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Char restaurant to expand by 50 percent

Char door_logo_400px_rgbBy JACK WEATHERLY

Sometimes, a business solution is right out the back door.

The owners of Char restaurant, the 4-Top Hospitality Group, seized the opportunity of leasing 3,000 square feet behind it in Highland Village.

The expansion, which brings the total space under the Char roof to 9,300 square feet, will provide special events space.

“We look forward to hosting parties and meetings big and small, from 10 to 100, in this expanded dining area,” co-owner David Conn said in a release.

Char has the good problem of overflow crowds, especially at lunch, and at night, particularly on the weekends, Conn said.

To make the expansion not just look like an annex, it will be done in the dark-paneled style of the front of the restaurant, which opened in 2000, Conn said in an interview.

So those who overflow into the new space will not not feel as if they have not gotten the full Char treatment, he said. The space will have its own bar, Conn said.

The expansion of Char will have an entrance off the courtyard at Highland Village.

The expansion of Char will have an entrance off the courtyard at Highland Village.

He and his partners bought the restaurant in 2006 and four Amerigos. They own two other brands – Sombra and Saltine, and will open a Char in Memphis on Oct. 1, making the 12th eatery for the group, he said.

The space was formerly leased to Mozingo Clothiers, which moved to Duling Avenue in the Fondren District in the spring.

Charlie Mozingo said that his shop, which specializes in custom clothing, had evolved so that it did not need 3,000 square feet. His Fondren shop is about 1,200 square feet and “is a better fit.”

The added space at Char will allow entry from the courtyard of Highland Village.

The older part of the restaurant will get a refreshing, Conn said. Carpeting will be replaced, the oak floor in the bar will be refloored in oak and the foyer will be redone in black and white tile.

The Highland Village restaurant employs about 70, 50 of whom are full-time. Two full-time managers and five other staff members will be added when the new space is opened, he said, adding that the target date is Dec. 1.

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