[image-1]Plans for Mex 1 Coastal Cantina’s future downtown location gained conceptual approval from Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review Thursday evening.

Designs for the proposed two-story eatery set for upper Meeting Street earned unanimous support from the board. Joining the restaurant’s two locations in West Ashley and Sullivan’s Island, the proposed new location would sit on a pointed strip of property where Meeting Street and Morrison Drive converge.

Blake Middleton of architecture and design firm the Middleton Group told the board that the awkward shape of the property posed an interesting challenge in designing the new project. Members of the Board of Architectural Review and the Historic Charleston Foundation agreed with Middleton on the importance of bringing an iconic structure to what they all described as a gateway to the city from North Charleston. 
[content-1] “Generally, we like the design. We think it’s nice and inviting. The site plan is good,” said April Wood of the Historic Charleston Foundation. “We would suggest that the corner element be a little bit more iconic. We feel like this is a cube and maybe something a little more bold could be used. This is a gateway intersection, and something a little bit more artistic or something more than a cube would be better.”

Although city staff initially recommended deferring approval for the restaurant’s conceptual designs, BAR members decided to move forward with plans for the building that would include two outside patios on the second-floor and ground level.

“There are some things that need refined and dealt with, but generally I think it’s kind of in keeping with the kind of stuff that’s been happening up there,” board member Julia Martin said of the plans for the new Mex 1 site in Charleston’s East Central area.

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