Our Now Open series is proudly presented by Charlotte Center City Partners. New businesses are part of what makes Charlotte great but don’t forget to take some time to say hello again to the people and places that made us fall in love with our city in the first place. Check out UptownCharlotte.com + SouthEndCLT.org to find even more spots to explore.
We’ve made it through the winter and the worst of the pandemic (*knocks on wood*).
In this challenging pandemic year, small businesses and the resiliency they’ve shown throughout have been a bright spot.
Here are 20 local restaurants, food stalls, bars and retailers that opened their doors in the last three months.
FOOD + DRINK
Approachable Northern Italian-focused menu with top-notch cocktails
What to order: Lasagna, the olive oil cake, and mixologist Amanda Britton’s take on an amaro cobbler.
Outdoor dining: Orto has a large covered patio that will be perfect once the restaurant is open all day for brunch and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. They’re starting with just dinner service for now.
Location: 416 E. 36th St. in NoDa near the 36th Street light rail station.
Read more: New Italian restaurant Orto now open in NoDa
Wildly popular food truck now in a brick-and-mortar space in south Charlotte.
What to order: I sure hope you don’t leave without ordering some fries, but also try some of WTF’s new menu items like the fried snapper sandwich.
Location: 10707 Park Rd., Ste. F in former Cici’s Pizza near Pineville.
Of note: The food truck is on a hiatus but won’t be gone forever. When the owners find the right team to operate their truck, they’ll send it back out.
Sister restaurant to Asheville-favorite Chai Pani
Details: As a die-hard Chai Pani fan, this is one opening I couldn’t wait for. I was literally the first person in line. It’s that good.
What to order: Juicy lamb burgers, “SPDP” puffs, a boozy slushy and a mango lassi.
Location: Inside Optimist Hall, 1115 N. Brevard St.
Cozy Greek cafe and wine bar owned by two brothers
What to order: Brothers Vasili and Tony Paspalaris took inspiration from the cafes in Athens, Greece, and in other European cities to create Vibe. Order Greek coffee, dolmathes, and the berry cheesecake Belgian waffle.
Location: 1315 East Boulevard in Dilworth.
Upscale Southern steakhouse with Charlotte’s first absinthe program
What to order: With a 4.9-star rating on Google so far, you can’t go wrong with really anything. We’d recommend the miso mac and cheese and the prime filet.
Absinthe: Nowhere else in Charlotte will you find as elaborate an absinthe program as you do at Supperland.
- Supperland offers four types of absinthe, diluted using a fountain that slowly adds water to the 100+ proof liquor.
- The restaurant and cocktail bar also offers the “Absinthe Frappé,” an incredibly crushable strawberry-and-mint drink.
Location: 1212 The Plaza in a historic church building near Harris Teeter.
Posh setting with Asian comfort food in Plaza Midwood
What to order: Late-night banh mi (or any time of day). For cocktails, go with “Wetworks” with honeysuckle vodka, pineapple rum, apple cider, herbs and an apple garnish.
Location: 1226 Central Ave.
Jay Davis of Lulu’s recently opened a bar and restaurant nearby
What to expect: Classic bar food like burgers and wings. Also expect a bunch of Baltimore Ravens fans on game days.
Location: 2710 Tuckaseegee Road near Lulu’s.
Local coffee shop chain’s latest location.
Details: One of just a few openings in Uptown in the past year, this coffee shop gives us hope.
What to order: Iced latte.
Location: 300 S. Tryon St., in the same building as La Belle Helene, which will be reopened by the 5Church team.
Cigar and whiskey bar with over 1,000 varieties of cigars
What to expect: Cigar-wise, The Vintage has a selection of mild, medium and full-bodied cigars in the walk-in humidor. There’s drink pairings for your choice of cigar.
Location: 215 E. Worthington Ave. in South End.
Grab-and-go market plus a bar in a gorgeous old-world-like setting
What to order: The mimosa flight ($15), which comes with four half-size mimosas in different flavors like mango and strawberry.
Location: 451 E. 36th St.
The popular wine bar’s second location
What to order: Go big with the porterhouse steak and, of course, red wine to pair.
Location: 4905 Ashley Park Lane, Ste. J, in the former Corkbuzz space in SouthPark.
Cincinnati-based fried chicken joint now in South End’s Atherton Mill
What to order: Fried chicken with mac & cheese and collard greens on the side. To drink, go with a glass ($10) or pitcher ($38) of bourbon punch.
Location: 2120 South Blvd., Ste. 1 in South End.
Fancy steakhouse in SouthPark
What to order: Bone-in filet mignon (12 ounces/$58) and beignets for dessert.
Layout: Oliver Badgio, chief brand officer for the restaurant group, calls the restaurant’s layout a “collection of intimate spaces.” There’s about 10 different dining zones, including private booths with glass walls and a view of the kitchen. “Each room has different energy, music, and acoustics.”
Location: 4425 Sharon Rd.
A favorite in Charleston’s dining scene now in Optimist Hall
What to order: Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese cabbage pancake. All the items on Xiao Bao’s menu center on comforting Southeast Asian and Asian dishes.
Location: Inside Optimist Hall, 1115 N. Brevard St.
Classy pizzeria and wine shop
What to order: One of Margaux’s St. Louis-style pizzas.
Location: 316 Main St. in Pineville.
RETAIL + SERVICES
Modern massage spa with a popular membership program
Details: Even before the massage, just being inside Dilworth’s Mood House is calming. Mood House founder (and Axios Charlotte’s former president) Cristina Wilson hopes to provide guests with a re-imagined spa experience and, of course, relaxation — something that’s needed more than ever right now.
Cost: You can purchase a massage or time in the infrared sauna a la carte, or sign up for a membership (starts at $85/month).
Location: 2400 Park Rd., Ste. A
Read more: Modern massage spa opens in Dilworth
Plaza’s beloved clothing store moved down the street in a new space
Details: Owner Hope Nicholls moved B + N farther out on The Plaza a few months ago after growing disillusioned over how much Plaza Midwood is shifting — and pricing out smaller independent businesses like hers.
- Her selection of unique men’s and women’s clothing remains.
Location: 2910 The Plaza.
Home decor retailer in the former BJ’s space
Details: If you’re never been to At Home store before, think of it as a mix between IKEA and Marshalls. The 101,000-square-foot space is located in Midtown in the same building as Target.
Location: 900 Metropolitan Ave.
Harris Teeter – Park Road Shopping Center
After extensive renovations, the Park Road Teeter is back
Details: There’s a new wine and beer bar, an expanded and redesigned produce section, 8 new self-checkout kiosks, and more.
Location: 4101 Park Rd. in Park Road Shopping Center.
Knights of the Razor by No Grease
Longstanding local barbershop chain started by twin brothers Damian and Jermaine Johnson
Details: The newly renovated SouthPark barbershop opened in January and quickly became a popular spot at mall. Then, in February, SouthPark mall terminated the shop’s lease early, but reversed course as calls to protest from the community grew. [Full story here]
Location: 4400 Sharon Rd., Ste. L01A inside SouthPark mall