I’ve lived in Oakhurst for almost two years and I can really say I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
It helps that I get to live with my sister and met my boyfriend in the neighborhood, but there are so many reasons to love Oakhurst – a small neighborhood community situated off of Independence Blvd at the Wendover Road exit that hugs Monroe Road down to Sharon Amity.
Oakhurst is so much more than just a neighborhood, it’s a tight-knit community with dedicated residents and a future as bright as the sun.
These are the top ten reasons to love Oakhurst:
(1) It is conveniently located 10 minutes from other fun neighborhoods in Charlotte.
The list includes South End, Elizabeth, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Uptown, Eastover, Cotswold, Myers Park and Dilworth. Oakhurst’s proximity to Independence Blvd. gives easy access to any neighborhood off of I-277 or Independence. If you don’t want to live in the hub-bub, but want don’t want to be far, this is the place to live.
(2) We’re salon central.
It’s difficult to count the number, but there are a lot, especially down the Monroe Road corridor. If you need a new look, this is the place to come.
(3) Speaking of the Monroe Road through Oakhurst: Have you driven down it lately?
It’s lined with massive, hundred year old trees and small businesses galore that have settled down in old Oakhurst homes. The corridor is constantly evolving, from new retailers and services, to a wider and more traffic-friendly road and the re-opening of Oakhurst Elementary School. Townhouses are being built right now.
(4) Oakhurst Elementary School is not a STEAM magnet school.
After years of being an administrative center for CMS, it was decided that it would be reintroduced to Charlotte as a partial magnet school, giving children in the neighborhood a chance to attend. This will eventually start to usher new, young families to the area. It’s going to be a great facility as the CMS made it a top priority project and allocated $400 million to it. I would also know first hand due to living across the street from the early morning construction.
(5) And with those families comes the housing boom.
I love that most of the people who buy houses in Oakhurst choose to renovate the current structures. Residents choose to keep the old character while adding their own tastes. There are other types of homes though, including apartments and town homes trickled throughout the neighborhood and Moderna, massive luxurious modern homes off of Commonwealth Avenue. This helps to bring a diverse community to Oakhurst which has proved to be a fun environment and ultimately profitable to the homeowners.
(6) Oakhurst is a melting pot of artists, entrepreneurs, free spirits, and dedicated Charlotteans.
Brought to Oakhurst because of affordable homes, history, and no home owners association (hello freedom of creativity!), we mesh well and not so well, but that’s what makes us an amazing community. If you walk down the street on any given day, you could meet a calligrapher, bass player, wood worker, cake designer, contractor, restauranteur, landscape artist and so many other creative and unique people. The network of neighbors is tight-knit and continuously supportive.
(7) Oakhurst is home to a small strip of industrial buildings just waiting to be discovered and transformed.
There are a few businesses in this area, but the possibilities for the buildings’ futures are endless. Who knows what could go into these large spaces. In my opinion, we could use a brewery or yoga studio to complement the fun residents that would support it.
(8) If you live in Oakhurst, you’re an Oakhurst Grill regular.
This takeout-only spot is located towards the edge of the neighborhood near Monroe and Wendover Road. They’re known for their whole fried chickens and fried squash and I’m impartial to their hushpuppies and baked chicken. The owners consider everyone who walks in the door family and have been serving the neighborhood since 1968. Many don’t know this, but the owners, the Polonyfis’, are married and live in Oakhurst. They met when they were children playing on Crater Street.
(9) Adding a little culture to the Oakhurst mix is Monroe Convenience Store and Nepali/Indian Grocery.
From the outside, it looks like another convenience store. Although it is convenient and has everything a quick stop would, it’s really so much more. The owners are from Bhutan and have brought a little taste of their home with them to North Carolina.
To get to the beer, wine, sodas, and snacks, you have to first pass through the Indian food section. The smells, sights, and sounds instantly catch your attention and you can’t help but peruse. They also have toys, clothing, and other products straight from home as requested from Charlotteans originally from the Burmese community. It’s like you’ve stepped into a whole other world. The best part of this little store is the owners. In my opinion, they’ve become part of the Oakhurst family. When customers asked for local craft beer, they delivered. They have come to know me by my favorite brew and are always willing to strike up a conversation when I stop in.
(10) There is a community garden in Oakhurst that is owned by CMS, but tended to by the residents.
The garden is the gathering place for neighborhood events and community and individual plots line the area. The community plots are separated into salsa, pesto, and other fare and the individual plots are where neighbors can choose to grow what they would like. A few years ago, the garden was run down and unused, but a local neighbor, John Eft, took it upon himself to rebuild the plots and pull together everything needed with the help of the OCNA.
Although not technically in Oakhurst, Julia’s Cafe is right around the corner and supported by many Oakhurst neighbors. I’ve spent many afternoons working on my laptop, meeting with others, and searching the shelves for my next read. Always a friendly face behind the counter, you know you’ll have a pleasant time and will feel good knowing you support such an impactful organization.
Morris Costumes is one of the only (the only?) year round costume stores in Charlotte and also provides dancewear and tuxes to so many. Entering the store is always an adventure and I can’t remember one year since I’ve moved to Charlotte that I haven’t at least gone looking for a costume there.
If you haven’t heard of Oakhurst, that’s okay.
It’s not huge and I don’t think we’ve reached our maximum potential just yet.