Craig Conover and Austen Kroll Dish on Their New Restaurant, Say It'll Push Guests to Be in the Moment

"It's going to be a very special spot," Craig Conover tells PEOPLE of the Southern Charm stars' new venture in New York City

Southern Charm Bravolebrities Craig Conover and Austen Kroll at Mohegan Sun Aug 12
Photo: Courtesy of Mohegan Sun

Southern Charm takes New York City!

Castmates Craig Conover and Austen Kroll are opening up a restaurant in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan called Carriage House, set to open in the fall. Both stars spoke with PEOPLE about it exclusively at Mohegan Sun's final Toast with the Host event at their Ultra-Luxe Lounge and dished on why they decided to branch out of Charleston.

Conover says he was walking around New York City with one of the pair's friends, chef Jordan Nandino, when he posed the opportunity to join in on the restaurant. "Several months later, [Jordan] came up with this incredible concept with his protégés," says Conover. "We're pumped."

According to Conover, the restaurant will definitely have some unique features (and even some rules!). "It's going to be a very special spot. There's no [flash] photography allowed — you can just enjoy yourself," he adds.

Carriage House will encourage guests to "be in the moment" and enjoy the food. Areas of the restaurant will especially cater to discreet guests who want to stay out of the spotlight.

He also shares a glimpse of what the bar area will look like. "The amount of room you have in the bar is 30 inches. Sure, you can end up talking to people, but you'll also have your space to enjoy yourself," Conover says.

Southern Charm Bravolebrities Craig Conover and Austen Kroll at Mohegan Sun Aug 12
Courtesy of Mohegan Sun

Kroll admits he wasn't so keen on joining in on the restaurant deal at first. "I was like, 'I think the bright lights of the West Village are blinding you,'" he recalls saying to Conover. But after consulting with friends, it didn't take long for him to get on board. "Now we both talk about it all the time. I could not be more excited. I can't wait for my first meal there — my second, my 5th, my 10th."

The Southern Charm stars also addressed their decision to open up the spot in New York as opposed to South Carolina. "We love Charleston to death, but we were like, 'Why not have roots in other cities?'" says Conover, whose girlfriend, Summer House star Paige DeSorbo, lives in the Big Apple.

Adds Kroll: "Having something in New York City — which Craig and I both love so, so much and we both have aspired to live there — what a cool kind of opportunity to have."

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