Charlotte’s restaurant scene is constantly changing, and if it seems like it’s happening faster than ever, you’re not alone. It can be hard to keep up with all the new places to try or remember which places have closed. Here’s a look at some Charlotte’s dining news from last month.


Samantha Mobley arrived at Brooks’ Sandwich House for its grand reopening around 9:45 a.m. “I’m happy to be here to celebrate the reopening. I was heartbroken to see what happened here. I see the crime in our community up close,” said Mobley, who is a magistrate judge. Alex Cason CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • Brooks’ Sandwich House reopened Feb. 1. The restaurant was closed after co-owner Scott Brooks was tragically killed in December as he attempted to open the restaurant for the day.
  • Cuzzo’s Cuisine opened Feb. 1. This second location is full service and features bar service as well. Indulge in the Cuzzo’s favorites, including the famous lobster mac and cheese and red velvet waffles.
The backyard of The Goodyear House includes a rare large American holly tree. Alex Cason CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • The Goodyear House opened Feb. 4. We’d been not-so-patiently watching the progression of NoDa’s The Goodyear House as we dream of spring evenings on the patio, dining on Chris Coleman’s approachable-yet-upscale suppers, feeling the energy of a modernized mill house that keeps its history on a pedestal.
  • Elsewhere opened Feb. 5. The new South End bar hopes to transport customers Elsewhere. And that’s the name of the craft cocktail concept. Elsewhere is a 750-square-foot bar in the Design Center, accessible from the courtyard under the water tower.
  • Estampa Gaucha opened in Uptown. There’s a new rodizo-style Brazilian steakhouse in town. Estampa Gaucha is right across from NASCAR Hall of Fame. (401 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.)
  • NoDa Brewing expanded to Charleston. NoDa Brewing Company has expanded distribution to Charleston, S.C. The Charlotte-based brewing company is tag-teaming with Southern Eagle Distributing of Southern Crown Partners as part of its expansion.
  • Fud opens at Town Brewing. Jeff McElwee of FūD on the MūV and food director at Queen City Grounds and Red Clay Ciderworks accepted a position to lead the new food program at Town Brewing. McElwee is known for his fun and creative menus that incorporate vegan and gluten free options. McElwee will continue to run Red Clay’s kitchen, and Queen City Grounds has hired Matt Wheeler, director of food operations at Trade and Lore and former kitchen manager of Common Market, to lead its kitchen.
The Charlotte Beer Garden has plenty of firepits and gas heaters to keep the patios warm. Alex Cason
  • Charlotte Beer Garden opened Feb. 26. Have you ever had a cold one in a tree house? You’ll find out what that feels like on your first visit to Charlotte Beer Garden in South End. The 3-story building with four bars and a rooftop with a view is filled with trees and plants. The windows and doors are accordion-style, so when the weather is warm and breezy and everything is open, Mother Nature will be one of your drinking pals.

  • Cinnaholic Concord Mills opened Feb. 28. Everybody get your roll on: at Cinnaholic, you can customize your roll any way you want with 20 frostings and 20 toppings. Did we mention the rolls are vegan?
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Oh My Soul vegan cafe co-owner Tallulah Duffin said the team used all repurposed materials when designing the interior of the vegan cafe. She is shown here among repurposed furniture and shutters. Melissa Oyler CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • Oh My Soul vegan cafe opened Feb. 29. The restaurant has been highly anticipated for months, as people watched the transformation of one of NoDa’s original mill homes. What was once the Red House Cafe, painted red and with a dark interior and a Jersey Italian flare, serving meatballs, pasta and ice cream was slowly becoming a light blue, airy and floral design of Oh My Soul, decorated with painted cows and leaves and paw prints.
  • Dish reopened on March 2 after briefly closing for some renovations. When you visit next, expect to see a new glass back door in the upstairs bar area as well as an updated patio. Look for the new mural by SHE Originals, an artist out of Germany who grew up in Plaza Midwood. A shorter fence on the patio is designed to make the space feel more open. Also: patio heaters. We’re in. Head chef Vance Houser added some new menu items including a buffalo shrimp salad, braised pork and steak and eggs.


