September 21, 2023


Free For All Food

These restaurants shut down for good in Charlotte NC in 2020

The Peculiar Rabbit on Pecan Avenue closed. The restaurant site is under contract, property owner Rob Nixon said, with condominiums planned.

The Peculiar Rabbit on Pecan Avenue closed. The restaurant site is under contract, property owner Rob Nixon said, with condominiums planned.


Charlotte started off 2020 with the loss of Vivace, which closed the doors at the Metropolitan at the end of the night on New Year’s Eve. The hits to the Queen City restaurant scene have kept coming ever since.

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit Charlotte in March, the business owners who typically keep us fed tried all sorts of things. Some temporarily closed and never reopened. Others modified their menus and operations to set up takeout and curbside pickup, and add patio space. As the weather grew colder, some even added dining igloos and began selling cold weather gear.

Not every restaurant has made it through, however. Many have closed permanently — and many others are still endangered. There are still so many unknowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, but here are some of the restaurant losses Charlotte faced in 2020:

B. Good

Multiple locations

B.GOOD closed all four Charlotte-area locations, the Charlotte Ledger reported. B.GOOD’s chief marketing manager, Hadrien Delande, told the Ledger that the company “made the difficult decision to permanently close all four B.GOOD locations in the Charlotte market due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Bill Spoons BBQ

5524 South Blvd.

The iconic Charlotte restaurant known for its vinegar-based Eastern North Carolina barbecue closed effective Sept. 16. Over the years, lines that once wrapped around the building had diminished, Steve Spoon Jr., the grandson of founders Bill and Marie Spoon, said in a Facebook post. The restaurant had been open for curbside pickup only under COVID-19 regulations.

Z_BillSpoonsBBQ (21).jpg
Bill Spoon’s BBQ, which recently closed its doors, was a staple of South Boulevard. Christopher Lawing

Bold Missy

610 Anderson St.

The woman-owned brewery in NoDa closed at the end of February, about three years after it opened. “We’ve loved being a part of the #CLTbeer community and are excited to see it continue to grow,” the brewery stated in a Facebook post.

Bold Missy Brewery closed at the end of February 2020. Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

California Pizza Kitchen

4400 Sharon Road

The chain known for its hand-tossed pizzas with seasonal ingredients is permanently closed at SouthPark. The company said online: “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lease challenges with our landlords, we regret to inform you that we have closed this restaurant.” The Playa Vista, Calif.-based chain, with about 200 locations nationwide, declared bankruptcy July 30.

California Pizza Kitchen. Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

Carpe Diem

1535 Elizabeth Ave.

The restaurant’s owners said they would have renewed their lease if not for COVID-19. Instead, they’ve shifted some customer favorites to their other business, Earl’s Grocery, for takeout only. At Earl’s, space that was once dedicated to indoor dining tables is now used for more product shelves.

Carpe Diem, 1535 Elizabeth Ave., will not reopen because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the menu will mix into the owners’ other business Earl’s Grocery. T.ORTEGA GAINES Observer files

The Cellar at Corkbuzz

4905 Ashley Park Lane

The Cellar at Corkbuzz, based in New York City, closed its SouthPark location because of the pandemic. “It is impossible to open a restaurant built on the community, bringing people together, events and our core business model when it is not safe to have wine events or classes or even dine in the way we previously were able to. The financial devastation of this crisis makes re-opening impossible for many small businesses including ours,” the company said on the website. The wine bar opened five years ago in a 3,500-square-foot space in Sharon Square. The two other locations in New York remain open.

The Cellar at Corkbuzz, based in New York City, has closed its SouthPark location because of the pandemic. Observer file photo

Chris’ Deli

3619 E. Independence Blvd.

Chris’ Deli closed in April after decades at its location on East Independence Boulevard. A May Facebook post cited an ongoing dispute with the deli’s landlord and promised the restaurant would reopen in a new location, but there has been no update yet.

Chris’ Deli Restaurant is closing at 3619 E. Independence Blvd. after serving Charlotte for 40 years. via Eat CLT Instagram Charlotte Five


210 E. Trade St.

With uptown business slowing to a halt, several restaurants in the Epicentre lineup have closed. Unprentious Palate and Charlotte Ledger have reported that Jason’s Deli, Firehouse Subs and Moe’s Southwest Grill are permanently closed, and the website and phone for Vida Cantina aren’t operating.

The Epicentre entertainment complex in uptown Charlotte has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. T. Ortega Gaines [email protected]

FuD at Salud

3306-B N. Davidson St.

Jeff McElwee of FūD on the MūV and food director at Queen City Grounds and Red Clay Ciderworks accepted a position in February to lead a new food program at Town Brewing. However, Salud still offers a menu of starters, pizza and sandwiches.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Multiple locations

Calls, emails and social messages left with Fuzzy’s Taco Shop’s headquarters were not returned. Charlotte Business Journal reported that the closings came amid the franchisee filing a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop’s Charlotte locations all closed. Christy Siebert CharlotteFive

Hollar & Dash

2725 South Blvd., Suite A

Biscuit chain Holler & Dash, known for its fast casual biscuits and southern food, closed all its locations and reopened as Maple Street Biscuit Company.

Illos Noche

8426 Park Road

Ilios Noche, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant, closed its Quail Corners location, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant group said it would focus on keeping its other restaurants open: Ilios Noche Rea Village, Ilios Crafted Greek, Big View Diner and Emerald Lake Golf & Social Club.


201 E. 5th St.

The “American tavern with an Irish twist,” Fitzgerald’s announced in July on social media that after eight years in the city, it is permanently closing.

