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After a pretty long drought of no headline-making restaurant openings, I’m starting to hear lots of buzz about three exciting new places getting ready to welcome guests.

Better yet, all three places will offer relatively new experiences currently not available on the local dining scene.

Get ready to check out a new Filipino restaurant with a familiar face, the area’s first dog-friendly bar, and a new bourbon-based restaurant and lounge.


Charleston’s first Filipino-inspired restaurant and pub will soon open at the bottom of Cantley Drive in Fort Hill in the small plaza where Domino’s Pizza is located.

Chatter about this new spot has been on-again, off-again for months due to construction and other delays, but has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks.

I got super-psyched myself this week when I learned that one of the partners behind the new endeavor was none other than Virgil Sadorra, the mastermind behind the awesome Delish restaurant on MacFarland Street in downtown Charleston years ago.

Calling itself “The Blended Table,” Barkadas plans to introduce Philippine island cuisine to local diners while also adding influences from Spain, Southeast Asia and the United States into the mix.

The word “barkadas” is Filipino street slang for a group of friends getting together, which is just how this restaurant was born. Sadorra, Jay Cinco and two other childhood friends came together to collaborate on a dining concept that would introduce new flavors to Charleston in what they say will be “the most customer-centric restaurant in the area,” in an effort to reinvent the whole concept of the neighborhood pub.

With an exciting ethnic menu, a promised neighborhood feel and a location that is, well, not far from my own neighborhood, I’m super-stoked for Barkadas to open its doors.

Facebook posts also keep teasing a pending opening date to come, but the suspense is killing me. Guys, let’s talk!

Barkadas will be located at 100 Cantley Dr. in Charleston. For more information, check out

The BARk

From one “Bark” to another …

Although its website is still promoting an October 2019 opening, the Facebook page for Charleston’s first dog bar says a real opening date will soon be announced for this new venture by House of Hounds, located inside the old Lee Street Lounge across from the Clay Center.

After the popular dog grooming and boarding business bought the building where Lee Street Lounge was located, that bar moved down the street to the old Bruno’s location and House of Hounds started transforming the old Lee Street Lounge into an upscale dog bar that will serve beer, wine and cocktails in swanky surroundings inside — and on two large decks and play areas outside.

Plans call for casual happy hours with drinking and free games from 5-7 p.m. on the outdoor patios, followed by music and dancing indoors later in the evenings.

The BARk, 1109 Lee St. E. in Charleston, plans to be open from 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. until “late” on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 304-421-4364 or visit

Hale House

Finally, the new Hale House bourbon bistro taking over where Celsius was located between Hale and Dickinson streets in downtown Charleston says it is inching closer to a soon-to-be-announced opening date that is planned “before Christmas.”

Offering a large selection of premium and hard-to-find bourbons, along with craft beers, wine and cocktails, the restaurant will also serve a full menu of steaks, chicken, seafood, burgers and appetizers.

Photos on the restaurant’s Facebook page seem to indicate they’ve really spruced up the place and the bourbon selection stocked behind the bar looks impressive.

Hale House is located at 212 Hale Street in Charleston. For more information, check out “Hale House” on Facebook.

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or by e-mail at You can also follow him on Facebook as “WV Food Guy” and on Twitter,

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