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The Daily Dish Southern Hospitality

Everything to Know About Leva and Lamar Bonaparte's Charleston Restaurant Empire

Republic is the focus of Southern Hospitality, but it's not the only King Street business the couple owns.

By Casey Suglia, Jamontae Hickman & Shannon Raphael

Since joining the cast of Southern Charm in Season 7, Leva Bonaparte has always talked about her King Street businesses, and about how hectic her life can be as a restaurateur.

How to Watch

Watch Southern Hospitality on Peacock and the Bravo App.

Leva and her husband, Lamar Bonaparte, are business partners in the Republic Development and Management Group, and currently operate four buzzed-about spots in downtown Charleston.

Their nightclub, Republic Garden & Lounge, is the focus of the Southern Charm spin-off, Southern Hospitality.

Find out more about all four of Leva and Lamar's dining locations below.

Republic Garden & Lounge

Interior views of Republic nightclub full of a crown of people

When it comes to the nightlife scene in Charleston, Republic Garden and Lounge has become a go-to spot due to its exclusive VIP booths, fun celebrations, and packed dance floor.

Like the name suggests, the location has Charleston’s “only street-level garden” complete with an outdoor bar (in addition to the inside bar), spacious outside lounge, and live entertainment every day of the week.

RELATED: Where to Watch and Stream Southern Hospitality Season 2

Republic employees Grace LillyMaddi ReeseMikel SimmonsJoe BradleyLucía PeñaMia AlarioWill Kulp, and Emmy Sharrett all appeared on the first season of the show, while new VIP server Oisin O’Neill joined the cast for Season 2.

Leva told The List in December 2022 that having some personality is key for her staff — which also might be the reason why the Southern Hospitality cast is so involved in each other’s lives. “People go to hang out with people that they like, so when spaces are run by managers, everybody loves them,” she said.

“It’s such a great time. That makes for all these interesting people…There’s a lot of loving that goes on in here, and I’m not one to stand in the way.”

Joe Bradley holding up a sign that says: Happy 10th anniversary Republic

In Season 2, Episode 9 of Southern Hospitality, Leva and her crew celebrated Republic’s tenth anniversary. In honor of the special occasion, the team hosted a circus-themed bash completed with a balloon arrangements, an overflowing champagne tower, a candy bar, circus performers, and many more fun activities.

Leva’s celebration garnered lots of guests, including Charm-ers Olivia FlowersVenita Aspen, and Rodrigo Reyes, who all received the ultra-VIP treatment.

“It’s almost surreal and a little bit wild to think that we’re coming on a 10-year anniversary,” Leva said in a confessional in the episode. “We didn’t know if we’d make it, but we did it, and now I don’t think there’s a person in Charleston that can say they didn’t have some story at Republic."

Bourbon N' Bubbles

Leva Bonaparte's Bar, Bourbon N' Bubbles, Is Insanely Chic

As the name of the upscale restaurant and cocktail bar suggests, Bourbon N' Bubbles has an extensive bourbon and whiskey menu, in addition to some fabulous cocktails, and of course, champagne.

There's one dedicated room for each type of alcohol, and VIP guests (like Southern Charm's Patricia Altschul) can secure their own liquor lockers to keep their reserved bottles away from the masses. 

Leva told Style and Living in October 2020 that the vibe of Bourbon n’ Bubbles was inspired by “Gucci meets Mad Men” and, although her designer was “very confused,” the fusion works. From the marble imported from Italy to the lighting fixtures that resemble high ball glasses, the details stand out.

RELATED: Southern Charm Newcomer Leva Bonaparte Shows Inside Her Luxurious Bar

The eatery served as the backdrop for a Ladies Night Out on Season 8 of Southern Charm and is known for their Martini Monday night specialBut, Leva noted in a December 2023 interview with Entertainment Tonight that Bourbon N’ Bubbles is also the perfect place for a date night in Charleston.


Leva Bonaparte with her son Lamar Bonaparte Jr. at the Fort Garry Hotel in Canada.

MESU is the third spot that Lamar and Leva opened, and features a Mexican cuisine and sushi fusion concept. The cuisine was inspired by Leva’s very specific cravings from when she was pregnant with her son, Lamar Jr.

“I was five months’ pregnant [and] I couldn’t have sushi,” Leva told in November 2022. “All I was doing was eating taco nacho platters and I was just like, ‘You know what? If I could have […] a piece of sushi and some guacamole in my mouth with salsa...that would be amazing.” 

Although Lamar thought she was “insane” for the request, the concept stuck. “But think about it: All the best Mexican food, all the best sushi that we love, all in one spot.”

RELATED: Leva Bonaparte Shares What Republic Is “Really Known For” and It Might Surprise You

The menu offers dishes like habanero-glazed edamame, an array of tacos, sushi rolls — like the Mesu roll, which includes fresh jalapeño, ahi tuna, and avocado tomatillo salsa — and, of course, chips and guacamole.  

The restaurant also offers selections of sake, tequila, and cocktails, including the MesuMargarita, which has a yuzu floater in it.

“You definitely are going to take your family to Mesu,” Leva told Entertainment Tonight in December 2023.

Lamar’s Sporting Club (formerly 1st Place)

A split image of Leva's opening party and guests.

During Leva's first season as a Southern Charm cast member, she was trying to open up her premium sports bar, 1st Place. Despite dealing with a few pandemic-related hurdles, Leva and Lamar opened 1st Place in October 2020.

Since then, the restaurant has been renamed Lamar’s Sporting Club after the owner himself, and the decor is intended to channel the “fantasy man cave” of Lamar’s dreams, Leva told Entertainment Tonight in December 2023.

“We wanted it to feel Charleston and preppy,” she explained. “We pulled ideas from the Polo Club, and we wanted it to feel very local, but elevated, you know what I mean?”

RELATED: Leva Bonaparte Revealed That Two Of Her Bars Have a Secret Door Between Them (VIDEO)

According to its website, Lamar’s Sporting Club is a fusion of “exclusivity, sports, and nightlife” serving as a high-end sports bar with a cozy interior. Leva and Lamar described the lounge, in a statement to The Post and Courieras “a luxurious destination that promises to elevate the vibrant nightlife of Charleston’s King Street.”

The venue also has a super cool “secret door” disguised as a book shelf that connects directly to Bourbon N’ Bubbles. 

“You might meet your mistress at Republic,” Leva joked to Entertainment Tonight. “Then you might hide her in the corner at Lamar’s.”

Originally published Nov 7, 2022.

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