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The Daily Dish Southern Charm

Craig Conover and Austen Kroll Just Announced an Exciting Business Move

The Southern Charm castmates are preparing to open a "neighborhood tavern" located on Charleston's King Street.

By Joshua Espinoza
Craig Conover Thinks Olivia Flowers and Austen Kroll Should Stop Being Friends

Craig Conover and Austen Kroll are expanding their business relationship.

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Years after launching their popular podcast series, Pillows and Beer, the Southern Charm besties announced their plans to open a new restaurant in Charleston. The castmates dished on the venture in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, explaining their overall vision for the “neighborhood tavern" dubbed By the Way.

“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 the outlet. “It’s going to be a really intimate space. 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.”

Craig Conover and Austen Kroll's restaurant is set to open this summer

Split of Austen Kroll wearing a pale yellow sports jacket and Craig Conover wearing a pale blue sports jacket.

The concept is a collaborative effort with Uptown Hospitality Group, which has bolstered Charleston’s food scene with eateries like Bodega, Share Room, and Uptown Social. 

“Craig and Austen have been buddies of ours since moving here in 2018,” UHG’s founding partner Keith Benjamin UHG said. “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!”

The partners have yet to announce a grand opening date, but are aiming for a mid-summer launch. By the Way, aka BTW, will be located on Charleston’s King Street, just "around the corner from" Uptown Social. Austen said the plan is to create a fun and comfortable hangout spot that will occasionally feature live entertainment.

Austen Kroll shares his vision for his new restaurant with Craig Conover

“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],” he said. “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. It's going to be a place you can come and sit for a while.”

The duo is no stranger to the restaurant biz. It was more than a year ago when they announced their investment in Carriage House, a New York City-based restaurant that opened its doors in 2023. Austen celebrated the grand opening in a March 23 Instagram Story, where he offered a peek at the joint's interior and modern American dishes.

“Y’all it’s happening. My long-anticipated opening of my first foray into the restaurant business,” he wrote. “[Carriage House NYC] is opening its doors… See you there!”

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