The most recognizable face in Belk’s flagship store isn’t a sales associate or makeup artist; it’s an unassuming local…a restaurant lifer. Draped in his signature black apron, Steve Balsley is the face of Charlotte’s somewhat hidden gem, Arthur’s. Nestled between the Kate Spade flatware and terry cloth towels is a local deli (and wine shop) that’s been serving five-star food since the early ’70s.
Balsley is the man responsible for the longevity. His brothers are partners in the business, but he’s the “chef” that’s visible in the cafeteria-style serving line every day of the week. The commitment to consistency has served his family well, they’ve stood the test of time (43 years to be exact). “We’ve been here so long,” Balsley said with a smile. “I’m serving third-generation Charlotte families now. I guess we’re doing something right.”
Tucked away in the basement of Belk’s at SouthPark Mall, here are five reasons to visit this landmark deli a SouthPark Magazine writer dubbed “SouthPark’s stand-out sandwich joint.”
(5) Location, location, location
All the amenities of dining inside Charlotte’s premier shopping mall, without the greasy garbage and controlled chaos of the Food Court.
(4) Sweet tea
A former customer, now living in Los Angeles, buys it by the gallon so she can enjoy it on the West Coast. A true Southern staple made fresh daily.
(3) Classic menu item: the Grinder
Turkey or ham, both are perfect with a side of chicken noodle soup. Nom nom nom.
Balsley’s brother, Robert, is a wine connoisseur eager to help you find the perfect bottle of Malbec for your next dinner party. Added bonus, his extensive vino selection is located beside Arthur’s dining room.
(1) The soon-to-be-famous honey mustard
The best condiment in Charlotte, hands down. Balsley claims the secret ingredient is “heavy-duty industrial mayonnaise.” Perfect for dipping fries and smothering chicken. Enjoy.