All of the new spots that have opened in the thriving Optimist Park, Belmont and Villa Heights neighborhoods so far

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Queens Coffee Bar owner Raina Purvis

Raina Purvis knows real estate, and she knows coffee. The real estate agent said she is always looking for places to meet with clients, and she noticed a lack of coffeeshops in the Belmont neighborhood.

So, she opened one.

Queens Coffee Bar is officially celebrating its soft opening during November, and Purvis will be seeking feedback from customers as she tweaks her coffee and menu selections. Grab a pourover coffee with beans from Farmers First and settle in for a game of chess while watching the world go by from the picture window.

Chess not your thing? The coffee shop also has Dominos and Charlotte-opoly. If you’re hungry, grab a muffin or a slice of key lime jazz cake, butter pecan pound cake, lemon pound cake or honey bun pound cake. UpDog Kombucha is also on tap if you’re not in the mood for a cup of Joe.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Queens Coffee Bar

Barista Frankie Bruner lives in the neighborhood and she said this is the perfect location for commuters heading into Uptown via Parkwood Station of the LYNX Light Rail. “I get them all caffeinated and then send them off to work,” she said.

The Belmont, Optimist Park and Villa Heights neighborhoods are booming.

The growingly walkable area is beginning to offer plenty of options for neighbors and visitors. If you haven’t visited the areas between Uptown, NoDa and Plaza Midwood lately, here’s a quick look at some of the other excitement you’ve been missing:


Photo by Alex Cason Photography 
Siggy’s Good Food

Only aliens eat free, but human are welcome at Belmont’s favorite hangout, Siggy’s Good Food. The owner, Siggy Sollitto, is often at the eatery to offer recommendations at the Mediterranean-style cafe. Order at the counter and feel free to customize; they can make any item gluten-free or vegan.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
The Space

Hub 933 is the new collective for the companies at 933 Louise Avenue. You knew them previously as separate entities: Advent, Catawba Brewing Company, The Space, OPEX, Oso Skate Park, Codescape and Axe Club of America. “We are all amazing on our own, but we realized that as a collective we have something unique to offer Charlotte,” Advent community manager Erin Breeden said.

Optimist Park:

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
David Haddock of BoCo Coffee Roasters

You already know BOCO Coffee Roasters (formerly Boquete Mountain) for its burned-out coffee truck that’s always parked outside on North Davidson Street and its locally roasted coffee by-the-pound. Now, you’ll know it as your stop on the way to the office to slam down an espresso or a specialty coffee.

The European-inspired coffee counter is standing room only — so belly up to the bar and order a latte with Madagascar vanilla sugar or an El Diablo Mocha. You won’t want to stay too long, and that’s just fine… gulping down a cappuccino on the way to the rest of your day is how the Italians do it, anyway.

When he’s not serving customers, owner David Haddock will use the space to teach clients and students all of his coffee secrets. “When we introduce a new coffee, we will have a tasting here where people can do a cupping,” he said.

Rendering courtesy of Square Feet Studio

Optimist Hall is going to be a game-changer for the entire city. The food hall will become its own destination when it opens in a few months, with vendors including Archer Paper Goods, Billy Sunday, Pet Wants, The Dumpling Lady, Bao + Broth Ramen + Bun Shop, Fonta Flora Brewery,  Aix Rotisserie, Undercurrent Coffee, Honeysuckle Gelato, Papi Queso, AVA, Suárez Bakery & Barra and Zukku Sushi.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
15th Street Market

15th Street Market is your dog-friendly spot for a game of ping-pong, a CBD coffee or a beer. They opened in August at Area 15, offering snacks and sandwiches, live music and art shows.

No-Da Escapes also opened at Area 15 in August. Choose your own adventures from escapes named Draculas Lair or Jurassic Bone.

While you’re visiting, pop by one of the several other locally owned retailers at Area 15.

Villa Heights:

A renovated warehouse near Cordelia Park is all set to offer everything from fitness to dental work to pho.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Ebb & Flow Movement Studio

Ebb & Flow Movement Studio opened the first week in October. The studio already has a roster of 16 instructors and counting, and each bring a different type of exercise expertise to the space. Check their schedule for jazz and modern dance, gyrokinesis and Pilates, yoga and meditation. They also offer personal training. One of their classes even features a live drummer.

“We really want to build the dance community around here,” said owner Lauren Childs. All levels are welcome — whether you’ve never taken a class before or been dancing all of your life.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Stellar Dental of NoDa

Stellar Dental of NoDa dentist Natalie Rogers isn’t into the typical dental office vibe, and it shows with her out-of-this-world choices in interior decorating. They are taking new patients, they accept major insurance carriers, and they have TVs in every room. Perfect time to catch up on your favorite show.

Coming soon to Villa Heights:

  • Pho @ NoDa, owned by Trung Cao, who operates Saigon Bay in University City.
  • The Hobbyist, which will be a coffee shop, beer and wine bar. Owners Julie and Bryson Woodside will serve Counter Culture coffee; draft, canned and bottled beer; and wine by the glass or bottle. “We will be using many local suppliers in all aspects of the shop, including baked goods and grab-and-go type food,” Julie Woodside said. She said they plan to open in March or April 2019.


  1. I LOVE that this article calls the neighborhoods by their names as opposed to lumping them in with Plaza Midwood and/or NoDa! While those are great neighborhoods, there is so much history and character to Belmont, Optimist Park and Villa Heights and that’s typically lost on the more popular destinations! Great job!

  2. Next thing, real estate developers and brokers will rename these neighborhoods with a portmanteau — OpPa, BeMo, and ViHe, or SoDa anything for brokers and developers essentially pull names out of thin air in order to rebrand a neighborhood and have the effect of raising rents or home prices. Then again, Charlotte is pretty much like the city was pulled out of thin air.


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