June 17, 2024


Free For All Food

New restaurants in Charlotte, NC, that opened in 2020

Chef Andarrio Johnson welcomes customers to Cuzzo’s Cuisine in Charlotte.

Chef Andarrio Johnson welcomes customers to Cuzzo’s Cuisine in Charlotte.

[email protected]

We know, you’ve been at home all year. Us, too. It’s been a long, strange year for lots of things, not the least of which is Charlotte restaurant coverage. In any other year, these new places would be packed out all the time, standing room only at the host stand, shoulder to shoulder crowds waiting for tables to free up.

But it’s 2020, the year of COVID-19. New restaurants (and old) have limited capacities, mask mandates and more. Some of these businesses opened before the coronavirus arrived, and most of them were at least in the works ahead of the global pandemic smashing into our community.

In all cases, these restaurateurs had no idea what they’d be facing. Remember the good old days, when permitting was the biggest headache?

But here we are, at the end of 2020, and at the end of a messy year there is still some restaurant news to celebrate. If a restaurant owner can put on a smile, elevate that takeout menu to the top of the priority list, and piv— Ok, Ok, we’ll stop saying it — well, then we can too.

Check out these 70+ places that opened in 2020, against the odds:

Table of Contents


2517 Distribution St.

Alchemy, a 10,000-square-foot entertainment venue at C3Lab, includes The Restaurant at Alchemy, Gallery C3 and The Gathering Common. The restaurant has a vegetarian-focused menu and is now open.

The Restaurant at Alchemy’s housemade vegetarian fettuccine with vegan alfredo. Glyn A Stanley Photography CharlotteFive

Allegiance Coffee

1115 Old Charlotte Road SW, Concord

Allegiance Coffee has a focus on craft coffee provided by Haerfest Coffee and has also partnered with other area businesses to provide baked goods and other treats.

Allegiance Coffee designed its own custom coffee blends with Haerfest Coffee. Courtesy of Amber Olafsson CharlotteFive

Another Food Truck

Location varies

This new food truck is a rebrand of the former 225 Street Food truck from the chef and fiancee team of Anthony Denning and Kristen Bandoo. Look for childhood favorites with an upscale twist, such as a Hot Chicken Smash grilled cheese and Dirty Mac.

The Hot Chicken Smash at Another!? Food Truck is a grilled cheese-style chicken sandwich with house pickles, Green Monster house-made herb ranch and crispy onions. 
 Poetic Productions Photos

The Bella Ciao

201 S. Tryon St., Suite 101

This uptown Italian restaurant took over the spot that was formerly Vapiano Charlotte. The menu still features pizza and pasta, but the space has a fresh new look.

Vapiano Charlotte has closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its owners have rebranded the uptown space and opened The Bella Ciao. Courtesy of The Bella Ciao

Black Moth Bars

1824 Statesville Ave.

This mobile bar has parked itself at a new permanent location at Camp North End. It is one of several new food and beverage retailers joining Camp North End.

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James Little and Rachel Hopkins of Black Moth Mobile Bars are welcoming visitors to Camp North End during a preview of the Keswick Avenue food stalls. Alex Cason CharlotteFive


517 University Center Blvd., and 1646 Hwy. 160, Fort Mill, SC; 1515 S. Tryon St.

Blacow is expanding its menu beyond award-winning burgers to include sushi and unique starters in its new Charlotte locations. The University City area restaurant took over the old Taco Mac spot, and the South End location is in the new Dimensional Place building.

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The Nutty Goat Burger at Blacow features a mix of balsamic onion, garlic and herb goat cheese and pecan mix with a chipotle aioli, candied bacon, pickle and arugula. Courtesy of Blacow CharlotteFive

Bleu Barn Bistro

1824 Statesville Ave.

Bleu Barn Bistro, a farm-to-table food truck, has set up its first brick-and-mortar at Camp North End’s new food stalls. Featured items include a Farm House burger, Pork Belly tacos and seasonal favorites.

