Red@28th, a restaurant, hookah bar, and “multicultural literary lounge,” is now open in the old People’s Market at 1315 East Boulevard in Dilworth.
Why it matters: A hookah bar in a pandemic? Yes, it’s perhaps not the best timing, but owner Darren “Jaz” Vincent says Red@28th will have a lot more than hookah — namely books, about 4,000 of them.
Background: Vincent has been involved in Charlotte’s literary scene for more than 20 years, starting with his now-closed bookstore RealEyes, which was open in the early 2000s in the NoDa storefront now occupied by Salud Beer Shop.
- From there, he’s opened Red@28th locations in NoDa (now closed), University, and Greenville, South Carolina. His new Dilworth location is the largest.
- Vincent wasn’t always a bookworm so he tries to draw “non-readers” into Red@28th with add-ons like hookah, a full bar, and a food menu with New York, Cajun, and Southern dishes.
Details: While the build-out has been extensive inside Red@28th, including a 2,500-square-foot hookah lounge enclosed in glass, Vincent hopes the building remains a gathering space like it was in its People’s Market days.
- Vincent’s motto when picking out furniture for the space was: Would my grandma have that in her house? “My grandmother’s home was the best place to be when I was young,” he says.
Flashback: Before the space was the People’s Market, it was a 131 Main restaurant. That closed in 2016 after a fire.
Menu: The Dilworth location has the largest kitchen of any Red@28th location so expect an expanded menu from its Greenville and University offerings.
- New York-style dishes include New York pizza ($7.99+), buffalo wings ($7.99), and a New York cheese steak ($10.49).
- A Cajun-inspired dish: Louisiana red beans and rice ($4.99/$8.99).
- And there’s a strong Southern influence with dishes like pimento cheese fries ($7.99) and grandma’s award winning chili ($4.99/$8.99).
Editor’s note: This article was first published on January 4, 2021. It was last updated on March 2, 2021.