The 24 most anticipated new restaurants and bars in 2021

The 24 most anticipated new restaurants and bars in 2021
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email

This article was last updated on June 7, 2021.

What’s opening soon in Charlotte? Here’s a quick breakdown of the 24 most anticipated new restaurants, bars and breweries opening in the coming months.

With more people getting vaccinated, and state restrictions loosening, restaurants are returning to near-normal capacities.

Expansions: The list below only includes new concepts to Charlotte. It doesn’t include big expansions like Ace No. 3 opening in Myers Park, LuLu’s adding a second location in Plaza Midwood or Bossy Beulah’s in South End.

Recent openings: Even during a pandemic, a few heavy-hitters have joined Charlotte’s food and beverage scene.

  • A new Italian restaurant, Orto opened in NoDa.
  • Popular loaded fries food truck, What the Fries, opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in South Charlotte.
  • Konnichiwa a sushi, steak and seafood restaurant opened in Dilworth.
  • Uptown’s only brewery D9 Brewing Uptown is open, but its outdoor beer garden pavilion is still to come.

    Here’s our list of the most anticipated openings, in chronological order.

    (1) Vaulted Oak Brewing

    What could be more “Charlotte” than a brewery inside an old bank?

    Opening: Late May in east Charlotte at 3726 Monroe Road.

    What to expect: The 4,000-square-foot brewery maintains certain elements of the bank, including the vault door, the drive-up teller window and even the pneumatic tubes (sorry, they won’t transport beer). 

    Beer: Vaulted Oak will specialize in small-batch beers from an array of styles — such as sessionable blondes, lagers, west coast IPAs, sours, saisons, and porters. There will be 14 beers on tap plus a curated selection of wine, cider, seltzer, kombucha, and non-alcoholic sodas.

    Read more: A new brewery is opening soon in an old bank on Monroe Road

    Vaulted Oak Brewing exterior shot

    Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

    Vaulted Oak Brewing interior shot

    (2) Calle Sol

    Latin American restaurant and cevicheria in the former NC Red space in Plaza Midwood

    Opening: May 2021.

    What to expect: Calle Sol will have a casual cafe vibe inspired by Latin American restaurants in cities like Miami, restaurateur Frank Scibelli says. You’ll see Cuban and Peruvian flavors in dishes like ceviche and arroz con pollo.

    • By day, Calle Sol will serve coffee from a to-go window and offer affordable lunch specials meat and three-style. By night, the restaurant will have a “sexier” menu, Scibelli says, including cocktails made with fresh sugar cane. Most entrées will be in the $10-$15 range.

    Read more: NC Red closing, Frank Scibelli to open cevicheria in the old Penguin space

    new plaza midwood restaurant ceviche

    Ceviche from SuViche in Miami. Photo: Rémy Thurston


    NC Red.

    (3) 800 Degree Woodfired Kitchen

    An upscale pizza restaurant opening in the former Restoration Hardware space at Phillips Place.

    Opening: May 31, 2021.

    Background: The international restaurant chain started in Westwood, California, and now has 15 locations across the world — from New York City to Dubai. Its Phillips Place location will be the first 800-Degree in the Carolinas and will offer a unique experience to the other locations, owner Steven Jensen says, with more emphasis on fine dining.

    What to expect: Everything on the menu is cooked in a rotating, 800-degree oven that is specifically manufactured for each 800-Degree location.

    Menu: While pizzas are their specialty, other popular menu items include power bowls (customizable grain bowls), burgers and baked wings.

    Read more: Upscale pizza restaurant opening soon in SouthPark with a rotating pizza oven

    800 Degree Wood Fired Kitchen exterior shot

    800 Degree Wood Fired Kitchen main dining area

    (4) Trolley Barn Fermentory & Food Hall

    New brewery and restaurant concept from Legion Brewing.

    Opening: Late spring/early summer 2021 in South End’s Atherton Mill near Indaco.

    Overview: The nearly 8,000 square foot space will be comprised of a brewery, taproom and multiple food stalls. There will be indoor and outdoor seating, a second-floor mezzanine, and patio with unobstructed views of Uptown.

