Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Giant replicas of swordfish and sharks hang over the booths and bar area of The Wreckfish, their reflections mirrored in an illuminated fish tank. It serves as a reminder of the eatery’s specialty, in case anyone missed the buoys, netting, and rope lines. Here, and outside on a bright-red patio, waiters carry plates of flounder, grouper, scallops, mako, and mahi-mahi along with Southern specialties including fried green tomatoes and Lowcountry crab cakes. On Monday night, they throw down the gauntlet and invite diners to take on the all-you-can-eat crab-legs special. Happy hours see discounts such as $2 drafts and half-off appetizers.
Feed starving eye sockets with visions of North Towne's talented chefs grilling away in the open kitchen, or let the fire come to you with kasseri cheese flamed at your table and served with pita wedges ($7.95). Greek spices and lemon sauce perfume broiling sea scallops and tire out tongues just in time for naps in accompanying beds of steak fries ($17.95). Purists can opt for skewers of lamb licked by the flames for North Towne's namesake grill ($17.95). Those with a taste for something less common can venture into an order of moussaka—baked layers of eggplant, seasoned beef, and creamy cheese sauce ($14.50). Other nosh options include crab, shrimp, roasted chicken, what your neighbor ordered, and steak entrees.
Ron Haynes and his daughter, Jessie, have built a business from smiling faces. They don't snap yearbook photos or transform dentist gloves into balloon animals. Instead, they helm teeth-whitening shops that brighten smiles in 20 minutes. Since 2005, they have brightened over 50,000 smiles annually across five states. The locations in North Carolina offer either convenience at their South Park Mall kiosk or privacy at their office locations. Armed with Beaming White, a special light activated gel teeth-whitening system that pairs a peroxide-based gel with a UV-free LED light, their team of technicians helps clients brighten their choppers with an applicator pen. An applicator pen exposes the teeth so the gel and light reach every inch of enamel. Once the light unites with the gel, coffee, tea, and grass stains begin to vanish. Teeth continue to lighten after the treatment, achieving a color that's 3-7 shades whiter over the course of 24 hours. With proper care, results can last up to 12 months, or roughly the time it takes to adapt the phonebook into a comedic opera.
In seven locations around the Charleston area, King Street Grille rolls out upscale pub fare and a few dozen flat-screen televisions. Full of contemporary versions of traditional bar favorites, the menu unfolds to reveal mac ‘n’ cheese egg rolls, nine types of grilled, hand-formed burgers, and plates weighed down with comforting entrees, such as pork chops and shepherd's pie. The bar stocks more than 100 beers and its own line of liquor to wash down meals or offer as gifts to the thirsty actors who reenact big games inside the TV. Throughout the week, the eatery pairs good food with good times by transforming its space into a venue for trivia nights, billiards, and live music.