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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Southern-style restaurant coming to Central Park

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A fast-casual restaurant serving Southern-style “soul food” will open later this year in Fredericksburg’s Central Park shopping center.

Soul Appetit will open in a roughly 1,800-square-foot space at 1259 Carl D. Silver Parkway that was formerly home to Rodango’s Steakhouse. Restaurant owner Curtiss Stancil said renovations are under way, and he hopes to open by mid-December.

Soul Appetit has two Richmond-area locations in Midlothian and Glen Allen, and Stancil has ambitious expansion plans. Next year he plans to open two Soul Appetit locations in the Raleigh-Durham area, two outside Atlanta and one in Columbia, S.C. He plans to have 15 locations, mainly in the Mid-Atlantic, within two years.

Among the restaurant’s specialties, Stancil said, are mustard-fried catfish, chicken and waffles, brown sugar baked wings and cajun-smoked turkey leg. Featured side items include collard greens, candied yams, mac and cheese, cornbread and fried corn. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner.

Stancil said he picked Fredericksburg for his third location because of its growing population and lack of Southern-style restaurants.

Soul Appetit is going into an 11,400-square-foot Central Park building that local real estate investors Jeremy McCommons and Mark Doherty bought this summer at a foreclosure auction. The building’s other tenants are Complete Nutrition, Madison Salon and Nails 1.

Doherty said a lease should be signed by the end of the week for the 1,800-square-foot former Caribou Coffee space but didn’t say who the tenant will be. Doherty and McCommons’ MacDac Realty firm will open a roughly 2,400-square-foot office there early next year, Doherty said, and the building will then be fully occupied.