Craig Conover Is Opening A Mexican-Sushi Fusion Restaurant In Charleston

Southern Charm’s Craig Conover has always been a little slow to follow up with his goals. Viewers watched for several seasons while Craig procrastinated about taking the bar exam. His girlfriend at the time, Naomie Olindo, frequently expressed frustration with his easy-going approach to life. Co-star Shep Rose made fun of Craig for his lack of direction. When Craig had an opportunity to partner with Patricia Altschul on a pillow project, he failed to follow through with deadlines and she was forced to put the project on hold.

This year, however, Craig seems to be more ambitious. He has started an online pillow business, Sewing Down South, even selling out in an hour at his first in-store appearance. Now, Craig is expending his horizons even further, with his announcement that he has ventured into the restaurant business.

In a recent Instagram post, Craig shared, “Well it’s been a long road coming but definitely a fun one. Excited to announce the grand opening of our new restaurant on King St.” The restaurant is called Mesu and touts itself as the first Mexican-sushi concept in Charleston.

Craig shared photos of the restaurant in his post, from the early construction phase to ready-to-open. How was this kept a secret for so long? The restaurant decor is full of bright colors and the accompanying food photos look delicious. Mesu’s website says the restaurant’s “bold flavors, exotic plates and well crafted cocktails come together to form a unique culinary experience.”

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So why open a restaurant? In an interview with Bravo’s The Daily Dish, Craig stated, “I grew up in restaurants and bartended for six years of my life. It has always been a goal of mine to become involved in the food and beverage industry once I was more established.”

Craig is in business with Leva Bonaparte, who said, “Craig and I have known each other for years! Craig’s charisma has always been infectious. My husband and I met him a few years ago, and even though he was young, we could tell he had great business savvy. We’ve brainstormed other business ideas over the years, so this partnership has been a long time coming. It’s a really exciting project.”

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King Street, the location of the new restaurant, is a trendy and historic district of Charleston, filled with bars, restaurants and retail stores. It has been a commercial area since the 1700’s and has been revitalized over the last twenty years. Which makes it a perfect pick for Craig’s new venture.

Bringing a fresh restaurant idea to Charleston is exciting for Craig. He told, “It is a new concept we brought to Charleston that incorporates Japanese and Mexican inspired dishes. We spent a lot of time making sure the atmosphere and ambiance matched the cutting-edge cuisine, so we outfitted the restaurant with a lot of cool pop art. It’s fun and fresh, and it opens the door for future generations of culture and cuisine.” Spoken like a true businessman!

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I took a peek at the menu and the offerings look interesting. You can order Mexican, sushi or dishes that offer a blend of both. Prices range from $4.50 to $18.00.

Congratulations to Craig on his new venture! Maybe Mesu will even have Austen Kroll’s Trop Hop as a beer selection. The restaurant is sure to be a destination for visiting Southern Charm fans who want the full Charleston experience.

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[Photo Credit: Bravo]