This year brought us plenty of awesome openings that have certainly made our wallets a little slimmer and clothes a little tighter. Make sure to keep those sweatpants on — as it looks like 2019 will bring in another slew of mouthwatering restaurants and go-to bars and cocktail spots. Here are 10 openings we’ve already got marked on our calendars.
What: Bar Marcel, an Italian-inspired restaurant with Spanish and French influences, is headed to Morrison at SouthPark.
On the menu: Guests will be able to experience dishes such as Duck Liver Mousse and Seared Scallops, along with a variety of large pasta plates. On the drink menu, you’ll have the option of Italian craft cocktails, local craft brews and Italian craft beers.
When: Set to open by the end of January
Address: 3920 Sharon Rd., Suite 160
What: Occupying the former space of Phat Burrito, this healthy food restaurant already has locations in states including California, Arizona, Texas and more. The menu boasts vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, along with meat-based meals.
On the menu: On the Dallas menu, salads range from Chopped Vegetable to Brussels & Squash, while plates feature mix ‘n’ match options with items such as Spicy Japanese Eggplant and Red Chili Glazed Sweet Potato. There will be plenty of bowls, whole grain wraps and miscellaneous items, including Simple Hummus, Crushed Avocado Toast and more.
When: Construction will begin in January. Expect it to be open in early summer.
Address: 1537 Camden Road
What: Scratch-Asian street food and shareable plates are coming to South End in early 2019. The name “hawkers” refers to street vendors in Asia who incorporate locally grown ingredients in the dishes they offer. The South End spot is the brand’s first North Carolina location and seventh location overall.
On the menu: Indulge in items like Yi-Yi’s Chicken Dumplings, Curry Duck Noodles, Crispy Tofu Bites, Kimchi Fried Rice and Ginger Cheesecake.
When: Expected to open February 5
Address: 1930 Camden Road, Suite 210
What: This cozy and small craft cocktail bar is opening inside the Novel NoDa building in early 2019.
On the menu: The cocktail menu will constantly change. Guests can come in and tell the bartenders what type of drink they prefer, and the bartenders will create a custom cocktail.
When: Expected to open by the end of January
Address: Inside the Novel NoDa building at 36th Street
[Related: New cocktail bar to open in NoDa]
What: Middle James Brewing will be Pineville’s first brewery. Spanning two stories on the backside of the Golf Village building, the brewery will have 24 taps, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, 15 TVs and a projector, an 830-square-foot room for private parties, a shaded deck overlooking the putting green, Par 3 and range and an outdoor beer garden.
On the menu: On the food menu, you can expect to find items such as Pulled Duck Totchos, an MJB Cobb salad, Corned Beef and more.
When: Expected to open by February
Address: 400 N. Polk St., just south of Interstate 485
What: Optimist Hall is a 146,000 square foot redevelopment of a former mill, built in 1892, that will include a food hall, retail, restaurants and office space. It’s just a block away from the Parkwood Station of the LYNX Light Rail.
Tenants include: Cocktail bar, Billy Sunday, The Dumpling Lady, Asian-inspired restaurant, Bao + Broth Ramen + Bun Shop, Honeysuckle Gelato, Suárez Bakery & Barra and more.
When: Expected to open in early 2019. The food hall is expected to open in March.
Address: 340 E. 16th St.
What: The owners of Banner Elk’s Artisanal restaurant are launching this new concept in Charlotte.
On the menu: Pimento Cheese Scones, Smoked Pekin Duck Breast, Alaska King Crab and more.
When: Expected to open in January
Address: In Charlotte’s Piedmont Town Center, 4620 Piedmont Row Drive
What: This vegan-friendly doughnut shop is opening its first brick and mortar in the Design Center of the Carolinas in South End.
On the menu: Doughnuts include Peanut Butter Fig, Black Miso Caramel and Pineapple Black Pepper Bacon, as well as traditional flavors and toppings.
Address: 1930 Camden Road
What: Rich Moyer and Drew Nesemeier, the owners of Charlotte’s first self-serve craft beer and wine taproom Hoppin’, are behind the opening of Pinhouse, a two-story, self-serve taproom in Plaza Midwood. The venue will also have four Duckpin bowling lanes.
On the menu: Sip from 70 total taps offering beer, ciders, wine, Prosecco and rosé; there will also be free orange juice and cranberry juice to make mimosas.
When: Expected to open in late February or early March
Address: 2306 Central Ave.
What: A new micro-brewery in NoDa that provides beer education and a place to bring curious beer drinkers together.
On the menu: Protagonist will have 20 to 24 taps serving small batches of house-made craft beers as well as beers made by other local breweries. Small plates will also be offered, including grilled cheese and pretzels with beer cheese.
When: Expected to open in early 2019
Address: Inside the former NoDa Grocery at North Davidson and 35th streets
And don’t forget about these hot spots that have recently opened or are opening this week:
What: Barbecue joint featuring wood-smoked meats, mac and cheese, boiled peanuts, fried chicken and more in the Belmont neighborhood.
Date: Opened December 5
What: A fast-casual sushi spot located Uptown
Date: Opened December 13
What: Yafo’s third location opened in the former Just Fresh space in Dilworth. Owner Frank Scibelli, Executive Chef Partner Carmen Vasquez and Corporate Chef and Partner Shai Fargian are behind the East Blvd. location.
Date: Opened December 18
What: Fast-casual Italian eatery featuring pizzas, pastas, meatballs and salads.
Date: Opens December 19
What: Gary Crunkleton is opening his second private cocktail club location in the Elizabeth neighborhood featuring classic cocktails, crafted swills and rare liquors that you won’t find at any other bar in the South.
Date: Opens December 20