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As of September 9th, 2022, the former location of Carino's Italian (6821 Slide Road) in Lubbock is getting completely demolished.

The restaurant, AKA Johnny Carino's, has been closed since August 2019, meaning the building sat vacant for a little over 3 years. It was a landmark of sorts, and not an ugly building, but I guess it was it's time.

The building was sold almost a year ago, but it's now apparent that the new owners just wanted the site. If I had to take a wild guess as to what will go there, my guess is that it would be a gas station. That area has been demolishing and rebuilding gas stations like crazy.

I really liked Carino's when it was open. Lubbock has always had limited Italian food options, and while Carino's was by no means authentic or local or anything like that, it was a Texas brand and the food was consistently good in my experience.

On one visit, I was seated right next to former Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight. Sadly, he didn't throw a chair or yell or anything entertaining while I was there. I was close enough to reach over and grab his knee, but I'm smarter than that.

If you're looking for Italian food in Lubbock now, we do have great local options. I love Italian Garden, located in Downtown Lubbock. It's BYOB, the bread rolls are the best on planet Earth, and the pink sauce is to die for. There's also Stella's, with those chocolate martinis, (omg!), two locations of Orlando's, One Guy From Italy and more.

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