Epicurean Charlotte

Food & Wine Magazine


the scoop, may/june 2017

Block & Grinder, the farm-to-table restaurant with locations in Cotswold and Lake Norman, has closed. Several factors played into it, executive chef Ben Philpott explains, including the cost of rent and the difference between what customers were willing to pay and the price of locally sourced food.

Charlotte’s award-winning dining destination EVOKE is thrilled to announce Rodrigo Velazco as Chef de Cuisine. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, with an unparalleled culinary background, Chef Velazco comes to Evoke from upscale Charlotte restaurant Vivace.

Heist Brewery is expanding in North End just four miles from their original location with a new production facility, bakery, butcher shop, and beer garden on Woodward Avenue with hopes of opening early this summer.

The Cotswold Food Truck Rally has started and will run Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. The family-friendly rally, located at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Providence Road, is presented by Carolina Commercial Kitchen and features live music, a playground, and, of course, a whole bunch of food trucks.

b.good, the soon-to-open farm-focused restaurant in Uptown, has opened new locations in Stonecrest and Ballantyne.   b.good is a fast casual chain that focuses on fresh-made menu items with ingredients sourced from local farmers. Menus include kale and grain bowls, seasonal salads, burgers, smoothies, and more.

The Secret Chocolatier, the family-run chocolate business has closed its Ballantyne location and is consolidating back to one location—its flagship store in Cotswold—as part of the chocolate shop’s strategic plan to expand its wholesale reach and trade show opportunities.

Teriyaki Madness is set to open in early May at Metropolitan in midtown. Expect plates with natural chicken, beef, or tofu served with a choice of rice, noodles, and stir-fried veggies. House-made sauce is used as a marinade. Appetizers and sides include edamame, chicken potstickers, and stir-fried veggies.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill located at 1520 South boulevard has closed after almost 17 years in business at its prominent South End spot. There are four other Carrabba’s locations across the region in Concord, Hickory, Huntersville, and Matthews.

Libretto’s Pizzeria owner and partner Mario Flynn of Pint Central plan to open a second Coaltrane’s Char Grill location in the former John’s Country Kitchen space in Plaza Midwood. Opening early this summer, they’ll be serving rotisserie chicken, flat-iron steaks, and chorizo with a focus on locally-sourced and organic foods.

Michael Shortino, owner of the popular ramen-and-more Futo Buta on Bland Street, plans to open Lincoln’s Haberdashery & Provisions in a vacant space in the Factory South building at 1300 South Boulevard. Lincoln’s will be a food-focused market, with fast-casual, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items, probably an organic salad bar, a barista for coffee, and maybe even a sushi case. Shortino expects the hours to be early morning until night, with the focus on breakfast and lunch.

The Factory Café is now open seven days a week at the AvidXchange Music Factory. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night breakfast and weekend brunch along with live music.

Passion8, the award-winning AAA Four Diamond restaurant located in Elizabeth, is rebranding and changing its name to Luca Modern Italian Kitchen. The new menu will focus on small plates, a late-night cocktail and bar food menu, more reasonable prices, hand-made pastas, and traditional Italian classics.

Two new concepts are in development and headed to the prime piece of real estate at the corner of East Boulevard and Scott Avenue in Dilworth. The People’s Market @ Dilworth, an urban market, and The Queen & Glass craft cocktail lounge aim to create a neighborhood hub early this fall.

Atherton Market is moving to a temporary new home just across the parking lot from the space where it’s currently located to make way for forthcoming development. Plans for the project call for a new five-story apartment building, parking, and 60,000-square-feet of additional retail space.

Palmer Street has opened in South End’s Gold District. The 21-and-up game bar and tap room features 31 classic games from owner Chris Hathaway’s personal collection in addition to 20 beers on draft and a food window to fuel your gaming marathon.

A new steakhouse named SouthPark Grill is set to open later this summer near the Village Tavern in SouthPark. The 5,800-square-foot steakhouse and bar will host the usuals like New York Strips, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, and Rotisserie Chicken along with new favorites like Fried Lobster and Scalloped Potatoes.