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Fat Rice Takes Its Unique Macanese Cuisine To Charleston, S.C. Pop-Up

By Janet Rausa Fuller | October 23, 2015 5:56am | Updated on October 23, 2015 8:58am

A pop-up version of Fat Rice is planned for a gourmet food hall in the works in Charleston, S.C. [Fat Rice/Facebook]

LOGAN SQUARE — Fat Rice is taking its Chicago-bred Macanese cuisine south to Charleston, S.C.

Chef Abe Conlon will open a temporary version of his much-lauded Logan Square restaurant (2957 W. Diversey Ave.) in a food hall under development there.

The person managing the project, Pacific Box & Crate, is none other than Conlon's friend Jonathan Ory of the late, lamented Bad Wolf Coffee.

Conlon and Fat Rice co-owner Adrienne Lo are traveling in China and couldn't be reached for comment, but their publicist Heidi Hageman said Thursday their Southern sojourn will be a monthlong "pop-up."

She also revealed that the Chicago location's planned expansion, announced in February to be completed in the summer, now has a December target. When complete, the new area will be a grab-and-go bakery during the day and a cocktail lounge at night.

The Post and Courier first reported on the southern pop-up, calling Fat Rice the "first committed tenant" of Pacific Box & Crate.

"At this time there are no plans for it to be permanent, but that could change in the future," Hageman said.

"I'm just trying to get a lil warm southern hospitality & a Vacay! Im proposing a Pop up in Feb!" Conlon tweeted last week.

The 10,000-square-foot food hall, slated to open in 2017, is reportedly designed to highlight emerging food businesses and pop-up concepts that will rotate in and out on short leases.

Ory closed his unconventional Lakeview coffee shop in September, taking his (also lauded) kouign amann and caneles with him back to his hometown of Charleston. He has partnered with restaurateur Michael Shemtov, who is developing Pacific Box & Crate.

"It's a good way down the line, but it's amazing to have such a great chef commit to the project so early," Ory said. "I can't wait to have [Conlon] down here and share all the great seafood and produce of the lowcountry with him."

Since opening in 2012, Fat Rice has earned raves (a 2013 Bon Appetit magazine Best New Restaurant and Michelin Bib Gourmand, among them) for its unique menu of Macanese specialties.

It's a busy time for Conlon and Lo. They also are working on their first cookbook in addition to the Chicago expansion.

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