Nine months after leaving its longtime space in Plaza Midwood due to increased rent, Soul Gastrolounge has found a new, much larger home at The Pass — a mixed-use development under construction on the edge of Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood.
Soul Gastrolounge will open sometime this fall in a 6,400-square-foot space at 4100 Raleigh Ave., along the light rail at Sugar Creek Station and near The Independent Picture House, Charlotte Art League and Black Box Theater.
The new location is more than three times the size of the original and will feature a large outdoor patio and a reimagined Tattoo Liquor Lounge (formerly housed inside the now-closed Kiki/Sister in Plaza Midwood) with a separate entrance.
The kitchen will also be considerably larger, which will allow for potential catering and prep space for the limited, continued use of Soul’s food truck that’s been pumping favorites like Asian glazed pork belly tacos, Lamb Lolly Skewers and Korean BBQ wings into the streets over the past nine months.
“We continue to be so grateful for and touched by how much this community has loved us through this,” said Soul Gastrolounge managing partner Andy Kastanas in a press release announcing the new location. “The outpouring has sustained us and fueled our resolve to return. We are excited to be on the ground floor of this developing new area of town in north NoDa.”
The bar and restaurant, known for its global small plates, cocktails, DJs spinning in a cozy and hip setting, is the first tenant to sign on at The Pass, a sprawling project developed by Third & Urban. Once complete, The Pass will feature more than 260,000 square feet of creative office, retail and upscale multifamily housing.
Kastanas and his wife Lesa had been searching for a new location ever since Soul Gastrolounge departed from its second-story spot on the corner of Central and Pecan avenues in August 2022, but the process wasn’t easy. They finally found the right fit at The Pass after nine months of commercial real estate courting.
“We know how much Soul has been missed in the community since their closing, so we’re thrilled to announce them as the first signed tenant at The Pass,” Hank Farmer, managing partner at Third & Urban, said in a press release. “Soul is the right restaurant to anchor the first phase of retail here, and we look forward to filling the surrounding space with other like-minded operators.”
Kastanas assured all of Soul’s iconic pieces from Plaza Midwood— the taxidermy peacock, the Duy Huynh artwork, the booths, the custom bar, the giant, rumored-to-be-haunted mirror from Tattoo and the DJ booth — will be worked into the new spot.
“We’ll have a bit of room to spread out, but it’ll all be there,” Kastanas said.
Soul’s original interior designer, artist and musician Scott Weaver, is managing the design for the new space.
“(Designing the original) Soul was the project that really kicked off my unexpected second
career in restaurant and bar design, so to be able to revisit this project is incredibly exciting,” Weaver said in a press release. “I always thought of Soul, in terms of its feeling, as an apartment. Now, it’s like we are moving into a house, where you take your most beloved objects and rework them into the new space.
“Having the opportunity to recreate Tattoo is something I am really looking forward to,” he continued. “Having a slightly larger space will allow that vision to be even more fully realized and invite more people to experience the seductive dark glamor of this bespoke cocktail destination.”
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