Soul Gastrolounge announces long-awaited relocation to NoDa

CHARLOTTE — A beloved Plaza Midwood staple that was forced to close last year is reopening in a new location.

Soul Gastrolounge will open in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood at 4100 Raleigh Avenue.

The announcement was nine months in the making.

The restaurant’s new space, which is in a mixed-use development called The Pass, will be 6,400 square feet. That’s more than three times the size of the original. It will also have an outdoor patio and a “reimagined” Tattoo Liquor Lounge, which used to be inside of Kiki/Sister in Plaza Midwood.

The Pass is a project by developers Third & Urban. Soul is the first tenant to sign on there.

Managing partner Andy Kastanas and his wife, Lesa Kastanas, announced on July 21, 2022 that the longtime restaurant was closing its doors on Aug. 14, 2022. The couple was notified last spring that the building at 1500 Central Avenue — home to their businesses Sister, Tattoo and Soul Gastrolounge — would be going up for sale.

In June, the Kastanas were informed that if their businesses were to stay, the leases would be restructured with an increase in rent of 114%, from $20 per square foot to $43.

Finding a new spot was not a simple task.

“The journey to find a location has not been easy, a process that co-owner Lesa Kastanas recently likened to online dating in an essay for Unpretentious Palate – filled with ecstatic, hopeful highs and repeated, devastating lows,” a news release from their public relations team says. “They found the right fit on their fifth round (over nine months) of commercial real estate courting.”

The new space will be designed with some of the same pieces that were at their old location, including the taxidermy peacock.

The fist phase of The Pass — which includes Soul Gastrolounge — is anticipated to open in Fall 2023.

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