    “I love South End, and to be able to bring the Trolley Barn Fermentory to this hip vibrant area of Charlotte is so exciting,” Legion Brewing owner Phil Buchy said. “The Atherton Trolley Barn is right on the Rail Trail, providing great pedestrian access with its walkability to multiple neighborhoods in Charlotte, making this a prime location to enjoy great beer and food with friends.”

    Name: The name comes from our city’s electric trolleys that began operating in 1891 and ran to neighborhoods like Dilworth, Myers Park, and Elizabeth.

    Read more: View renderings: Two-story brewery and restaurant going into Atherton’s Trolley Barn


    Interior rendering courtesy of Legion Brewing

    trolley barn fermentory

    (5) Big Ben Pub

    A beloved British pub and second home for soccer fans in Elizabeth’s old Carpe Diem space.

    Opening: Spring 2021.

    What to expect: Food and drink offerings in the new space will remain the same, with a few new items and the addition of live music.

    Read more: Big Ben Pub (and Charlotte soccer fans) will move to the former Carpe Diem space

    Former Carpe Diem, Big Ben Pub

    (6) The Jimmy

    Jim Noble’s latest restaurant venture.

    Opening: Late spring 2021 in Myers Park.

    Concept: The Jimmy is named after what friends and family call owner Jim Noble. The restaurant will be open all day, and it’s inspired by the trattorias and bistros found along the Mediterranean coastline in Italy and France.

    Menu: Offerings will include coffee and pastries by Copain in the morning and light Mediterranean-inspired dishes at lunch. For dinner, expect Neapolitan-style pizzas, handmade pasta, and more.

    Read more: Jim Noble’s new restaurant called The Jimmy to open in the former Nolen Kitchen space in Myers Park

    The Jimmy Interior Bar Rendering

    Rendering courtesy of The Jimmy

    The old Nolen Kitchen bar in Myers Park

    The old Nolen Kitchen bar in Myers Park

    (7) Babe & Butcher

    Stunning charcuterie boards and grazing tables for large events.

    Opening: June 2021 in Camp North End.

    Background: Partners Lindsay Anvik and Rob Henricks launched Babe & Butcher in 2019, and the demand for their boards was almost immediate. In their first year, they created upwards of 13 boards a day.

    What to expect: Customers will be able to walk in and choose what cheese and charcuterie they want on their board and watch as employees make it in front of them.

    Read more: Babe & Butcher to open first storefront in Camp North End

    Babe and Butcher rendering

    Courtesy of ATCO/Camp North End.

    babe and butcher cheese charcuterie

    Charcuterie boxes make a good takeout snack. Photo courtesy of Babe & Butcher.

    (8) Sosu

    A nontraditional Japanese restaurant from the team behind Naroodle noodle shop.

    Opening: Early summer in Eastway Crossing.

    What to expect: Chef and owner Rocky Jokbengboon says this new concept will be an elevated version of his Orlando spot, Naroodle. Sosu will have small plates and ramen, plus a menu of creative sake cocktails.

    Name: “Sosu” is the Japanese word for sauce.

    Read more: Two miles from Plaza Midwood, small local businesses find a place to call home

    Naroodle ramen

    Ichiraku Ramen from Naroodle (courtesy of Rocky Jokbengboon).

    (9) BOCADO Bar + Diner

    A new Southern American bar and diner.

    Opening: Summer 2021 at Atherton Mill.

    Background: The popular Atlanta restaurant plans to transform the Big Ben Pub space to have a modern and moody lounge vibe.

    Menu: Offerings will include the double stack burger, pasta carbonara, roasted chicken with stone-ground grits, and deviled eggs.

    From the bar, expect classic cocktails as well as a selection of wine and local beers.

    Read more: New restaurant Bocado opening this summer in Big Ben space

    BOCADO renderings

    (10) Emmy Squared Pizza

    New York-based pizza joint serving up Detroit-style pizza.

    Opening: Summer 2021 in Plaza Midwwod.

