A hub for Charlotte’s arts community, Camp North End is now a growing food and drink destination, too.
In March, the 76-acre development just north of Uptown welcomed its first restaurant, Leah & Louise by Greg and Subrina Collier. Then, over the summer, it opened an outdoor food hall with three (soon-to-be four) stalls.
Now, Camp North End is getting its first taproom, and it’s from a familiar name: Free Range Brewing.
This will be the second location for the Villa Heights-based brewery, and it will officially open this Friday, November 13.
Camp North End community: While Camp North End has events and/or open retailers nearly every day of the week now, the area is known for its Friday night activities.
Free Range co-owner Jason Alexander hopes the new taproom helps expand that thinking. “We’re not just here for your Friday night. We’re here for your Thursday afternoon. We’re here for your Monday morning,” he says, speaking of the site overall.
“Hopefully we play a responsible and unique role in helping (Camp North End) grow.”
Food: For a new brewery opening, you’d think we’d lead with the beer, but nope. Alexander says the most exciting part of Free Range’s new location is its partnership with next-door neighbor Leah & Louise. “That is the biggest and baddest thing we’re doing here,” he says.
Free Range guests can order food via the bar or straight from their phones, and dishes then make their way from Leah & Louise’s kitchen to Free Range’s taproom through a pass-thru window.
The menu at Free Range will have some dishes exclusive to the taproom and some favorites from the restaurant. Perfect for when Leah & Louise is booked up for the night.Beer: Free Range’s beers are made with almost exclusively locally sourced ingredients. The brewery won’t be making any beer at the Camp North End location; production will remain at the North Davidson Street location.
Want to try Free Range’s fan favorites? Start here:
- You’re Everything I Knead – A little funky sourdough IPA.
- Cream of the Crop – A crushable cream ale.
Beer will also be available in cans to-go. Free Range started canning at the beginning of the pandemic, after taking a significant cut in revenue.
There will also be wine and guest beer taps. In the future, the taproom may add cocktails, Alexander says.
Space: The 1,544-square-foot space feels a little more refined than Free Range’s first location; there’s no tractor parked out front here. The Camp North End space is bright with skylights, tall ceilings, two roll-up glass-paned doors on either end of the taproom, and skyline views in the back.
It gives me museum café vibes with art from local artist Chris Holston, painted brick walls in a calming yellow and gray, and one of the most impressive fiddle leaf fig trees I’ve ever seen (shoutout to Grow, a plant shop in Plaza Midwood).
There are also rustic details that tie into Free Range’s original location, such as the 100-year-old handcrafted oak wood bar and exposed brick and steel. And there’s an Art-o-mat, of course.
Outdoor seating: In the back, Free Range shares a patio with Goodyear Arts. The covered space has half a dozen picnic tables and a view of the skyline.
Background: Family members Jason, Sarah, Jeff, and Brittany Alexander opened Free Range in 2015 at 2320 N. Davidson St. near NoDa.
Hours: To start, Free Range will be open on Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 11 p.m.
Location: 301 Camp Rd., next to Leah & Louise and across from Hygge.
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