The Bleu Barn Bistro started as a food truck, offering breakfast and lunch at the Davidson Farmers’ Market. It’s now at Camp North End. Heidi Billotto

Blue Fork

933 Louise Ave.

Blue Fork opened inside Catawba Brewing Company in January, serving American favorites such as dips, flatbreads and sandwiches infused with craft beer.

Boss of Vegan

4431 Brookshire Blvd.

Boss of Vegan’s curbside takeout-only menu features plant-based burgers made with Beyond patties, along with homemade chips, vegan chocolate chip cookies and fresh-squeezed mint lemonade.

Boss of Vegan’s chili burger. Courtesy of Boss of Vegan


Optimist Hall, 1115 N. Brevard St.

James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Meherwan Irani of Asheville opened Botiwalla, an Indian street-food restaurant, in December in Optimist Hall. Other locations are in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market and in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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Sev Potato Dahi Puri and Lamb Burgers at Botiwalla. Mia Yakel / Night Watch Crew

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

327 W. Tremont Ave. (at The Penrose)

Callie’s is a grab-and-go spinoff of the South Carolina original Callie’s Charleston Biscuits. It offers hot biscuit creations for breakfast and lunch, along with soups and salads.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Vanessa Infanzon CharlotteFive

Charlotte Beer Garden

1300 S. Tryon St.

This three-story beer garden with more than 400 taps and a full bar menu opened in late February in South End. You can’t miss the live walnut tree growing through the center or the skyline view.

Charlotte Beer Garden has a variety of beers and sours on tap along with a variety of craft cocktails. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Chef’s Kitchen

5301 Highway 557, Clover, SC

Chef’s Kitchen opened in the Lake Wylie area with an upscale fusion menu that incorporates American, Southern and Italian flare. The space will have two full bars, a 25-seat patio and a large banquet room.

Ribeye Steak, Chicken Marsala and Chicken Piccata pictured here, are some of the non-seafood dishes featured on the menu at Chef’s Kitchen. Courtesy of Anthony Smith. .jpg
The Chicken Piccata at Chef’s Kitchen is served with roasted potatoes and asparagus for $20. Courtesy of Anthony Smith

Copain Gatherings

6601 Morrison Blvd.

This European-style cafe and bakery is open in the atrium behind Rooster’s in SouthPark. You’ll find breads and pastries along with prepared foods and provisions such as charcuterie.

If you don’t want to visit a restaurant or you prefer to enjoy a meal at home, Copain Gatherings offers chef-prepared meals and sweets. LunahZon Photography/The Plaid Penguin CharlotteFive


1824 Roxborough Road

Cordial sits atop the AC Hotel Charlotte SouthPark, pairing uptown views with cocktails such as Pink G&Ts and Cordial Mojitos. The rooftop bar’s menu includes light international fare such as Caribbean Jerk Wings, Yuca Fries and Empanadas.

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A mojito and pink gin and tonic at Cordial. LunahZon Photography CharlotteFive


2200 Thrift Road

The immersive fine dining restaurant is now open. Guests will know nothing about the multi-course meal except for the quarterly theme until they show up for their reservations.

Chef Samuel Hart has opened Counter-, a new immersive dining experience in Wesley Heights. ALEX CASON CHARLOTTEFIVE

Curry Gate

640 W. 24th St.

Curry Gate opened in early June, serving Indian staples such as masala, vindaloo, korma and other curries, along with Nepalese cuisine such as momo.

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Curry Gate’s dal tadka and curried fish. Emiene Wright CharlotteFive

Cuzzo’s Cuisine

9601 N. Tryon St., Ste. F

The new location of Cuzzo’s Cuisine features the same favorites from the original spot on Tuckaseegee Road, including red velvet waffles, fried shrimp, strawberry banana pudding and lobster mac and cheese.

Cuzzo’s Cuisine Lobster Mac and Cheese is served with a side of shrimp. DeAnna Taylor CharlotteFive

Dee’s Vegan To-Go

1540 West Blvd.

This takeout-only vegan restaurant serves options such as jambalaya, “chicken” and waffles, burgers and hot dogs, teriyaki “chicken” and crab cakes.

