Matcha hype isn’t new, but one small business owner hopes to make it the norm in Charlotte.
What’s happening: Eric Hicklen opened Gotcha Matcha & Espresso on Monday, Sept. 11. For the next three months, it’s a pop-up inside The Coterie Concept, a wine bar.
Why it matters: South End is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Charlotte, attracting shiny new towers and high-profile tenants. But it’s also priced out small businesses like Central Coffee and Mr. K’s.
- Hicklen hopes to turn the Gotcha Matcha into a permanent spot. He likes South End, but ultimately it’s about finding a place that feels like home.
Flashback: Hicklen, a Barnwell, S.C. native and filmmaker by trade, fell in love with matcha during a trip to Thailand in 2019. He decided to open up his own shop rather than wait for someone else to.
Menu: All of their matcha drinks are made with oat milk unless otherwise requested. The drink menu includes nearly two dozen options, like a matcha latte ($6.50), and “to the yams” with ube, which is a purple sweet potato ($7.50).
- The espresso side includes classics like a cappuccino ($4.50), latte ($6.75), a pour-over ($4.25) and half a dozen other drinks. Milk options include oat, soy, almond, macadamia and coconut.
- Pastries, which are brought in from July Moon in Atlanta, are the pandan (think vanilla flavor) cinnamon roll and ube cinnamon roll ($8 each). The shop will also offer rotating pastries.
- Hicklen tells Axios they plan to add vegan options soon.
Details: Gotcha Matcha is located at 222 West Blvd. and is open Monday and Tuesday from 7am-8:30pm (happy hour is 6pm and the menu is 10% off) and Wednesday through Friday from 7am-4pm. Saturday 7am-4pm (Happy hour 12-2pm). The shop will be open until 8:30pm on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Sept. 14, 2023 updated on Sept. 20, 2023 to reflect the shop’s hours.