The property investor and entrepreneur who opened a French bakery and restaurant known as La Parisienne last year is preparing to launch another restaurant in Aiken.
David Meunier recently acquired the property at the corner of York Street and Hampton Avenue where Church’s Chicken once stood.
Its plans include a major renovation of the 1,750 square foot building there.
Once completed, the renovated structure will house a restaurant serving Italian cuisine with Mediterranean accents.
Meunier has yet to make a firm decision on a name, but he said his new business will likely be called Scuderia, which is the Italian word for stable, or a building where horses are kept.
The equine influence comes as no surprise as Meunier has become a staple of polo locally. He is a player but also a patron who sets up and finances teams.
“I love Italian food, but the Italian food that’s here, I don’t like it,” Meunier said. “I’m not saying it’s not good food, it’s just that it’s not to my taste. I don’t like heavy and thick pizzas. I don’t like a lot of sauce everywhere. You can eat Italian, and it can be very healthy.
Therefore, the focus will be on lighter fare at its Northside restaurant.
“You’re not going to eat sauce with pasta,” Meunier said. “You’re going to eat pasta with sauce on it.”
And the pizza will have a “very thin” crust, he added.
There will be a $100 option, with toppings such as smoked salmon and caviar.
But plenty of low-cost choices in the $12 to $14 range will be available, Meunier said.
To help him with the restaurant, Meunier has someone he thinks will provide him with expert advice.
“I’m bringing in an Italian who has an Italian restaurant in Charlotte to set it up and run it,” Meunier said. “If he wants to be a partner, he will be a partner. I have no problem with that.”
There will be a take-out window and guests can dine indoors or outdoors, where there will be protection from the elements in case of inclement weather.
They will also have the opportunity to have their car cleaned.
“It will be more like a detailer than a car wash,” Meunier said. “We won’t use water and we won’t use chemicals. It will be eco-friendly. »
This service will be reserved for restaurant customers.
“People don’t just come and drop off their car,” Meunier said.
He would like to be able to open the restaurant next year in April at the latest.
Based on Aiken County land records, Meunier purchased the former site of Church’s Chicken, at 455 York St. NE, for $135,000, in the name of 865 Marion Ct S LLC.
The deal was completed on October 28.
“I walk past it every day,” Meunier said. “It’s ugly. It’s not good for the neighborhood. I’m going to make something nice out of it.
The seller was South Carolina Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken.
He is happy that Meunier is improving the property considerably.
“I wanted to do something to improve the area, but I couldn’t afford to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in it,” Clyburn said.
On behalf of SSPP 2 LLC in 2019, Meunier purchased La Parisienne’s Chesterfield location for $200,000 from Olive Oils LLC.
There used to be a restaurant called Olive Oils.
He has also made many other real estate investments locally. They include the purchase of houses in working-class neighborhoods to renovate and rent as well as rural land for his farm and La Bourgogne polo center.
And he’s looking to spend even more money in this part of South Carolina after recently selling off a slew of properties in Florida.
“Aiken is such a lovely town,” said Meunier, who was born in France and raised in Switzerland. “There are so many things that can be done here.”