Cuban Gypsy Pantry owners Chloe and Will Vivas will turn half of their North Charleston location into an Italian restaurant serving house-made pasta and craft pizzas. Bar Za, which debuts on Friday, Jan. 22, is the first eatery to land in the 30-seat part of the restaurant that the Vivases are turning into an “incubator” featuring a rotating cast of concepts, Chloe told the City Paper.
“We’ll continue to create other incubator concepts that act as pop-ups within our restaurant,” she said. “I want Charleston to look at us as a hospitality group.”
Chloe and Will opened Cuban Gypsy Pantry downtown at 141 Calhoun St. in 2016 before expanding to North Charleston in 2019 and adding a Summerville cafe called Gypsy Parlor in October of this year. The couple started hinting at Bar Za’s offering on social media in early December with cryptic posts about what was to come.
The 4,200-square-foot North Charleston Gypsy Pantry will be split in half, and 30 reservation-only seats will be dedicated to Bar Za. Chloe hopes that having two concepts inside one building will make folks “curious what’s going on on the other side of the wall.”
According to Chloe, the plan is to keep Bar Za in the incubator for six months, at which point they hope to find a permanent location for the Italian concept. A “clean eating, sophisticated vegan and vegetarian” concept called Moss will take over the other half of Cuban Gypsy Pantry North Charleston following Bar Za’s departure.
“We’re in a unique position to maximize the quality staff that we have as well as our opportunity to bring in people who don’t realize we can cook all of this food,” Chloe said. “Since we’ve been here four or five years, we’re ready to start testing the market with the other experiences we have.”
Cuban Gypsy Pantry North Charleston is located at 5060 Dorchester Road in the Oak Ridge Plaza Shopping Center. For more information, follow Bar Za on Instagram.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.