Home Travel No, South Of The Border Hasn’t Closed

No, South Of The Border Hasn’t Closed

by SharonKurheg

A friend of mine on Facebook, Bill B., almost gave me a heart attack the other day, when he posted this on my timeline:

Wow, South of the Border is being demolished. Lots of memories there. Hopefully they will build something else to replace it. It’s been at the border of NC and SC for 70 years!

Those who know me well understand that I’ve loved South Of The Border (SOB) for years. Here’s my review of the place from when we visited in 2018. It’s cheesy. It’s campy. It’s as kitschy as hell. For me, it’s ALLLL flavors of awesomesauce (and if you don’t like SOB, that’s fine. That’s why our blog is called Your Mileage May Vary ;-)).

So anyway, when Bill posted that to my feed, my heart went into my throat for a second – what if SOB has closed and I never got to go again? It’d be worse than when the Mai Kai (the classic, old school, 60-something-year-old Polynesian dinner theater in Ft. Lauderdale) had catastrophic damage from a burst pipe and closed for over a year (happily, they ARE going to reopen!).

I’ve been a member of a South Of The Border Facebook group for years. I admittedly don’t visit the group very often – just a coupla of times per year. But it’s run and maintained by SOB management, and it’s always there for reference and updates. So I quickly went over there to see what’s going on.

Well, the first thing they have pinned to the top of the group is this announcement from Sept. 9th, which was posted by one of the group Administrators, who also happens to be the IT Manager at SOB:

Please Read This First Before Scrolling Down Any Further!!!
South of the Border IS NOT CLOSING DOWN!!!
For all concerned SOB is just changing with the times. Recent closings and demolition of buildings is not the first time for such events in the long history of SOB. It is still owned and operated by the original family that founded it. Stay tuned as more changes are coming!

Current changes are as follows…the T-shirt Shop, Rooms 733-764(half of the rooms nearest I-95,) and the Ice Cream Fiesta have been torn down. The Giant Gorilla that was beside the Tshirt Shop which served many years for everyone to take photos with is now taking a well deserved siesta. He will be returning and that will be announced at a later date.
The elevator going up to the Sombrero Tower observation deck above the arcade is getting an entirely new elevator car built. This was scheduled to be complete around June 1, 2021 however that date has long since passed due to issues beyond anyone’s control. The elevator company has been working on it this week (October 27, 2021 as of this writing.) I will post updates on this as it becomes available…there is not an ETA available to date.
We had a fire on the front outside of the Mexico West Shop. The damaged part of the structure has been removed and rebuilt. There is still painting, stucco work, and roofing to have this completed.
Any update I receive will be added and pinned as an announcement to the top of the group discussion just as this post has been.
Well, WHEW!
Coincidentally, another friend of mine, Cookie W., sent me an email a couple of days later:
When we first saw this, we thought Pedro would be gone for good.  The horror…!  We know you love this place and all the signs leading to velvet paintings of Elvis and all things kitschy.
She included a link to an article from the Charlotte Observer, that went into some more detail about what’s gone and what’s happening next.
So nope, South Of The Border not closing. YAY!
With all the construction (as well as no plans to be driving anywhere near that part of I-95 through at least 2022, anyway), I don’t think Joe and I will be going to SOB for a while. But when we do, I’ll be looking forward to seeing its new look (and don’t worry – I’ll take lots of pictures for y’all!).
Many thanks to Bill and Cookie, who don’t know each other, but both know me so well 😉
Feature photo courtesy of Woody L.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

richard sachs November 10, 2021 - 12:27 pm

I stayed in the old section in 1981, horrible. Little did I know there was a fairly new-ish Days Inn on the other side of I-95, which would have been ALOT better including better a/c.


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