Though Pride Month is coming to a close, it’s always a good time to support businesses owned by members of the local LGBTQ+ community. From flower shops to tire sellers, LGBTQ+ business owners in Charlotte have reach in almost every industry.
The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce has an extensive list of businesses around the city, but we’re focusing on the good eats and drinks today. The food and service industry is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions, making this a critical time to support.
Lupie’s on Monroe Road is known for its chilis. It serves Texas, Cincinnati, Vegetarian, and Southern varieties. Pro tip: try any of them over nachos.
How to support: The restaurant is now open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.
Adjoa Courtney, known as Chef Joya, is a personal chef specializing in vegan dishes. She does private dinners and meal prep for clients. She also does consulting and is a brand ambassador.
“The love for what I do is the main ingredient in everything. When you have a meal from Chef Joya, you are getting a piece of my spirit, my personality, and my heritage on a plate,” Joya told the Agenda.
During the Covid shutdown Joya was able to finish her cookbook, Cooking With Joya: It’s Soul Mahmazing Vol. 1.
How to support: Joya says the best way to support her right now is by purchasing her book, hiring her for a private dinner, or following her social media platforms.
American classics turned vegan. The restaurant on Independence Boulevard has burgers, fishless filets, pulled “pork,” and lots of other fried treats — all vegan. It also sells snacks and sweets like cheesecake and chocolate cake.
How to support: Bean Vegan Cuisine is open for takeout most days until 8 p.m. Check Facebook for day-to-day hours.
The full-service coffee shop on wheels has dozens of drinks on its menu including coffee and espresso drinks, refreshing summer drinks, and teas, sodas, and smoothies for non-coffee drinkers (like myself).
Owner Mike Hargett says he’s staying busy during the pandemic but has changed his usual stops to keep the customers coming.
“Before the pandemic, school offices, festivals, you name it, that was our vocabulary,” Hargett said. “During this pandemic, we’ve shifted our priorities from commercial to residential.”
How to support: Check out Detour Coffeebar’s schedule.
[Related Agenda guide: 18 best coffee shops to fuel up for your work day]
Catering businesses are closely tied to the events industry which has come to a screeching halt during the pandemic. Your Custom Catering and Events owner Nate Turner has pivoted his business to feed local students while they’re out of school. He’s also providing meals for the growing homeless population in Charlotte. He’s not making a profit, but he is able to pay his staff while they feed those in need.
“It just became natural to take what you know to do and do it for who needs it the most. And that’s what we’ve been doing,” Turner said.
How to support: Send donations to the Hearts Beat As One Foundation.
Since it opened in 2011, Roaming Fork has gotten dozens of accolades and well-deserved attention for its sandwiches, tacos, fries, and more.
Though the food truck has remained popular over the years, owner Jen Sibrava says it hasn’t avoided Covid-related setbacks.
“We’ve taken a serious hit through all this. We’re hopefully going to be able to bounce back and keep going, things look like they’re starting to pick back up a little bit,” Sibrava says.
Right now Sibrava says it’s more important than ever to support local businesses.
“It’s the small businesses in the community that really make the community go round so without us I think people in the long run and in the longevity of things will see that we are what makes a community.”
The popular shop in Elizabeth doesn’t just offer groceries, it serves delicious southern classics including buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. Sadly, its sister restaurant, Carpe Diem, closed a couple weeks ago, but Earl’s is still open and serving takeout.
Owner Bonnie Warford says the grocery portion of the store should reopen at the end of this week or early next week. It will operate using online orders.
“We are all wearing our masks all the time. Our niche is simply to people who want to go somewhere where they know everybody is taking it really seriously,” Warford said.
How to support: Order takeout from Earl’s Grocery and keep up with its social media to find out when the grocery store reopens.
The Wine Vault offers a wide array of red and white wines that come by the glass and in flights. The restaurant is open for outdoor seating, with tables spaced further apart to maintain social distancing.
The shop is located at the Shoppes At University Place near UNC Charlotte.
How to support: Visit the store or order online using the contact form.
[Related Agenda guide: The 6 coolest wine bars in Charlotte, right now]
Poplar offers Peruvian and Spanish foods, serving everything from charcuterie boards to mac and cheese. It’s located in the historic Morrison House in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward.
How to support: Poplar is open for takeout and delivery. It frequently offers food, beer, and wine specials.
[Related Agenda guide: Neighborhood guide: 17 things to do, see, and eat in Uptown]
The authentic Mexican food truck serves tacos, quesadillas, rice bowls, and more. Owner Rick Ortiz offers catering and is working on a physical location in NoDa.
How to support: Check Instagram for the food truck’s weekly schedule.
This place has a little bit of everything, groceries, t-shirts, beer, and wine — you name it. The NoDa store recently upgraded its back patio. You can even pick up The Dumpling Lady dumplings here.
How to support: The store is open for patio seating and curbside pickup. Check out the store’s website to order groceries.
- The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce has an extensive directory of local businesses in every industry here.
- Charlotte Pride may be canceled this year due to coronavirus, but there are still online events to participate in. Next up is a virtual conversation about the legacy of Stonewall today on June 24 from 6-7 p.m. You can also donate to Charlotte Pride here.
- Charlotte Black Pride and BFLAG also host virtual conversations. This Sunday, the organizations will discuss racial inequality and its effect on local Black families. Donate to Charlotte Black Pride here.
- Charlotte’s Got A Lot has a great LGBTQ Guide to Charlotte with nightlife, salons, drag, sports, and more.