Former Côco Louco owners to open Brasilia on South Grand

The busy South Grand neighborhood is no stranger to international cuisine, studded with everything from Vietnamese pho to Thai to vegan eateries. Cue Brasilia, a new South American (mostly Brazilian) concept by husband-and-wife duo Jorge and Rachel Carvalho, slated to open in early June.

The new 1,700-square-foot digs will open at 3212 S. Grand Blvd., in the former Urban Lounge space, which closed suddenly last March. The updated décor will be “tropical, colorful, eclectic,” according to Rachel Carvalho, in keeping with traditional Brazilian aesthetic.

“We liked the location,” Carvalho said. “It’s very international, various cuisines from around the world. We like the feel of the neighborhood, the community. There really aren’t many (Brazilian restaurants) in town. We could certainly use more than one.”

The Carvalhos already possess an extensive if checkered restaurant pedigree. Their churrasco restaurant Côco Louco Brazil in the Central West End earned solid reviews from critics before closing in 2013 for allegedly failing to pay sales tax . Before that, the couple’s Café Brasil in Rock Hill routinely catered to block-long lines before similar tax allegations shuttered the eatery in 2008. Carvalho said they have put such turbulence behind them.

“What we really need here is a fresh start and an area supportive of multi-cultures and unique food,” she said. “We will do really well.”

Brasilia’s upcoming menu, while still largely in the works, will revive several popular dishes from the Carvalhos’ previous restaurants, including the traditional Brazilian feijoada, a black bean dish with bacon, sausage and beef. Jorge Carvalho’s version includes rice, collards, oranges and a house vinaigrette. Entrees of fish, chicken and steak are still in the planning stages. The nascent bar program will offer beer, wine and a collection of signature cocktails, including customizable flavors of caipirinha, the national Brazilian cocktail.