The mac and cheese at Dee’s Vegan To Go is gluten-free and soy-free. Courtesy of Denise Hairston

Edge City Brewery

6629 Monroe Road

With statewide restrictions shutting down taprooms and on-premise consumption due to COVID-19, the new brewery first pivoted to selling beer to-go in growlers. Now it’s open with limited seating.

John Thomas serves a customer in front of Edge City Brewery to help with social distancing for to-go orders. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Felix Empanadas

1115 N. Brevard Street

The popular Felix Empanadas food truck settled into a permanent spot at Optimist Hall, serving empanadas of all kinds — including savory, breakfast and dessert options — and traditional dishes.

Fine & Fettle

4905 Barclay Downs Drive

The restaurant, tucked inside Canopy by Hilton SouthPark, offers a seasonal menu, with shareables such as charcuterie and burrata and main plates such as crab primavera and roasted guinea hen. The cocktail program is wellness driven, with drinks such as “Game, Set, Matcha,” made with botanist gin, matcha orgeat, lime, mint and egg white.

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Fine & Fettle’s Roasted Guinea Hen is made with Sixstone Creek guinea hen, celeriac, mushrooms, pickled mustard seed, petite greens and jus. Courtesy of Fine & Fettle. CharlotteFive

Free Range Brewing

301 Camp Road

Free Range Brewing’s Camp North End location is located next door to Leah & Louise — with a pass-through window so you don’t have to choose between drinks and dinner. Much of the beverage menu will be available to-go, as well.

Free Range Brewing is Camp North End’s first craft brewery. Courtesy of Free Range Brewing

Golden Cow

New location coming in spring 2021 to Stonewall and Tryon streets

This well-known ice cream shop’s third location in uptown Charlotte will carry favorites including Salted Oreo, along with the Golden Waffles recently launched at its SouthPark shop.

Golden Cow Creamery partnered with two other Charlotte companies, Cast Iron Waffles and Enderly Coffee Co. to produce the new breakfast offering. Courtesy of Golden Cow Creamery CharlotteFive

Good Wurst Company

3001 Central Ave.

The Austrian street food restaurant opened near Plaza Midwood, serving a variety of bratwurst, hot dogs and a pork schnitzel sandwich. Charlotte Agenda quoted owner Lincoln Clark describing the Belgian frites as “THE BOMB.”

The Goodyear House

3032 N. Davidson St.

The much-anticipated restaurant in a renovated mill house opened with executive chef Chris Coleman at the helm in February, weeks before COVID-19 closed dining rooms. It temporarily closed, then pivoted to a delivery and pickup option called Scratch House Chicken before ultimately reopening with expanded outdoor space.

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The patio at Goodyear House in NoDa extends into the backyard lot next door to encourage people to space out during COVID-19. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Great Wagon Road Distilling Co.

610 Anderson St.

Great Wagon Road Distilling Co. moved into the space that was previously home to NoDa’s Bold Missy Brewery. Guests can enjoy a shareable app, salad or sandwich with their cocktails.

Harriet’s Hamburgers

1115 N. Brevard St.

Harriet’s Hamburgers is now open in Optimist Hall, with burgers made of black Angus short rib, brisket and chuck cooked to “medium right,” along with fries.

Harriet’s Hamburgers are topped with white American cheese from an artisanal creamery, house-made zesty pickles, razor ribboned red onions, and a sweet and tangy signature sauce. LunahZon Photography CharlotteFive

Hip Hop Smoothies

249 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, Suite 210

Roberto and Shamika Brooks were planning to open Hip Hop Smoothies in late March, around the time that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered dining rooms closed to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The shop opened for a few days offering carryout only, then closed again before reopening in April.

