A whopping 19 restaurants and bar openings are planned for October in Charlotte. I know, crazy.
It’s a wild boom time in the Charlotte food and drink scenes. Below is a quick list and brief description of all restaurants and bars opening in Charlotte over the next 30 days.
(1) Papi Queso
The beloved grilled cheese food truck will open its new brick-and-mortar space on Tuesday, October 1 at Optimist Hall
“Our new Ferrari of griddles will hold three times the amount of Grilled Cheese than we are able to cook at one time on the truck,” co-owner Brian Stockholm told the Agenda.
Grilled cheese menu:
- The Pig Mac – slow smoked, Cheshire pork, mac and cheese and caramelized onions ($10)
- Mushroom Gruyere – grand cru gruyere, fontina, pan-roasted mushrooms and truffle cream ($9)
- Buffalo Chicken – smoked fried chicken, Srirasha-soy glaze, toasted sesame chile crisp and cilantro ranch ($10)
- Burger Melt – house-ground beef patty, Swiss, America, caraway onions and thousand island sauce ($9)
- Bacon Jalapeno – applewood smoked bacon, jalapenos, red onion, cheese curds and pepper jelly ($8.50)
- Mac Melt – mac and cheese, bechamel, sea salt and fresh herbs ($6.50)
This new wine bar and retail wine shop from veteran restaurateur Pierre Bader will open October 1 at Bank of America Corporate Center in Uptown
Although inspired by traditional Venetian wine bars called bacaros, Cicchetti has some service features — like $5 wine delivery, curbside wine pickup and a monthly wine club cranking out $10 bottles to members — that will definitely appeal to urban Charlotteans.
Food: Cichetti’s menu features authentic Italian “two-bite” dishes comparable to Spanish-style tapas. This includes a selection of polpette (meatballs), build-your-own bruschetta, tinned seafood and chips and more than 20 seafood, meat and vegetable small plates. “The food is an addition to the wine,” says Bader, “rather than vice versa.”
Wine: They’ve got more than 400 bottles. Wine is available by the glass (6 ounces), ombra (3-ounce tasting pour) or bottle with a $10 corkage fee for retail bottles consumed on site. For those more into liquor, good news, celebrity bartender Bob Peters will be leading their cocktail program.
(3) Lost & Found
Cocktail lounge with rentable living room-like seating areas and giant TVs opening in early October between Seoul Food Meat Co. and Craft in South End
“We want to be the true nightlife destination in South End,” founder and designer Orlando Botero told the Agenda. “A lot of people will go out in South End until midnight and then head Uptown for the rest of the night. We want people to stay here. We’re excited to be a complement to Brickyard, Seoul, Gin Mill and those neighbors.”
Layout: You enter from the left where you’ll be checked in, directly in front of the reservable sofa lounge areas. Two huge community tables will be in the middle and an elevated area with tables will be to the right. A 30-foot bar with 18 stools will be in the back with three TVs behind it. There’s also a 1,000-square-foot covered outdoor patio which will have six to eight reservable sectionals and fire pits.
(4) Village Juice Co
Juice spot opening in early October in Optimist Hall
Menu: Winston-Salem-based cold pressed juice company serves local, organic, plant-based food. The food menu includes smoothie bowls, salads, grain bowls and fancy toast.
(5) Reid’s Uptown
Upscale breakfast, lunch and dinner spot opening in mid-October in Uptown
Located on the ground floor of the Museum Tower (near Starbucks), this will be Reid’s Fine Foods second Uptown location.
Layout: Inside you’ll find plenty of grab-and-go options, a big grill for hot sandwiches and seating for about 15 or so. An outside front patio features seating for about 65 underneath a big green awning.
(6) Bossy Beulah’s
New “chicken shack” concept opening early October next to Noble Smoke on Freedom Drive
The restaurant is inspired by Charlotte restaurateur Jim Noble’s great-aunt Beulah and her tradition of Sunday chicken after church in rural North Carolina. Noble also operates Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, Noble Smoke, King’s Kitchen and Copain.
Confidence: In a bold marketing move, Bossy Beulah’s already claims that it’s “the best fried chicken sandwich in CLT” in their Instagram description.
The sandwich: The main attraction Bossy Beulah’s will be “The Beaut,” a sandwich ($7) with Joyce Farms chicken breast, pickles and Duke’s mayo on a Copain bun. The chicken is brined and then buttermilk-soaked before being seasoned with salt and pepper, floured and deep fried.
Cocktail and small plate spot from the Owners of Craft opening in early October in South End
It’ll take the 3,000-square-foot space formerly occupied Lady M next door at 1320 S. Church St.
