Soul Gastrolounge’s Andy and Lesa Kastanas opening new restaurant and bar with rooftop patio

Soul Gastrolounge’s Andy and Lesa Kastanas opening new restaurant and bar with rooftop patio
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Soul Gastrolounge’s Andy and Lesa Kastanas will open a new restaurant and bar in Plaza Midwood.

Literally hundreds of new restaurants and bars are popping up all over our city, yet Soul Gastrolounge, which turns 10 years old in a few months, remains arguably the coolest spot in the city. It’s super impressive.

And now Andy and Lesa Kastanas will debut a new yet-to-be-named concept that’ll be located underneath and next to Soul Gastrolounge. The concept will be a new and separate company (it’s not an expansion of Soul, which they own with partner James Fedele).

Timing: Andy and Lesa are shooting for a June grand opening.

Vibe: “It’s going to have a little more glamour,” Lesa Kastanas told me. Expect it to feel more elegant than Soul but not stuffy fine dining.

Menu: The menu will consist of French and Greek small bites and sharable plates. Lesa described it as “Franco Greco cuisine.” It’ll also be more “plant forward” and feature vegetables much more than Soul’s current menu. Soul’s executive chef Jay Pound will also be in charge of the kitchen at the new concept.

Space: The new concept will be divided into two distinct spaces — a larger space directly underneath Soul (same size) that was previously occupied by Twenty Two. The smaller space will be next door, in the space previously occupied by the Tattoo Parlor. While guests will enter through the larger space and be seated by the same hostess, expect the spaces to have different atmospheres. The smaller space will be “intimate, dark and sexy” according to Lesa. Think of it as more of a cocktail lounge.

Rooftop patio: The smaller space will also have a rooftop patio with a view of Central Avenue. Given the limitations of the building, it’ll be intimate — which sounds incredible.

Cocktails: Soul’s beverage director Kel Minton will also lead the bar program at the new concept. Expect cocktails on draft at the larger bar and a “more personalized” experience at the smaller bar. Lesa told me they’re still deciding on whether or not to take reservations at the smaller cocktail lounge space.

Given Soul Gastrolounge’s proven track record, an experience team and a unique space located in the heart of Plaza Midwood, I expect this new concept to be popular, fast. We’ll keep you posted as the project progresses.

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Bar at Soul Gastrolounge. Agenda related guide: 11 best cocktail bars in Charlotte and what to order from each

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