Hip Hop Smoothies now has a brick-and-mortar shop on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road. The owners have been operating a food truck since 2018. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Honeybear Bake Shop


Pastry chef Hannah Neikirk turned a COVID-19 furlough into an opportunity to start a new cookie shipping service. Classic favorites such as chocolate chip are available, along with creations like hazelnut chocolate crunch, New York Cheesecake, blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll.

Each of Honeybear Bake Shop’s flavors are unique twists on classics or new recipes from Hannah Neikirk’s home kitchen. Hannah Neikirk

Krispy Kreme

2116 Hawkins St.

This isn’t your average chain doughnut shop. The South End location includes a 24-hour vending machine along with scoop sandwiches — a new take on ice cream sandwiches that features its classic glazed doughnuts — and hand-spun milkshakes. Another traditional location opened in Pineville, as well, at 8800 Pineville-Matthews Road.

South End Krispy Kreme GM Luke Duffey demonstrates how to use the doughnut vending machine. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Krustaceans Seafood

2908 Oak Lake Blvd.

Former Carolina Panthers player Marcus Lucas opened this new restaurant, bringing Lowcountry seafood to Charlotte. Another popular option is the lobster tail with red velvet waffles.

Krustaceans’ Red Velvet Waffle with Lobster Tail is a favorite among the staff. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

La Caseta

1824 Statesville Ave.

La Caseta brings Latin food such as pupusas, arepas and empanadas to Charlotte’s Camp North End. The food stall with outdoor seating is the newest concept from Raydal Hospitality, the owners of Sabor Latin Street Grill and Three Amigos and Mexican Cantina & Grill.

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Pupusas is a homemade Salvadorian street-style dish served at La Casetas on Keswick Avenue in Camp North End. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Leah & Louise

1824 Statesville Ave.

Set to open just as the COVID-19 shutdowns occurred, Leah & Louise regrouped to add online ordering for its modern juke joint fare tied to Chef Gregory Collier’s Memphis roots, including its Mud Island stew, Dirty Grits and a Pay What You Can vegetarian meal. The restaurant has now opened its dining room with limited seating and reservations required.

Leah & Louise River Chips are chicken skins with granch: a ranch and green onion sauce. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Link & Pin

9723 Sam Furr Road, Huntersville

Link & Pin’s second location opened in October in the NorthCross Shopping Center, where Mickey & Mooch previously operated. Owner Rob Duckworth describes it as an “elegant gastropub” and plans future locations of the concept started in Charlotte on New Bern Street.

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A crispy flounder is one of many seafood dishes, like sea scallops and lobster roll, at Link & Pin, which opened a second location in Huntersville. The first location opened last November in South Park. Link & Pin

Little Fete


Executive Chef Craig Barbour of Roots Cafe and Roots Catering has created this catering brand targeting small gatherings, with packages available for weekend-long grazing, multiple-course meals and interactive kits for putting together brunch or dinner, along with a la carte options.

Little Mama’s Italian Kitchen

4521 Sharon Road

The Italian restaurant in SouthPark is a spinoff of Frank Scibelli’s Mama Ricottas in partnership with Stephanie Kalish and chef Tom Dyrness. You’ll find fresh pasta made in-house, specialty cocktails and even a mozzarella bar.

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The mozzarella platter from Little Mama’s. Photo by Remy Thurston

Mac Tabby

Market Street, Concord

The cat cafe that serves up coffee, craft beer and cocktails along with pet adoptions plans to open a second location in downtown Concord in early 2021. It will move into a historic building with a similar feel to its NoDa digs.

Mac Tabby Cat Cafe is planning to move into a second location in Concord. Courtesy of Mac Tabby Cat Cafe

Mahana Fresh

14815 Ballantyne Village Way

This fast-casual restaurant in Ballantyne allows customers to build their own bowls to customize meals — and it’s all gluten-free. Combine proteins with base options like sweet potato noodles or basmati rice, with sesame ginger broccoli and honey sriracha Brussels sprouts.

