain residents have gained a new dining option with the Feb. 29 opening of Rafael's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant.

Raphael's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant employee Maria Esparz and manager Ashley Corley, from left, prepare for the dinner rush at the new restaurant which opened Feb. 29 in the old Taco Bell building on Taft Highway.

Photo by Emily Crisman

"We just weren't doing the sales that we needed to do," said Nancy Adams of Seventeen Ninety, which was opened in February 2011 next door to their popular takeout establishment serving home-style Southern favorites to diners on the go. "Friday and Saturdays were good, but during the week there just wasn't enough to keep it going."

The Rafael's Signal Mountain location is one of 10 Rafael's owned by restaurateur Rafael Arellano throughout Tennessee, according to restaurant manager Ashley Corley.

"It's fast, fresh, and the food's good," said Corley as to why Signal residents should try out the new restaurant located in the former Taco Bell building on Taft Highway. "It's a good place for family and friends, and there's a large variety of food for everyone."

Rafael's menu features an array of options ranging from pizza, pasta and calzones to quesadillas, sub sandwiches and gyros.

Corley said Rafael's has received a good response from the community so far. The most popular items with diners at the Signal Mountain location are the pizza and the Italian cheesesteak, which features slices of steak and sautéed onions topped with provolone cheese served on an Italian hoagie, with the option to add mushrooms and peppers.

Southern Star Take-Away will remain open, as will the main sit-down location of Southern Star downtown on Broad Street.

While 10 jobs were lost with the closing of Seventeen Ninety, this was canceled out with the opening of Raphael's, which Corley said currently employs 10.