[image-1] A new coastal Italian restaurant quietly opened March 2 at 209 East Bay St., the space formerly occupied by Pawpaw. According to Sipango director of operations Heather Greene, the seating and layout of the new restaurant is conducive to hosting private events.

Sipango executive chef Brian Fox is fresh off a four-year hiatus from the restaurant world, and he’s excited to utilize the abundant local seafood and produce Charleston has to offer. His menu features a variety of house made pastas, shareable small plates, and wood-fired pizzas. Fox uses an all natural sourdough starter to make the crust, and toppings range from the classic margherita to shrimp with garlic crema.

Fox, who has spent the last few years in foodservice at MUSC, describes his menu as “contemporary Charleston in feel, even if we aren’t making traditional Southern cuisine.” According to the chef, there will always be an Italian staple entree on the menu — right now, he’s serving a buttermilk fried chicken parmigiano with house made pasta.

Sipango is open for dinner until March 12, expanding to lunch and dinner service seven days a week after that. [location-1]