A Mahana bowl starts at $9.29 plus tax, but the final price depends on bowl size and add-on choices. Courtesy of Mahana Fresh via Gail DuPont CharlotteFive

Maple Street Biscuit Company

2725 South Blvd., Suite A

All locations of the chain restaurant Holler & Dash, known for its fast casual biscuits and southern food, closed and reopened as Maple Street Biscuit Company. Menu offerings include waffles, grits and southern-style sides.

Members Only

2413 Central Ave.

This private social lounge in Plaza Midwood offers craft cocktails and local beer. A $10 annual membership is required for entry; higher-level memberships with access to private events and discounts are available.

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

Midtown Tavern

1500 E. 3rd St.

Midtown Tavern is a neighborhood restaurant in Historic Cherry with two patio areas — one covered and one open air — and two bars. You’ll get upscale bar food like burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

Midtown Tavern’s Ultimate Chicken Sandwich features fried chicken breast, avocado, Midtown aoioli, an onion ring and a cheese blend. Photo courtesy of Midtown Tavern..jpeg
Midtown Tavern’s Ultimate Chicken Sandwich features fried chicken breast, avocado, Midtown aioli, an onion ring and a cheese blend. Courtesy of Midtown Tavern CharlotteFive

MOA Korean BBQ & Bar

128 S. Tryon St.

MOA offers traditional Korean cuisine, such as grill-it-yourself meats, bulgogi and bibimbab, in an upscale atmosphere for lunch and dinner.

The Ssam platter with beef bulgogi on MOA’s specialty menu includes the chef’s choice of four banchan sides and a choice of kimchi stew or beef and radish soup, with white rice and lettuce wraps for $32. Courtesy of Sean Kim CharlotteFive

Oh My Soul

3046 N. Davidson St.

This vegan restaurant based in South Africa opened a NoDa location in late February. Menu items include plant-based versions of ribs, chicken and fish.

The Original Hot Dog Factory

9211 N. Tryon St., Suite 9

The restaurant featuring gourmet hot dogs, loaded fries and milkshakes is planning to open soon in Charlotte’s University City. Two more locations are in the works.

The Surf n Turf Dog at the Original Hot Dog Factory is topped with lump crab meat, lettuce, tomatoes and “Try Me” sauce. Courtesy of Sherod McNealy

Panca Peruvian Street Food

7510 Pineville-Mathews Road, 10A-2

A former chef for the Charlotte Hornets and his wife opened this Peruvian street food restaurant with a team of former Spectrum Center employees. Bonus: There’s a mural inside by Charlotte artist Juan Tresierra.

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Javier Diaz, left, Panca Peruvian’s sous chef; owner Kyle Van Hess, center; and Aaron Wilson, right, the restaurant manager, worked together at the Spectrum Center before COVID-19 layoffs in March. Courtesy of Panca Peruvian Street Food CharlotteFive

Paper Plane

933 Louise Ave.

This deli and market offers grab-and-go meals, coffee, wine, beer and liquor. It is located in the former Trade and Lore location, next to Advent Coworking.

Paper Plane Deli & Market offered a free toilet paper with purchase when rolls were hard to come by. Amanda Cranford CharlotteFive

Petty Thieves Brewing

413 Dalton Ave., Suite B

Co-owner Ted Rosenau described the brewery opened in September as “a country club for the common man.” Petty Thieves plans to rotate offerings instead of keeping a core list of beers on tap.

Petty Thieves Brewing Co. opened in September. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive file photo


270 Camp Road, Suite 105

Popbar joined a growing list of Camp North End food and beverage tenants by opening at the Bunkhouse in the Mount district. Plans also called for a cart on wheels that will move throughout the site with the frozen treats.

Protagonist Beer

227 Southside Drive

This brewery’s second Charlotte location, in Lower South End, offers more indoor space, along with a mostly covered 6,000-square-foot patio. It also added pizza to compliment its craft beer.

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Ryan Owens, Mike Bugler, Dan Frederich, Jeremy Claeys, Kristin Salzarulo, and Mike Salzarulo of Protagonist Beer in Charlotte, NC. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Queen City Grounds

101 W. Morehead St.

Queen City Grounds has officially opened its second location at the corner where South End meets uptown at Morehead and South Tryon streets. It is on the ground floor of Broadstone Queen City apartments.