Rooftop: Stairs from the Craft parking lot will lead up to a 28-seat rooftop patio with views of Uptown. The tree is planted right in the middle — and expect tables surrounding it. It’s a cool spot that’ll be very popular, quickly.
(8) Gyu Kaku
Japanese BBQ restaurant going opening in Uptown on the ground floor of the Savoy apartment community
Gyu-Kaku specializes in Japanese “yakiniku” grilled barbecue, and every table has its own individual grill on which diners can cook their meat, seafood or veggies at their own pace and with a selection of sauces. They use “Smokeless Roasters” to keep you from smelling like a campfire.
Menu: Gyu-Kaku’s menu consists of ready-to-eat appetizers, noodle dishes, salads and soups along with raw beef, pork, chicken and seafood options and fresh vegetables for grilling. Gyu-Kaku’s menu is priced a la carte.
(9) El Thrifty
Mexican-inspired cantina, bar and upscale gaming venue opening on the ground floor of Optimist Hall in mid October
This will be El Thrifty Social Club’s second location; the original is located in Greenville, SC.
Space: El Thrifty Social Club will occupy 6,391 square feet on Optimist Hall’s lower level next to Billy Sunday and Fonta Flora. It’s a big space with a cool outdoor patio. Inside you’ll find an 85-seat restaurant and a 50-seat lounge surrounded by duckpin bowling, shuffleboard, fúsbol, snookball, billiards and ping pong.
Ownership: Reid Olsen and Joe Lariscy, the guys responsible for Queen Park Social, are also the brains behind El Thrifty and said to expect an “experience-driven entertainment destination for locals and tourists alike.”
Restaurant and liquor lounge from the team behind Soul Gastrolounge opening in Plaza Midwood
KiKi will serve French and Greek small bites and sharable plates. “I’m excited to showcase the commonality between Greek and French cuisines as seen through the lens of the American experience,” said Chef Jason Pound of Soul Gastrolounge, who will also be running the KiKi kitchen.
Vibe: KiKi will feel more elegant than Soul, but not stuffy fine dining. It will have “art deco elements inspired by the 1930s but seen through the filter of the glam rock 70s,” the team says.
Layout: Located directly below and to the left of Soul Gastrolounge, KiKi will be divided into three distinct spaces — dining room with bar (seats 90), pocket rooftop terrace overlooking Central Avenue (seats 30) and an intimate liquor lounge (15-20 guests only) that’s getting its own name, Tattoo.
(11) Taco Mama
Taqueria concept with 13 locations across the South, opening in Dilworth near Ru San’s in mid-October
“We are very excited about the cool space we have. It’s a unique space with a large patio on the back of the restaurant. It’s a perfect space for a fast-casual neighborhood Taqueria,” Will Haver, founder and CEO of Taco Mama, told the Agenda. “We are very excited to be opening in the Dilworth Neighborhood.”
Food: Expect creative tacos, burritos (and burrito baskets) and quesadillas with slow-roasted meats, made-from-scratch sauces and made-to-order hand-shaken margaritas.
(12) Topgolf Swing Suite
Golf and entertainment concept opening in Uptown in late October
Topgolf describes its swing suite as “everything you love about Topgolf, in a luxury suite.” Instead of a driving range, expect luxury suites with state-of-the-art simulators, comfy lounge seating and big screen HDTVs. It’ll have food and beverage as well (just like a regular Topgolf).
Layout: Uptown’s 10,000-square-foot Topgolf Swing Suite will have eight bays — two private bays in the back left, five elevated bays in the main area and one bay on the enclosed porch. It’s cool inside, and we’re digging the open floor plan.
Games: It’s not just golf. Games on the interactive simulator include golf, baseball pitching, zombie dodgeball, carnival classics, hockey and a quarterback challenge.
Location: It’ll take the space previously occupied by Flight, a beer hall at Northside Station in Uptown. The exact address is 314 N. College St.
(13) Link & Pin
Restaurant and cocktail bar opening near Eight & Sand in South End
“I’d describe Link & Pin as restaurant first, but with a focus on craft cocktails and wine as well,” said Rob Duckworth, who also owns Duckworth’s and The Cellar. “We’ll have a craft cocktail cart where we’ll be making classic cocktails tableside in our lounge areas on certain nights too.”
Small plates: Cheese and charcuterie, ahi tuna poke, brussels sprouts, ceviche, crispy artichokes, crispy oysters, crispy rice and salmon, tomato compote flatbread, three-cheese and Serrano ham flatbread, hand-battered chicken enders, hummus trie, Korean-style popcorn cauliflower, marinated chicken skewers, Mexican street corn, mini ahi tuna tacos, pretzel bread, pork gyoza dumplings, poutine, truffle-garlic fries, house wings.
