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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Swanky new lounge opens inside Kita Modern Japanese

Kita Modern Japanese at Southridge has opened a swanky new “secret” lounge area – which you access through a bookcase door behind the main bar – that features a “Lucky 7” specialty food and cocktail menu.

New lounge inside Kita Modern Japanese
New lounge inside Kita Modern Japanese

Food options include southwest egg rolls, mushroom risotto cake, black bean and roasted bell pepper spread with pita chips, fried mushrooms, white cheddar cheese curds, jalapeno poppers and “shrimp in a jacket.”

And you can pair those tasty bites with fancy drinks like a Boulevardier, Negroni, Sazerac, French 75, The Last Word, Vesper and White Lady – or any cocktail you wish.

The new lounge will be open with limited capacity and by reservation on Monday through Saturday evenings.

I recently got a sneak peek inside the space and it is super neat!

Kita is located at 2815 Mountaineer Blvd. in South Charleston. For more information, call, 304-205-5200, visit or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

New bar opens in old Quarrier Diner

A new bar called The ROQ has also opened in the basement of the old Quarrier Diner, where Timothy’s used to be, offering a variety of upscale cocktails and themed nights in cool, dimly lit surroundings.

Lounge at Kita Modern Japanese
Lounge at Kita Modern Japanese

Cocktail options include a fruity Lychee Martini with St. Germain, a Watermelon Mojito and a Paloma with reposado tequila, fresh grapefruit, lime and honey. There’s also a Thai Basil Gin Fizz, a coffee-fueled Cold Brew-tini and a Whiskey Sour, along with a selection of beer and wine.

On the entertainment menu, there are salsa classes offered on Thursday evenings, “Funk Night!” on Fridays and possible live music coming on Saturday nights.

The ROQ at 1022 Quarrier St. in downtown Charleston is currently open from 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday. For more information, visit or check out the bar’s Facebook page.

Food art exhibit opening at Clay Center

To celebrate the opening of its new Bits & Bytes Bistro I told you about a few months ago, the Clay Center is serving up a new “Food in Art” exhibit that will be on display inside the downtown Charleston facility’s Juliet Art Museum.

Secret door connecting restaurant and lounge
Secret door connecting restaurant and lounge

“We are relishing all things food at the Clay Center this summer,” the center said in its newsletter, “and this exhibition examines images from our permanent collection of or related to food.”

For those who don’t remember, the new dining area is located on the facility’s main floor just past the box office and was designed to provide families a casual place to enjoy a meal or snack while visiting the museum, plus create a community space for others to gather for coffee or lunch meetings.

Bits & Bytes will include a self-serve dining area with grab-and-go soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, desserts and snacks, plus a walk-up coffee bar. Gluten-free and kid-friendly items will be in the mix as well.

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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