The Lucky Luchador opens Sept. 28 at 35 Hanover St. | Photos by Ruta Smith

Recovery Room Tavern and Bangkok Lounge owner Chris “Boston” DiMattia on Sept. 28 will open his next concept, The Lucky Luchador. After dealing with months of setbacks from city inspections over the last year, DiMattia said he’s ready to debut the new bar in the space formerly occupied by the Palace Hotel on Hanover Street.

The new bar’s logo designed by Charleston graphic designer Alex Griffin

The Irish cantina incorporates a blend of Mexican and Irish influences, with a variety of tequilas and mezcals in addition to Irish whiskeys and Guinness. The idea for the blend came from a simple wish to open an Irish-inspired neighborhood bar with a unique twist. To find that unique edge, DiMattia and graphic designer Alex Griffin ultimately landed on a balance of a “dark, moody dive bar” and “happy, bright cantina,” DiMattia said.

The interior of the Lucky Luchador, dubbed “Lucky’s Lounge,” has the traditional pub lighting of a dive bar, with wooden tables, metal barstools and TVs playing above the bar. But outside, the “Luchador Cantina” incorporates pops of bright colors. Guests on the patio are greeted by the words “I survived Lucky Luchador” on a mural painted by one of DiMattia’s friends. The fence, table and chairs are painted eye-popping shades of red, green and yellow. A bright neon Modelo sign, centered between two mounted TVs, lights up the outdoor bar. 

“Happy outside, dark and depressing inside,” DiMattia said, laughing. 

DiMattia kept the food simple with a small menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine like tacos and quesadillas and pub fare like chicken fingers and French fries. “I’m a big fan of keeping things simple,” he said.

Lucky Luchador will also feature pop-ups throughout the week, showcasing Lowcountry talent like Weem’s Ramen, South Philly Cheesesteaks and Korean corn dog Seol-Ah’s. 

The ultimate goal for Lucky Luchador, though, is to bring it back to basics. 

“What Recovery Room started off 15 years ago was essentially like a locals’ food and bev, little dive bar of cheap beer,” DiMattia said. “It has just grown into something much bigger. And so my goal here is to try and dial it back. Get back to like what we were doing in the beginning again, where  everyone knows your name.” 


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