Bold Missy Brewery is closing at the end of February 2020. Melissa Oyler CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • Bold Missy Brewery closed at the end of February. “We’ve loved being a part of the #CLTbeer community and are excited to see it continue to grow,” the brewery stated. The beers at the brewery were named after women — bold missies, if you will.
  • Studio Movie Grill closed its Epicentre location on March 2. The theater, rated consistently as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., opened its second Charlotte location in December — but then closed its original Charlotte location on Monday, March 2. The movie theater spent seven years at its home on the second level of the Epicentre.


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Tropical Grille is opening on Elizabeth Avenue and will serve wraps, sandwiches and bowls. Roland Wilkerson CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • Tropical Grille to open soon. Greenville, South Carolina-based restaurant Tropical Grille is bringing its beloved Cuban dishes to Charlotte with a new location on Elizabeth Avenue. The restaurant, which offers a fast-casual take on Cuban classics including palomilla and pan con lechon, is expanding to Charlotte because of founder Lazaro Montoto’s love of the Queen City.
  • Paper Plane to open later this month. Paper Plane Deli and Market is planning to add a little more neighborly charm — and some banging BLTs — to the Belmont neighborhood.
  • Boga Mexicana to open soon. Boga Mexicana, a Mexican restaurant taking over the space where The Packhouse used to be, is anticipated to open in February 2020. Vishnu Varthanan, the new owner of the space who is a restaurant operator in Germany, said Boga Mexicana will be an upscale Mexican restaurant that serves quality products. The space will be designed with handmade decorations and furniture imported from Mexico. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, and it will have a full bar with fresh-pressed juices for cocktails.
  • Saku to open later this month.. An Asian restaurant is coming to a new uptown Charlotte tower in March. The 1,330-square-foot restaurant, Saku, heading to 5th Street will be between Connolly’s On Fifth and Hearst Tower. The restaurant will be in the Binaco Tower at 123 E. 5th St., which broke ground in July. The five-story, 13,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
  • Bargarita to open in NoDa soon. Since NoDa mainstay Solstice Tavern closed last November, Charlotteans have been walking past its boarded-up windows, anticipating the restaurant that would take its place along the popular strip of restaurants and bars along North Davidson Street. Now, the wait is almost over. Bargarita, the latest concept from the Mason Jar Group, will open in this location.
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Amanda Gibbons, food and beverage director of AC Hotel Charlotte SouthPark. LunahZon Photography CHARLOTTEFIVE
  • AC Hotel to open its rooftop bar in SouthPark before spring. You’ll want to visit Cordial, the eighth-floor bar. It will feature skyline views, indoor and outdoor seating for up to 100 people and a menu of craft beverages — look for locally inspired gin and tonic cocktails and tapas-style small bites. AC Lounge, on the first floor, will offer a secondary space, serving small plates and drinks.
  • Little Mama’s will open soon in SouthPark. The owners of Mama Ricotta’s are busy getting ready for Little Mama’s Italian, which will open around March in the former Zebra location in SouthPark (next to Diamonds Direct). The restaurant is based on owner Frank Scibelli’s experiences growing up in Massachusetts visiting Italian restaurants in the 1970s.
  • Tempest Charleston opens spring 2020. The team behind 5Church Charlotte, Sophia’s Lounge and 5Church Charleston is opening Tempest in Spring 2020. It will be next door to 5Church in Charleston. The restaurant will be located in the former historic Harriott Pinckney Home for Sailors.
  • Lost Worlds Brewing to open soon. Dave and Allison Hamme will open their Lake Norman-area brewery and tap room, Lost Worlds Brewing — a name that comes from Dave Hamme’s love of traveling and exploring the world. “We want to be a place where people can come together and talk about their adventures over beer,” Hamme told CharlotteFive.
  • Silverlake Ramen to open in April in South End. If you’ve visited the Concord location, you know exactly what to expect when Silverlake Raman expands to South End this spring (plus, the South End spot will have sushi.)
  • Camp North End opening food stalls by springtime. Visitors can look forward to hand-cut noodles, farm-to-table fare and gourmet desserts. Bow Ramen, Bleu Barn Bistro and Wentworth & Fenn are expected to open in March 2020. The stalls will be outdoors — with heaters, shade and community tables.
  • Orto will open in the spring. James Beard-nominated chef Paul Verica hopes to create a casual NoDa neighborhood standby in his new Italian restaurant, Orto, that will offer the quality and creativity he’s become known for at The Stanley at a price point that can make regulars of Charlotte’s foodies. The spring opening of this new Italian joint adds to the argument that everyone loves Italian — and to the evidence that Charlotte restaurateurs are banking on it.
  • Anomaly to open in the spring. The 22-seat restaurant (location TBD, but probably Dilworth) will be run by chef Samuel Hart and sommelier Erin Skaryak.
  • Harriet’s Hamburgers to open this summer at Optimist Hall. Expect a simple, nostalgic menu. The space will feel reminiscent of drive-ins and diners of the 1950s and 60s.
  • Protagonist Beer expanding into LoSo this summer. The team will take over the Great Wagon Road Distillery/ Broken Spoke venue. Protagonist’s original plan was to expand next into Optimist Park, and the brewery still plans to do that eventually, said Mike Salzarulo, Co-Founder of Protagonist.
  • The Vintage Whiskey & Cigar Bar to open this summer. The upscale cigar lounge will offer a diverse list of hand-selected whiskeys and cigars and offer private, concierge-style membership options. It also will serve a seasonal craft cocktail menu, wines, beers and a full espresso bar.
  • Havana Smoke & Reserve to open this summer. The cigar bar will occupy the fourth floor of Binaco Tower at 123 E. 5th St. in uptown.
  • The Degenerate opening this year. Tater tot poutine. Banh mi for breakfast. Later this year, this and more will be available at The Degenerate, a sports bar/gastropub set to open in Villa Heights. Located at 2116 N. Davidson St., it promises more internationally-inspired, yet homey fusions, as well as draft cocktails.
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Tacos 4 Life donates 24 cents from most items to Feed My Starving Children. TACOS 4 LIFE
  • Tacos 4 Life to open second Charlotte location later this year. Arkansas-based Tacos 4 Life Grill, a mission-based restaurant, will open a new location at The Arboretum.
  • Sycamore Brewing to move next door in 2-3 years. “The building is visually stunning, the beer garden is set to be unrivaled, and our product offering even more diverse and exciting. We can’t wait to share the new space with Charlotte,” owner Sarah Taylor Brigham told CharlotteFive. The new space will feature a beer garden twice the size of the current one. It will include a 6,000-square-foot second story outdoor terrace overlooking the light rail, with views of uptown.
  • Mattie’s Diner to open in a new location. The beloved diner that was once in the parking lot at the N.C. Music Factory (now AvidXChange Music Factory), known for its blueberry pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches, is coming back. This time it will serve customers in the former Tire Depot site on The Plaza.