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Queen City Grounds’ Campfire Cappuccino is served with a charcoal dusting. Courtesy of Queen City Grounds

Rice & Spice Thai Street Food

8314 Pineville-Matthews Road, Suite 901

Customers can choose their spice level — medium, hot or Thai hot — at this new Thai street food restaurant. in the Pineville area. Vegan and gluten-free menus are available.

Rice & Spice Thai Street Food’s menu offers variety with Thai sweet tea, moo ping, khao soi, Thai fish cakes and curry puffs. Ebony Morman CharlotteFive

RH Charlotte

6903 Phillips Place Court

RH Charlotte, The Gallery at Phillips Place, is now open in all of its 50,000 square foot SouthPark glory. The three-story retailer features a rooftop restaurant with breakfast/brunch options such as the RH scramble with shaved truffles and a burger praised as the best in New York by the Financial Times.

The Simple Green Salad at RH Charlotte features radish with a citrus vinaigrette for $8. Courtesy of Restoration Hardware CharlotteFive

Ruby Sunshine

332 West Bland St.

This brunch restaurant’s menu is the same as the original New Orleans location, featuring dishes like BBQ Shrimp and Grits, Eggs Benedict or a Bananas Foster Pain Perdu.

Courtesy of Ruby Sunshine Collin Richie

Salty Parrot Brewing Co.

200 S. Graham St.

Salty Parrot Brewing Co. has taken over the spot that recently held Sunstead Brewing and Toucan Louie’s Gold District. The brewery features creative beers that match its tropical theme, and food is available through the Salty Parrot Tropical Grill food truck.

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Salty Parrot Brewing’s core beers will match its tropical theme — but guests will find pale ales, sours and more, as well. Courtesy of Salty Parrot Brewing

Sandra Lee’s Country Kitchen

3416 Freedom Drive

This comfort food truck serving homemade biscuits and chicken bog, along with fried chicken and collard greens, includes a space to eat outdoors with picnic benches and oak trees nearby.

Expect Southern favorites smothered in barbecue sauce at Sandra Lee’s Country Kitchen. Courtesy of Willie Walters


1824 Statesville Ave.

Saru, Bow Ramen’s first concept outside of New York City, is now open at Camp North End’s new food stalls. The restaurant serves Nagahama-style Tonkotsu ramen, featuring hand-cut noodles cooked in pork bone broth.

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The Shirozaru at Saru by Bow Ramen at Camp North End is a classic pork broth, pork charshu, scallion, bamboo shoots, egg, sesame seeds and a spicy sauce. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Scratch Kitchen

138 Village View Drive, Suite 107, Mooresville

Ghostface Brewing’s Scratch Kitchen opened in December with locally sourced ingredients, craft cocktails and 18 beers on tap.

Owner Michael Cuddy names the pork bruschetta as his top menu pick. Courtesy of Scratch Kitchen_.jpg
Co-owner Michael Cuddy said the pork bruschetta is his top menu pick. Courtesy of Scratch Kitchen

SkyBar and RedSalt by David Burke

555 S. McDowell St.

Celebrity chef David Burke is opening a pair of spots, SkyBar by David Burke and RedSalt by David Burke, at the Le Méridien in uptown. Look for light American fare at the rooftop bar that formerly held City Lights and a menu that highlights locally sourced and seasonal ingredients at the restaurant.

Christmas spreads from Red Salt by David Burke serve up to 8 or 12 people. Courtesy of Red Salt by David Burke

Small Bar South End

2131 S. Tryon St.

Small Bar South End is now open on South Tryon and Rampant streets in the former Keg and Cue space. Come thirsty — but also hungry. After finding success in its expansion into food at its Fort Mill location, Small Bar will look more like a restaurant than you may be used to if you frequent the Music Factory, co-owner Wayne Padolik told CharlotteFive.


