Fort Mill Times

The River Rat restaurant returns in Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie’s newest eatery is a taste of an old icon. The new River Rat restaurant opened last week at 5301 Hwy. 557.

The River Rat building, on S.C. 557 across from Mill Creek Commons, was home to one of the area’s earliest and most iconic eateries. The River Rat – owned by the Powell family – fed diners in Lake Wylie for more than 30 years before closing in summer 2010.

The new River Rat is family-owned, as well. Going with the earlier, once-successful name for a restaurant isn’t new for the Randazzos. Joe Randazzo opened Grid Iron in 2011 in Steele Creek, choosing to stay with the name that made the restaurant popular before it closed under different ownership and a different name. The Randazzos came to York County decades ago to run a restaurant for Jim Bakker, and have since run several, including several Tony’s Pizza locations and Papa Pino’s near Carowinds.

The new focus is on seafood, but also serves burgers, steaks and Italian food.

Alesandra Randazzo, general manager of Grid Iron in Steele Creek, has said the restaurant will employ more than 45 people.

The restaurant has banquet rooms to fit 20 to 200 people.

For hours and more information, call 803-831-5455 or visit