    Background: Emmy Squared started in Brooklyn in 2016 and is known for its square-shaped, crispy-bottomed Detroit-style pizza and signature burgers.

    Read more: Emmy Squared will open this summer in Plaza Midwood

    Courtesy of Emmy Squared

    (11) Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails

    Set to open in the former White Horse space of the historic Lowenstein Building in Rock Hill.

    Opening: Summer 2021.

    What to expect: American fare like sandwiches and meat-and-twos.

    • Dishes include an “extremely spreadable” pimento cheese ball, salt-and-pepper catfish and a T-bone steak.

    Read more: Goodyear House team to open a new restaurant in booming Rock Hill

    rendering new rock hill restaurant cluck 2

    (12) JW Marriot Restaurants & Bar

    Two new restaurants and a rooftop bar are coming to the new JW Marriott.

    Opening: July 8, 2021.

    What to expect:

    • Caroline’s Oyster Bar will be a seafood restaurant with a variety of craft beers.
    • Dean’s Steakhouse will be a classy steakhouse with an expansive patio.
    • Aura Rooftop Bar will be new spot for skyline views. Aura is on the 5th floor of the hotel adjacent to the pool deck.

    Renderings courtesy of JW Marriott.

    Renderings courtesy of JW Marriott.

    (13) Cheat’s Cheesesteak Parlor

    Authentic cheesesteaks.

    Opening: Late summer 2021 in Plaza Midwood.

    Background: Co-founders Hannah Smith, Ryan Hart, and chef Greg Balch created the concept while working together at The Crunkleton.

    Menu: The classic “whiz wit” cheesesteaks on Amoroso’s buns are $12 each and cooked in front of guests at each pop-up. There’s also a vegan version with Beyond meat.

    Read more: Real-deal Philly cheesesteak “whiz wit” coming to Charlotte this spring

    cheats cheesesteaks

    (14) “Super” Abari Game Bar

    Vintage game bar concept.

    Opening: Late summer 2021 in Belmont.

    What to expect: Abari will still have a full bar and a small food menu with novelties like homemade Hot Pockets from local bakery Dukes Bread.

    Read more: “Super” Abari game bar in the works in Belmont neighborhood

    new abari location

    (15) Broken Promises

    Swanky bar from the team behind Lost and Found.

    Opening: Late summer/early fall 2021 in South End.

    Concept: Owner Orlando Botero and his partners want Broken Promises to be a laid-back cocktail lounge. Unlike Lost & Found, which is temporarily closed due to the ongoing pandemic, it won’t have a dance floor and the menu will focus on craft cocktails.

    Read more: Lost & Found owners opening a new concept in South End


    Broken Promises will have a strong emphasis on craft cocktails.

    (16) Burial Beer Co.

    Asheville-based brewery, Burial expands to the Queen City.

    Opening: Summer 2021 in Plaza Midwood.

    What to expect: The taproom will have an indoor bar area, outdoor beer garden and a rooftop deck. Beer enthusiasts can expect a wide selection on tap including barrel-aged sours, stouts, wild ales and rustic lagers.

    Read more: Burial’s expansion to Plaza Midwood is big for Charlotte beer lovers

    Burial Brewery

    (17) Batch House

    Small batch bakery

    Opening: Late summer 2021 at Station West. The exact address is 901 Berryhill Rd.

    Background: Batch House had been open only about a year on Bryant Street when Irwin Creek came over its banks in a record day of flooding in November, not long after its one-year anniversary. The shop’s been closed since.

    What to expect: The new Batch House will have all the treats we’ve missed, including the signature oatmeal creme pies and Tres Leches draft lattes. Expect some new desserts Rojas-Agurcia has cooked up at home, too, like her take on Dunk-A-Roos and some new creme pie combinations.

    Read more: Beloved bakery destroyed by a flood to reopen this summer in west Charlotte

    batch house

    (18) A to-be-named concept at the Mint Museum Uptown

    After Halcyon closed in December of 2020, the same team will open a new international tapas restaurant in the space. 

