ENTERTAINMENT

‘Southern Charm’s Craig Conover and Austen Kroll Set to Open New Bar Concept in Charleston (Exclusive)

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Later this year, there will be more to (ba ba) do in Charleston, South Carolina.

ET can exclusively announce Southern Charm stars Craig Conover and Austen Kroll are bringing a new business to their adopted hometown, partnering with Uptown Hospitality Group on a fresh concept called By the Way. The “neighborhood tavern” is set to open mid-summer just around the corner from the company’s flagship location, Uptown Social on the city’s famous King St.

This move furthers Craig and Austen’s business relationship. The two are already partners in a podcast, Pillows and Beer, and investors in New York City eatery Carriage House. 

“Charleston has grown so much in the last few years and brought in a lot of travelers, so we wanted to create a space where locals and travelers could hang out together and enjoy the neighborhood,” Craig told ET of By the Way (aka BTW). 

“It’s going to be a really intimate space,” he shared. “We put a lot of thought into the design to try and make it as warm and inviting as possible. We’re leaning into the local, upscale, tavern vibes, so the menu is going to have elevated bar fare and approachable cocktails.”

“I’ve always dreamed of a world where we would partner on a project,” Austen added. “I just knew it had to be the right concept and the right time. When people think of the Charleston social scene, the Uptown Hospitality Group is a huge part of that. I’ve gotten countless messages in the past from friends, family, and everyone in between asking where to go out in Charleston, and I’ve always said you can’t go wrong with [UHG’s spots]. We’re so thrilled to be able to work together to create a new cornerstone in the Charleston community.”

“Craig and Austen have been buddies of ours since moving here in 2018,” Keith Benjamin, owner of UHG, shared. “They have always been loyal supporters of our brands, whether patronizing our establishments or pushing them on their social channels. The symbiotic nature of their reach connecting with our demographic makes a whole lot of sense for both parties. We look forward to launching By the Way with these guys formally in our corner!”

Charles Sykes / Bravo via Getty Images

Austen sees By the Way as a spot to hang out and have an experience. They guys plan to bring in “talented musicians” to perform every week. 

“What I envision is a place where you come for a drink before dinner, let’s say, lose track of time and before you know it, hours have passed and all of a sudden, you’re surrounded by all your friends,” Austen said. “Its going to be a place you can come and sit for a while.”

By the Way will join UHG’s other concepts in Charleston, including Bodega and Share House, both of which have been featured on the Bravo hit. BTW will also become another stop on the “Bravo bar crawl” fans of the series can do when visiting the Holy City, as Craig and Austen’s co-star, Leva Bonaparte‘s, many establishments also sit on the main drag. Check out a tour of all her spots in the video below.

Southern Charm wrapped up its season 9 run on Bravo on Thursday night. All episodes are now streaming on Peacock. 

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