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]
(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.
- Please see: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
- Of note: Bank of America Stadium opened in 1996 (as Ericsson Stadium), making it one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL.
Where it could go: Its current location — 800 S Mint St.
(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.
- Until we get our own Rolf’s, you can visit one of these four holiday pop-up bars in Charlotte.
Where it could go: Uptown. How magical would it be to go to a Christmas restaurant then walk to see the “Nutcracker.”
(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.