7 cool things other cities have that Charlotte needs

7 cool things other cities have that Charlotte needs

Photo: Courtesy of Axios Charlotte reader Haley Beaman

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While we’re still waiting on our Zara, here are a few other unique concepts I’d like to see open in Charlotte.

[Axios related story: Zara, Wegmans, Wawa and 9 other retailers Charlotte wants]

(1) A book store with a Champagne bar

Concept: I love few things more than books and Champagne, so the Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville is my dream spot. What’s not to love about used books and bubbly?

  • Wouldn’t hate it if they let you rent board games while you’re there either.

Where it could go: In an old house in West Charlotte or Fourth Ward. It can’t go in a brand new building — it has to be cozy and feel lived in.

[Axios related story: 35 things to do in N.C.’s coolest mountain city]

Battery Park Book Exchange champagne bar book store

Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville. Photo: Emma Way/Axios Charlotte

(2) A swanky stadium with a retractable roof

Now that Charlotte’s landed a few big concerts at Bank of America Stadium (and we have a professional soccer team and Cam Newton’s back), we need a flashy new facility. If we’re making requests, I’d like a retractable roof and a designated tailgate lot, please.

Where it could go: Its current location — 800 S Mint St.


Photo: Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

(3) Flower and coffee shop combo

In my retirement dreams, I run a coffee and flower shop where you can pick up or build your own bouquets and pop in for coffee and pastries.

  • The daytime spot could double as a pop-up event space for the evenings (think: yoga or meditation classes or art shows).
  • Can you tell I’ve thought about this?

Example: Remi Flower & Coffee in New York is aesthetic goals.

Where it could go: Optimist Hall.

(4) A year-round Christmas restaurant

I love the idea of a restaurant that spreads holiday cheer all year, just like Rolf’s German Restaurant in New York.

Where it could go: Uptown. How magical would it be to go to a Christmas restaurant then walk to see the “Nutcracker.”

rolfs christmas restaurant in new york

Photo: Courtesy of Axios Charlotte reader Haley Beaman

(5) A thrift store with food and drinks

Garage Sale Vintage in Denver inspired this roundup. The thrift store with a full far and tacos come across my FYP on TikTok and I was smitten from first glance.

  • The thrift store also has a full bar with an impressive tequila collection, plus a seasonal drink menu.

Where it could go: Camp North End.

(6) An outdoor Italian market

Charlotte needs a year-round outdoor market with a mix of  prepared foods and fresh produce and meat, like Philadelphia’s S. 9th Street Italian Market.

  • Charlotte’s version could highlight a range of cuisines.

Where it could go: It could be an extension of the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, off Yorkmont Road.

(7) A food truck island

Picture this: A food truck rodeo on the water. You can find versions of this all over the world, from  Spruce Street Harbor Park in Delaware to Reffen (formerly Papirøen/Paper Island) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Charlotte’s version would dozens of food trucks and restaurants in shipping containers on a pier-like slab on the water.
  • There’d be places to park your boat or you could walk across a small bridge if you’re boat-less.
  • Think of it like Camp North End’s waterfront companion with an emphasis on street food.

Where it could go: Lake Wylie.

  • Seven Oaks is one my favorite trails in Charlotte. I love the idea of heading toward the lake for a hike and then capping it off with some food on the water.


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