Atlanta-turned-Southeastern empire builder Ford Fry is taking The El Felix to Charlotte, reports Bisnow. It will be the third location for Fry’s Tex-Mex restaurant, following the Alpharetta original and a planned outpost for the Battery development adjacent to the Atlanta Braves’ new Cobb County ballpark.
The El Felix will take over a former Fresh Market space in the south Charlotte neighborhood of Strawberry Hill. The early timeline calls for an opening in the first quarter of 2019.
This is Fry’s second planned expansion to Charlotte. In February, the restaurateur revealed his intention to take Superica, his other Tex-Mex brand, to the Queen City. Fry tells Eater Atlanta he does indeed have two Charlotte restaurants in the works.
The El Felix first opened at Alpharetta’s Avalon development in November 2014. Fry also operates Superica in Krog Street Market and Buckhead, Marcel in Westside Provisions District, BeetleCat in Inman Park’s Inman Quarter development, JCT. Kitchen & Bar and The Optimist in Westside, King + Duke and St. Cecilia in Buckhead, and No. 246 in Decatur. Fry also consulted with the opening of Bar Margot at the Four Seasons hotel in Midtown, but he is no longer associated with that restaurant
Outside Atlanta, Fry opened Houston’s State of Grace in October 2015. Aside from his Charlotte ventures, he’s opening three restaurants in Nashville, and he’s been eyeing a potential Charleston expansion for a while.