2041 South Blvd., Suite 106

This breakfast restaurant opened a South End location a little more than a year after it moved into the Charlotte market in Plaza Midwood. It took the space formerly occupied by Owen’s Bagels & Deli.

Snooze Eatery’s pancake flights Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

Southern Pecan

6800 Phillips Place Court

The team behind Cafe Monte have opened Southern Pecan in the former Wolfgang Puck location, according to Charlotte Magazine and Charlotte Agenda. Its menu includes a Seafood gumbo and Southern Pecan shrimp boil and you can order online for pickup.

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Southern Pecan Gulf Coast Kitchen opened Oct. 5 at Phillips Place in SouthPark. Courtesy of Lincoln Harris


2520 South Blvd., 3123 N. Davidson St., Suite 100

Dig into an acai bowl at either the new South End or NoDa location of Spoons, which started out as a food truck and has grown in popularity ever since.

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Spoons has opened on South Boulevard, right along the Rail Trail in South End. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Steak 48

4425 Sharon Road

The award-winning steakhouse with locations in Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia joined the SouthPark food scene, serving USDA prime-grade steaks, high-quality seafood and shellfish in an upscale atmosphere.

At Steak 48, you can order a New York strip with black truffle sautéed lobster. Courtesy of Steak 48 Steak 48

STIR Charlotte

1422 S. Tryon St., Suite 130

STIR Charlotte, on the ground floor of The RailYard in South End, offers scratch-made food, a seafood raw bar and drinks crafted with artisan ice.

STIR has a wide variety of creative cocktails and high-end bourbons and scotches as well. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Summit Coffee

416 E. 36th St.

The North Carolina-based coffee shop’s fifth location opened in late December in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood. The cafe with locally roasted beans includes baked goods from its Davidson location.

The Winter Spice Latte at Summit Coffee Co. is topped with sugar and spice dust. Leah Middleton, courtesy of Summit Coffee Co.

Summit Seltzer

2215 Thrift Road

The city’s first seltzery opened in the Wesley Heights neighborhood. The seltzery — which is women-owned, for the record — features house-fermented small-batch, handcrafted seltzers.

Seltzers on draft at Summit Seltzer range from non-alcoholic to those with an up to 8% ABV. Alex Cason CharlotteFive


4219 Providence Road

The South End Tex-Mex restaurant has opened a second spot in SouthPark, complete with a spacious outdoor patio and a seasonal Airstream-style satellite bar. Its wood-grilled menu items from the original location remain the same.

Superica’s Chicken Verde enchiladas are $16 and include morita chile braised chicken, salsa verde, sourcream and cilantro. Andrew Thomas Lee


1440 S. Tryon St.

The restaurant name — meaning wooded or forest area— is a rustic, casual departure from the team’s more upscale, tweezer-plated Bardo that opened two years ago about half a mile away on South Mint Street.

Tomahawk Chop at VANA in South End. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Your Farms Your Table


Former Upstream Executive Chef Sam Diminich, who won Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” has been working since COVID-19 shut down the restaurant in March on a gourmet meal delivery service called Your Farms Your Table. The brand provides a three-course meal for $30.

Chef Sam Diminich’s Your Farms, Your Table culinary venture started small and quickly grew in popularity. Courtesy of Peter Taylor Photography

What’s next?

Keep an eye out for these 12 spots and counting, opening in 2021:

800° Woodfired Kitchen

6815 Phillips Place Court

This restaurant with locations around the world will serve salads, bowls, sandwiches and pizza when it opens in SouthPark in 2021. It sources local and organic ingredients, and cooks only with extra virgin olive oil.

800° Woodfired Kitchen is opening at Phillips Place in 2021. Courtesy of 800° Woodfired Kitchen

Bitty & Beau’s

Coming mid-2021

The Charlotte location of the coffee shop — known nationwide for its advocacy of the value, inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — will be just the second franchised location for Bitty & Beau’s.