Members Only opened in late January. The next time you’re craving bubbly with a cotton candy garnish while on a wooden swing, we know just the spot. A private social lounge and tasting room called Members Only has opened up at 2413 Central Ave., in the space where wine bar Cork and Crate operated until closing in the fall. It serves craft cocktails, local craft beer and will eventually include a high-end food truck.

Owner Kimberly Wilkinson describes Members Only as a social bar and tasting room. DeAnna Taylor CHARLOTTEFIVE

Check out January’s other restaurant changes here.

As new restaurants open every day in Charlotte, it’s easy to forget about the old standbys, the places that have grown up alongside the Queen City. We think they’ll always be there for us, but so many favorites have closed along the way. This makes it even more important to support the ones we love. Our series highlights the classic Charlotte eats that you have frequented for years, reminding us why they have stood the test of time.

John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer

Check out: Cajun Queen. When executive chef William Wessling gets a chance to step out of the kitchen at the Cajun Queen, he likes to stand by the front door and think about all the people who have come through it. The brick house at 1800 E. 7th St. is 100 years old now, and it’s been a restaurant for the last 34 years, so that’s a lot of people: Couples celebrating anniversaries. Families celebrating birthdays. Jazz musicians tromping upstairs to the bar. Even a house ghost who might not come through the door, but sometimes makes her — probably her — presence known.


original article via Charlotte Five