This year is still quite new, so make sure you pack it with new experiences. Here are 10 of the newest places in Charlotte you must try.
What it is: Welcome to Plaza Midwood’s new rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood bar, opened by local punk rock musicians who were mourning the closing of Tremont Music Hall, Double Door Inn and Amos’ Southend. As co-owner Justin Driscoll said before the January opening, “It’s going to be a rock ‘n’ roll ‘Cheers.’”
Come for: Local, live music on the weekends and cheap, cold beer and whiskey.
2131 Central Ave.
What it is: First, find the hidden entryway to South End’s latest speakeasy, located at the back of taco and tequila spot SouthBound. Pick up the black phone on the wall to be connected to a hostess. Interestingly, like Skylark, this higher-end space pays homage to music halls that have closed in town, with signage for Amos’ Southend, The Pterodactyl, the Double Door Inn and others placed over the booths.
Come for: The cocktails ($10 and up) range from classic, to signature, to house barrel-aged. Don’t forget to sip on your small glass of complimentary house punch, which changes frequently, while you mull over your order.
2433 South Blvd.
What it is: The latest restaurant concept by Trey Wilson, the chef/owner of Customshop, can be found in Park Road Shopping Center’s Back Lot section. Behind the bar, there’s a wood-cooking rig for ducks, legs of lamb and pork shoulder, and more space for chef action with an oven for breads, vegetables and specialties like porchetta.
Come for: The pastas, as the cuisine is Italian-inspired. Consider topping your noodles with King Crab.
4101 Park Road
What it is: South End’s latest market-meets-café is designed with cozy nooks to sit with drinks or freshly made food. With the market set-up, there’s plenty to browse, from fun pet retail items, to unusual bottles of wine, to potted succulents.
Come for: Freshly baked loaves of bread in the morning (limited supply!) an eclectic beer selection, and the best non-traditional grilled cheese in all the land (hint: gruyere, shallots and thyme).
1300 S. Blvd., Ste. S.
What it is: This low-key neighborhood spot in Dilworth got a makeover and is now known as Bulldog Dilworth. Here, you can find a fresh coat of paint, added bar room and a revamped back patio.
Come for: The liquor addition, which is now part of the menu well loved for its craft beers and wines.
2447-B Park Road
What it is: This tapas and craft cocktail lounge has a name that references the early 1900s balloon-like gas-filled aircraft. Dinner service features small plates, large plates and local charcuterie and cheeses.
Come for: The Pen Pals: Queen Charlotte rum, mint, kaffir lime and fresh lime juice, with a “Z” carefully tapped out into the top.
235 W. Tremont Ave.
What it is: HI Tide functions as a casual spot to grab poke bowls and raw bar items, from lobster rolls to East and West Coast oysters.
Come for: The build-your-own bowls with five steps from choosing a base (kale salad, soba noodle salad, coconut rice and more) to choosing a sauce (Ponzu lime, sriracha Ponzu, Chili Yuzu and more).
919 South McDowell St.
What it is: This laid-back hot-dog restaurant exists for all of your no-fuss grab-and-go dreams, with a focus on smokehouse hot dogs, sausages and toasted Martin’s potato rolls.
Come for: The extensive list of regular and premium toppings (like chili, pimento cheese and borracho beans), beer (self-service, cans only) and side dishes.
400 South Tryon St.
What it is: This card-only pick-up window is NoDa’s newest, sweets-serving hole in the wall, thanks to the vision of the owners behind Haberdish, Crepe Cellar and Growler’s Pourhouse — Jeff Tonidandel and Jamie Brown. Enjoy the doughnuts and don’t overlook the Counter Culture coffee, as well as hot chocolate and milk.
Come for: Your pick of doughnut flavors, from plain, to vanilla icing, to chocolate icing, to honey glaze and more. Plus, snack on a rotating doughnut of the day.
3120 N. Davidson St.
What it is: A funky café with dishes and drinks made in-house, including scratch-made hummus and salad dressings, and fresh-pressed juices and coffee. (We hear if you like Rhino Market, you’ll love this place.)
Come for: A delectable sandwich, whether it’s the Pimento Cheese Steak Sandwich with home fries, or the Veggie Hummus Sandwich.
2753 Rozzelles Ferry Road