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Amy Wright and her husband Ben started Bitty and Beau’s to create awareness and inclusion of individuals with disabilities like their daughter, Bitty, and son, Beau. Courtesy of Bitty & Beau’s

Dilworth Tasting Room

4905 Ashley Park Lane, Suite J

Dilworth Tasting Room’s new SouthPark location will set up shop in 3,873-square-foot space formerly occupied by Corkbuzz. Remodeling is underway, and the restaurant and wine bar is expected to open in early 2021.

Dilworth Tasting Room will open a second location in SouthPark’s mixed-use Sharon Square development. Courtesy of Dilworth Tasting Room

The Exchange at 36th

451 36th St.

The Exchange at 36th will open as a combination grocery and essential goods shop serving artisanal goods and sandwiches. It will also feature a bar — and an adjacent restaurant is planned for the future.

Hot Box Next Level Kitchen

1545 W. Trade St.

The Hot Box food trailer — the latest offering from chef Michael Bowling — is being upfitted into a fully functional kitchen where customers will be able to message ahead or walk up and order, with delivery available. You’ll find many of the same favorites as the original location inside Southern Strain Brewing Co.

Hot Box Next Level Kitchen serves up burgers and other sandwiches, along with elevated fare such as its Hot Box Grain Bowl. Peter Taylor

Little Alley Steak

214 N. Tryon St., inside Truist Center (formerly Hearst Tower)

Right before COVID-19 restrictions hit Charlotte, Georgia-based F&H Food Trading Group announced plans to open a Little Alley Steak before the end of 2020. However, no Charlotte location is listed on its website, and further plans haven’t been announced.

Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken & Seafood

2308 Central Ave.

The popular restaurant’s new location — opening in 2021 — will feature the top sellers from the original Lulu’s, plus menu items with a relaxed brunch and dinner feel. The Central Avenue spot will have double the space, plus outdoor seating.

Jay and Miketa Davis celebrated the one-year anniversary of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, complete with the announcement of a new location. Alvin C. Jacobs Jr./Courtesy of The LEPR Agency


1212 The Plaza

The planned opening of Supperland has been delayed until early 2021. The restaurant nestled in a 1952 historic church building will serve will family-style meals with high-quality meals and farm-fresh produce.

An opening date for Supperland hasn’t been decided. Courtesy of Jamie Brown

Vibe Cafe

1315 East Blvd.

Vasilis and Antonio Paspalaris will soon open their new coffee and wine bar, Vibe Cafe and Wine, in the former space of Dilworth’s Queen and Glass. Queen and Glass closed its doors earlier this year. The restaurant recently announced on social media that it will reopen in early 2021 in the new B-Tower of uptown’s 5th Street District.

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Vibe Cafe and Wine plans to offer desserts made in-house daily, including crepes and waffles. Courtesy of Vibe Cafe and Wine

Vaulted Oak Brewing

3726 Monroe Road

Work is still underway at East Charlotte’s newest brewery, Vaulted Oak Brewing, which is set to open inside a former bank in the Echo Hills/Oakhurst neighborhood. It plans to serve regionally-inspired beers and make use of the bank teller windows as walk-up windows for patrons, along with outdoor patio space in the former drive-thru.

Vaulted Oak Brewing will open in Echo Hills/Oakhurst, serving regionally inspired beers. Grant Faint Getty Images

Vitality Bowls

Coming in spring 2021 to South Charlotte

This superfood cafe will serve made-to-order smoothies, acai bowls, fresh juice, paninis and more. Plans call for additional locations once the first South Charlotte shop is up and running.

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The Vitality Bowl offers organic acai, strawberries and bananas. Courtesy of Vitality Bowls

Xiao Bao

Optimist Hall, 1115 N. Brevard St.

This Charleston-based restaurant with a focus on Japanese and Southeast Asian flavors is opening next to Boxcar Betty’s in Optimist Hall in spring 2021.

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Xiao Baou brings a focus on Japanese cuisine, along with Southeast Asian dishes from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Xiao Bao CharlotteFive

Catherine Muccigrosso contributed reporting.

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