Large plates: Filet mignon (8 ounces), bone-in filet (12 ounces), Kansas City strip (18-20 ounces), porterhouse (30 ounces), bone-in cowboy (21-32 ounces), tomahawk bone-in ribeye (32 ounces), bibimbap, house burger, Impossible burger, chicken & waffles, free range chicken, crispy flounder, mahi mahi, scallops, lobster roll, tagliatelle pasta, angel hair pasta.
(14) Ace No. 3
No frills burger joint opening in the space formerly occupied by Siggy’s in the Belmont neighborhood
Restaurateurs Andrew Chapman and Paul Manley, the braintrust behind The Waterman and Sea Level, are opening this new burger concept. “We are excited to join Sweet Lew’s in this neighborhood and add to the approachable food options in Belmont,” said Manley. “We love the neighborhood and location. We feel super lucky to have this opportunity to do something special here. We really don’t take that lightly.”
Menu: Manley said this counter-service burger spot will have a “very small menu but everything you would want when you are craving a great burger.” Expect burgers, fries, shakes and beer.
Wine bar and restaurant opening a large new space in late October in Waverly
Why Waverly: “It’s a somewhat untapped market,” said owner Conrad Hunter. “There are a lot of Gen Xers out there (including Weddington and Waxhaw) that don’t normally come into town and would prefer something closer to where they live. Plus, I can be there in about 15 minutes from my home.”
New grill: Unlike other locations, Foxcroft Wine Co. Waverly will add a charcoal grill (similar to those used in Spain) and debut new dishes with a wood-grill flavor. “My goal is to continue to push the food envelope at all locations while keeping our greatest hits,” said Conrad.
(16) Middle C Jazz
Live music venue and lounge opening in late October in Uptown
The 4,000-square-foot space is located on the ground floor adjacent to Public House, a new restaurant and bar from the team behind Gin Mill and the old Davidson Street Public House. Although operating separately, Public House will manage Middle C’s food program, including table service and a menu of small plates.
Shows: Tickets are on sale now for Middle C shows beginning Oct. 31 with the calendar booked out as far as March 2020. The 200-seat venue will host local, regional and international artists with performances Thursday through Sunday every week.
(17) The Goodyear House
Restaurant and bar coming to a century-old home in NoDa in late October
The 165-seat restaurant serving “elevated comfort food” will feature four distinct zones with different design themes. The owner’s goal is to create a casual neighborhood hangout where someone in sandals and a tank top is sitting alongside someone in a suit and everyone feels welcome.
Backyard courtyard: The prime gathering spot is a courtyard out back anchored by a towering American holly tree. This space will be home to the Drunken Handyman, an outdoor shed-style bar decorated with a hodgepodge of collectibles like rusted fishing poles and an old NASCAR sign. They’ve also planted bamboo around the perimeter of the property giving it an isolated vibe in the heart of NoDa.
A bakery specializing in boxes of unique treats taking the place of Basal Coffee at 1429 Bryant St.
The concept comes from Cristina Rojas-Agurcia, a self-taught baker who was born and raised in Honduras. The menu will rotate daily, but if you want a certain item you can still place a custom order. Cristina will serve coffee drinks that tie into her desserts ( like the Dulce de Leche Latte) and cake slices will be available on certain days of the week. Look for a few new savory additions, too.
Some treats to get excited about:
- S’mores Brownies – graham cracker crust on gooey brownies topped with roasted marshmallow
- Dirty Oreo Truffles – Oreo truffle cookies (life-changing)
- Dirty Brownies – brownies stuffed with peanut butter and Oreos
- Snickers Cheesecake – Oreo crust, chocolate cheesecake, dulce de leche, caramel cheesecake, Snickers topping
Italian restaurant opening in late October (or maybe pushed to November) in South End’s Atherton development near Living Kitchen
This will be Indaco’s second location; the original is in Charleston. Indigo Road, the restaurant group behind O-Ku Charlotte and Oak Steakhouse, is behind this concept.
Popular pasta dishes:
- Beef Cheek Ravioli – San Marzano tomato, pine nuts, currants, chili, preserved orange ($26)
- Tortellini – smoked mozzarella, Calabrese sausage, San Marzano tomato, hazelnuts ($25)
- Black Pepper Tagliatelle – pork tesa, egg yolk, chives, parmesan ($33)
- Sausage – San Marzano tomato, marinated red onions, pepperoncini, sausage, arugula, San Simon di Costa ($17)
- Amatriciana – San Marzano tomato, panceta, provolone, mozzarella, Calabrian chili, red onion ($17)
- Quattro Formaggio – provolone, mozzarella, ricota, parmesan ($16)