Fitzgerald’s in Charlotte has closed. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

JJ’s Red Hots — Uptown and Ballantyne locations

400 S. Tryon St., 15105 John J Delaney Drive

The popular uptown location of the Charlotte hot dog spot, JJ’s Red Hots, closed first because of the coronavirus. Co-founder Jonathan Luther confirmed in late July that the 3-year-old business would not reopen. The Ballantyne location permanently closed in early November. The flagship restaurant on East Boulevard in Dilworth remains open.

JJ’s Red Hots, which was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” has closed two of its three locations during COVID-19. Courtesy of JJ’s Red Hots CharlotteFive

La Belle Helene and Parliament Coffee

300 S. Tryon St.

The French restaurant and its adjoining coffee shop, Parliament Coffee, closed after shutting down its social media. La Belle Helene was widely known for its Instagrammable bathroom.

The selfie wall at La Belle Helene. Courtesy of Remy Thurston and Ben Pien


1910 South Blvd.

In mid-June, Luciano’s announced via Instagram that after 7 years open, it would be closing its South Boulevard location permanently. However, Norsan Restaurant Group has a new restaurant announcement coming soon, the restaurant added.

Nova’s Bakery

1511 Central Ave.

The Plaza Midwood staple for European-style bread shut its doors near the end of the year. “We are closing on December 13th our business after 26 years, it has been very difficult to maintain what we do since many of our customers have been out of business temporarily or permanently,” co-owner Sladjana Novakovic emailed CharlotteFive.

Nova’s Bakery on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood closed in December. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Peculiar Rabbit

1212 Pecan Ave.

The Peculiar Rabbit, the Plaza Midwood restaurant known for its rooftop skyline views and Van Gogh-inspired mural with a rabbit drinking a beer, closed for business as a restaurant in early January. It had planned to stay open for private events before COVID-19, but the property is now slated for condominiums.

Queen City Q

225 E. 6th St.

The COVID-19 shutdown pushed customers away from uptown. The owners cited a drop in business during the pandemic, extended by protests in support of the Black community and the loss of Charlotte hosting the Republican National Convention.

Bryan Meredith (left), managing partner of Queen City Q, and his business partner, Craig Utt (right) at an annual Saint Patrick’s Day celebration hosted at the restaurant. Queen City Q struggled after COVID-19, the loss of the RNC and a temporary closure due to protests, and the restaurant is closed for good. Courtesy of Bryan Meredith


1308-A The Plaza

The Plaza Midwood location of the Italian ice shop closed at the end of its season after owners were unable to come to a new agreement with the landlord. Its Arbors location will reopen in the spring.

The Plaza Midwood location of Rita’s closed. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Sammy’s Deli

1113 Pecan Ave.

Sammy’s Deli, a Charlotte favorite serving no-frills breakfast and lunch in Plaza Midwood since 1997, closed Dec. 1 after its location was sold for redevelopment. Its breakfast crew is now working at Dish, serving largely the same menu.

Billy Harris opened Sammy’s Deli with Serafimes “Sammy ” Balatsias in 1997. The restaurant is now closed. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

The Summit Room

1531 East Blvd.

The small, intimate space wouldn’t work with COVID-19 social distancing protocols, the restaurant said in announcing its closure.

Thirsty Nomad

4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd. A

The brewer didn’t blame COVID-19 for its closure, instead noting that its location wasn’t ideal and its management team had lacked experience.

Thirsty Nomad Door
Thirsty Nomad was at 4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd. A Daniel Hartis CharlotteFive


6902 Phillips Place Court

The upscale seafood restaurant had closed when the coronavirus shut down dining rooms and announced months later that it wouldn’t reopen.

Burke Hospitality announced that it will not reopen Upstream after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CharlotteFive archives

Vapiano Charlotte

201 S. Tryon St.

The popular Italian restaurant closed during the COVID-19 shutdown in March and never reopened. In its place, the owners have opened The Bella Ciao, a similar concept with many of the same staff members.

Vapiano closed in uptown Charlotte and reopened as The Bella Ciao.


1100 Metropolitan Ave.

The year started off with the loss of Vivace, which closed its Metropolitan location after dinner service on Dec. 31, 2019. The Italian restaurant cited a failure in lease negotiations with its landlord.

vivace_interior copy.jpg
Vivace Charlotte, owned by Urban Food Group, didn’t make it into 2020. Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

Wet Willie’s

900 North Carolina Music Factory Blvd., # C1

Wet Willie’s, a spot famous for its frozen cocktails, best enjoyed before or after a concert at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union, won’t reopen after its COVID-19 closing.

Wet Willies (2)
Wet Willie’s at AvidXchange Music Factory announced it was closing permanently, citing COVID-19 hardships. Wet Willie’s

The Wooden Vine Wine Bar & Bistro

231 N. Tryon St.

The uptown wine bar has permanently closed, citing the loss of uptown business over the past few months as COVID-19 has kept offices and other attractions closed. “We treated service every evening as if we were throwing a dinner party with friends. We want to thank everyone for the constant support throughout the years. We loved having you as our guests,” the management said via Instagram.

The Wooden Vine is now closed. Jon-Paul Grice Jon-Paul Grice

Yama Izakaya

1324 Central Ave.

The casual Japanese restaurant’s Central Avenue location is closing when its lease comes to an end on Dec. 15, but relocation plans are in the works, a post on its Facebook page said. “We would like to thank you for your friendship, support and patronage for the last 6 years. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this neighborhood.”

Five Guys, Yama, and Bistro Le Bon will all be affected by upcoming construction in Plaza Midwood. Yama Izakaya announced its closing via Facebook, noting it would look for a new location. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

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