    Opening: September 2021, delayed from February.

    Concept: Expect an international tapas-style menu with influences from Morocco and India through chef Jonathan Moore’s Southern lens. It’ll still source ingredients locally, including from the restaurant’s own “victory garden.” The look will be more contemporary with a colorful mural and modern artwork that tie in with the museum.

    Outdoor dining: The restaurant’s balcony just got cooler with the addition of greenhouse dining pods.

    Read more: Halcyon will close, and a new restaurant with greenhouse pods will open at Mint Uptown

    mint museum restaurant halcyon

    (19) Gibson Mill Market

    Food hall and market concept in a former textile mill.

    Opening: Fall 2021 in Concord.

    Background: Gibson Mill is the former Gibson Manufacturing Company, which opened in 1899. Now, Gibson Mill averages about 1,000 visitors each day. It houses a variety of tenants, including the largest antique mall in the south.

    What to expect: It’ll house food hall-style dining and shopping similar to Charlotte’s Optimist Hall, but on a smaller scale.

    Read more: Concord’s Gibson Mill Market targets fall opening. Here’s everything we know

    Courtesy of Gibson Mill Market/ D3 Studio.

    (20) Gilde Brewery

    Gilde, one of Germany’s oldest beer-makers, is coming to the Queen City. 

    Opening: Late 2021 in lower South End.

    Concept: The idea is to provide an authentic German brewery experience to Charlotte’s extensive beer scene. Brewers will be instructed by experienced brewmasters from Germany.

    On tap: Pilsener is their flagship beer, but their selection includes Kellerbier, Urbock, Pale Wheat, Lemon Radler, and Red Rooster.

    Related story: Huge German brewer buys LoSo property

    Gilde brewery

    Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/ Axios Charlotte

    (21) Night Swim Coffee

    A collaboration between two of Charlotte’s most popular coffee shops, Not Just Coffee and Undercurrent.

    Opening: Late 2021/early 2022 in Lower South End, Oakhurst, and two locations in Uptown.

    What to expect: The new spaces will have a “leveled up” atmosphere from the hip Brooklyn-coffee-shop feel at existing NJC and Undercurrent locations.

    Read more: Big coffee news: Not Just Coffee, Undercurrent teaming up for roastery and 4 cafés

    night swim coffee bank of america tower

    One of the new Night Swim cafes will be in the new Bank of America tower at 620 S. Tryon St.

    (22) The Crust Pizza

    A Naples-based pizza concept opening in the iconic Mr. K’s space in South End.

    Opening: An opening date hasn’t been announced yet.

    Background: Mr. K’s was a Charlotte institution and testament to the fortitude of a family-run small business. The restaurant closed after 50 years in business due to pressure from developers in South End in recent years, and slow traffic during the pandemic.

    What to expect: Midwest-style pizza, toasted subs, and salads.

    Read more: Iconic Mr. K’s will close at 5pm today

    Mr. K's soft serve vertical

    (23) Urban District Market at Lintmen’s

    New food hall and Seoul Food Meat Co. location opening along the XCLT trail.

    Opening: Sometime in 2021. Massive construction projects like this one take time so I wouldn’t expect this to open until fall at the earliest.

    What to expect: The Lintmen’s complex will include Urban District Market, a food hall with 12 all-local stalls. Behind the food hall is Seoul Food Meat Co.’s second location coming in at 15,000 square feet.

    Read more: New food hall to open in Charlotte in 2021, one mile from Optimist Hall


    (24) Milkbread

    An all-day café from Joe and Katy Kindred — the owners of their namesake restaurant, Kindered in Davidson.

    Opening: Late 2021.

    What to expect: The menu will center on milk bread donuts with flavors including an apple cider-based glaze, chocolate sea salt and a rotating flavor.

    Read more: Exclusive: The Kindreds are opening a new all-day café called Milkbread

    All this restaurant talk making you hungry? View all Agenda food and drink guides here.

    Story Views:
    Join the 108,749 smart Charlotteans that receive our daily newsletter.
    "It's good. I promise." - Emma   Emma Way