We got our first look at forthcoming Ink N Ivy today (565 King St.). The Charlotte-based restaurant took over Southern Charm co-producer Bryan Kestner’s failure to launch French/Mexican fusion restaurant, Generalísimo’s, in January 2016. And in that time the Ink N Ivy team has managed to scrub any vestige of the historic Taylor’s Pawn Shop building for pop art pandemonium.

There are floating gold frames, fake bookshelves, Tudor ruff-wearing dog portraits, a motorcycle mural, and what can only be described as a butterfly lower back tattoo bookending either side of the bar.

Artisan Rooms Mural Artists out of Columbus, Ohio are the driving force behind Ink N Ivy’s look. “The art is supposed to make you think,” says GM Steve Beyer. “We want it to be interesting to create conversation.” The music, on the other hand, will hopefully make you feel relaxed, like you’re in the Caribbean. A DJ will play reggae starting around 11 p.m. and sometimes at brunch.

As for the food, publicist Morgan Conroy says that the 240-seat space will serve “authentic American with Southern twists.” While there will be some changes from Ink N Ivy’s other two locations in Charlotte and Greenville, the large menu will likely feature items like burgers, salads, and sandwiches with the occasional special. A full cocktail menu and five local beers on tap will be sold from the downstairs as well as rooftop bar which won’t be complete until after Ink N Ivy opens. And you can’t thank that rooftop bar for parking, due to a BAR stipulation they had to buy four spots across the street.

“We want to serve all demographics,” says Beyer. To do so, Ink N Ivy will be family friendly with a kids’ menu but will transition to a club late night. That said, the challenge to try to be all things to all people is not lost on Beyer, but he’s optimistic that Ink N Ivy’s past success in other cities can be replicated here.

“We know Charleston has savvy diners and we want to do it right. We want to do what we do correctly.” For now, they’re staffing up and looking for good help.

Look for Ink N Ivy to open in late April. 

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