Jan 14, 2024 - Food and Drink

Scoop: New tapas restaurant from Que Onda owners opening in former Eight+Sand spot

Catalú, a new Spanish tapas restaurant, will open this spring in the former Eight+Sand space in South End. 

Why it matters: Catalú is a new concept for local restaurateur Manny Flores, who owns Charlotte Mexican restaurants, Que Onda and Que Fresa

What to expect: Catalú will be heavily tapas-focused and will serve contemporary takes on cuisine from the Catalonia region of Spain, Flores tells Axios. 

  • Flores and his team traveled to the region multiple times for research and to develop the menu. 

Menu highlights include cold tapas like Ensaladilla Rusa (potato salad) and pan con tomate (grilled bread with tomato) that will use bread from Manolo’s Bakery.

  • Many of the hot tapas will be vegetarian-friendly, including espinaca Catalan (Catalan-style spinach) and arroz con setas (mushroom rice).
  • Seafood tapas include gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp) and Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician-style octopus). 
  • Besides tapas, paellas will be a menu highlight, while sangrias and gin and tonics will be the focal point of the cocktail menu.

Details: Catalú’s interior will have a Mediterranean feel, says Flores. He says he plans to keep some of Eight+Sand’s existing structure, like the open kitchen. But there’ll be a new waiting area, a wine room and a new color scheme and furniture. 

State of play: Eight+Sand closed on Jan. 14 after five years in its prime location right off the light rail. The popular counter service spot opened in 2019 as a joint concept from Inizio Pizza owner Grant Arons and Not Just Coffee co-owners James and Miracle Yoder.

  • Charlotteans blew up the restaurant’s comment section after it announced its closure on Instagram. 

What’s next: Flores tells Axios he plans to open Catalú by mid-Spring 2024 at 135 New Bern St. Meanwhile, construction will begin on the Que Fresa Uptown location in early February. 

  • We’ve reached out to Eight+Sand for comment on future plans but haven’t heard back yet. 
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