Epicurean Charlotte

Food & Wine Magazine


the scoop, sept/oct 2017

Alejandro Torio, Patrick Whalen, and Chef Jamie Lynch (of 5Church Charlotte) are teaming up with a Charleston mixologist to open Sophia’s Lounge, a chic spot on the ground level of The Ivey’s Hotel. Look for both food and drinks with sharable plates and craft cocktails.

Shake Shack has confirmed they’ll open their first Charlotte location by year’s end by Burton’s at Park Road Shopping Center. With construction currently underway, Shake Shack’s menu includes burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, frozen custards, milkshakes, and more.

A new California-inspired taco and tequila restaurant called SouthBound is planning to open late this summer in the spot next to Mac’s Speed Shop on South Boulevard. The restaurant will have a Southern California feel to it inside, complete with black and white photography and street murals, and seating to accommodate 196 people inside and another 95 outside. The menu will include fresh salsas and juices, margaritas, beers, house-made tortillas, tequila, and tacos all made with fresh ingredients. Around the corner is a walk-up taco window, where you can bypass the restaurant experience and just grab a bag of tacos to go.

A new nightclub called World is coming to the AvidXchange Music Factory Labor Day Weekend in the former Label location. With 21,000-square-feet of event space, it will house EDM and hip-hop DJs on the weekends as well as host parties, corporate events, and weddings.

Pasta & Provisions will open a third location in the former Red Sea Grocery spot at the corner of South Mint Street and Spruce Street. Similar to the Park Road location, they’ll feature carry-out hot food as well as beer and wine on tap. This will be George’s first owned, rather than leased, location. Congratulations!

Nékter Juice Bar, a California-based chain, is planning to open in South End in the same shopping complex as the new Harris Teeter late this October. Nékter specializes in juices, smoothies, açai bowls, cold-pressed bottled drinks, cold-brew coffee, chia parfaits, juice cleanses, and Skoop, their version of healthy froyo.

Spanish tapas concept Barcelona Wine Bar is opening its first location in the Carolinas, signing a lease at the newly revamped South End Design Center. Look for a comprehensive wine list with nearly 400 wines from around the world available by the glass, in addition to Spanish and Mediterranean tapas.

William Dissen, chef-owner of The Market Place restaurant in Asheville, plans to open Haymaker in the new Ascent high-rise Uptown late this year. They’ll serve morning coffee, lunch, and dinner with a focus on locally-sourced and locally-grown food. The restaurant will have more than 150 seats, a bar/lounge, an upstairs mezzanine, and an outdoor patio.

Cantina 1511 is adding a third location to their lineup with the opening of an Uptown location in Hearst Tower this fall. Occupying the former Blue Restaurant location, fans of Blue will be glad to hear executive chef Gene Briggs and additional Blue staff members will stay on to guide the direction of the new location.

Blue Restaurant & Bar, the uptown Mediterranean hot spot that has been an upscale fixture in Charlotte’s dining scene for nearly 14 years, has closed. Good luck to Alex Myrick in his next adventure.

Rhino Market & Deli will open their second location at 400 S. Tryon Street in the newly renovated 33-story office tower facing Romare Bearden Park. The new Rhino will have indoor seating for up to 50 customers and will include a breakfast menu and quick-service deli options for lunch. Two nine-foot windows along Church Street will open up like garage doors so diners can see the streetscape. The market will include a retail store and bar where customers can buy groceries, six-packs of beer, and wine by the glass. A big shout out to owner Rob Rondelez.

Vin Master, the eclectic wine shop located at Atherton Mill in South End, is now under the new ownership of Rochelle Baxter and her boyfriend, John Pruett. Baxter’s vision for Vin Master is a destination spot that serves as an urban provisions market by day and wine bar by night. The updated interior consists of a bar top, new tables, and a corner filled with local groceries for sale. Baxter also livened the space up with new artwork, flowers on each countertop, and candles at night. There are events scheduled for almost every night of the week, including $5 mimosas and sangrias on Sunday, Trivia Night on Tuesdays, and wine tastings on Thursdays.

A new bar concept is coming to Fourth Ward from the teams behind Dandelion Market, Tyber Creek, and Workman’s Friend. The Daily is targeting an early fall opening in the former Dillinger’s spot, which closed in 2014. The Daily will be “a refined watering hole” serving craft beer, cocktails, and American fare.

Bardo, a new small plates restaurant, is coming soon to South End’s Gold District. Bardo will feature an open kitchen concept and a seasonal “progressive American” menu served small plate-style. They’ll join an influx of openings in the area just south of Uptown between Winnifred Street and the railroad tracks.