12 restaurants and bars opening by the end of March

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Grit Bowl

The promise of spring is in the air — along with the aromas of these soon-to-open restaurants and bars in the Charlotte area. Or maybe we’re just projecting.

Here are 12 places scheduled to open by the end of March (or even by the end of February, if you’re lucky) to check out.

(1) Let’s Meat

What it is: The sister concept of Seoul Food Meat Co. will be an all-you-can eat Korean BBQ restaurant in South End. When you sit down, your all-inclusive meal will start with a checklist of marinades and meats, from kalbi (BBQ short ribs) to samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly). There will be vegetarian-friendly options as well.

Come for: The challenge of cooking these meats yourself, with stovetop burners on the tables.

1400 S. Church St.

(2) Davidson Ice House

What it is: A “fine casual” concept with classic French cooking techniques in the kitchen, and quick-serve and to-go operations in front-of-house. The menu, which will feature bowls, wraps, soups and salads, will be 80 percent vegetarian and 70 percent vegan, with meats that are humanely and ethically raised. Fun fact: this space is actually an historic ice house.

Come for: The build-your own bowls. Start with a protein (black bean burgers, chicken thighs and more), add vegetables (from grilled sesame slaw to crispy sea-salt potatoes), add a spread (from hummus to pimento cheese), add a sauce (from creamy pesto to herby ranch). Consume.

416 S. Main St., Davidson

The start of the grilled slaw at Davidson Ice House

(3) Holler & Dash

What it is: Tennessee-based Holler & Dash, a concept developed by the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, is bringing a menu brimming with signature biscuits including the Kickback Chicken biscuit (fried chicken, goat cheese, green onion and sweet pepper jelly) and the Garden Goat biscuit (fried goat cheese, kale, lemon dijon vinaigrette and tomato jam). Charlotte will also see a rollout of new dishes that will include sandwiches, sides and bowls.

Come for: A biscuit (duh), but also healthier non-biscuit options like the Hey Eddy! Omelette (goat cheese, shaved asparagus, blistered tomatoes and basil) and the Avocado Smash toast (watermelon radish and lemon).

2725 South Blvd.

Grit Bowl

(4) Bang Bang Bites

What it is: The sister concept of Bang Bang Burgers will emphasize sliders and burger flights, with an assortment of beef and non-beef slider options, including fried chicken, fried cod and a black bean patty. There will also be beer flights and delectable sides like sweet potato chips with maple syrup dip, BBQ chips with ranch dressing, fried green beans and fried Brussels sprouts.

Come for: The chance to try multiple sliders in one meal, with options to order one 2-oz. slider with a side, two sliders with a side, or three sliders with a side.

235 W. Tremont Ave., Suite 101.

The Sriracha, the Bleu and Bacon Jam and The Pimento sliders

(5) Graham St. Pub & Patio

What it is: Yet another rooftop bar, with the aim “to be the local neighborhood bar in Uptown.” There will be retractable windows and three bars total, as well as lunch and dinner items like sliders, skewers, grilled cheeses and tacos.

Come for: The view. The rooftop captures a view of BB&T Ballpark, the city skyline and Bank of America Stadium.

400 S. Graham St.

The rooftop view

(6) Divine Barrel Brewing

What it is: NoDa’s newest brewery, complete with a 3,000-square-foot taproom, and 30 faucets lining the back bar wall, with two dedicated to wine (prosecco and a rotating white), and another two allowing nitro-powered pours (beer, coffee or tea).

Come for: A taste of small-batch releases. There’s a two-barrel pilot system for just that.

3701 N. Davidson St.

(7) Sushi Guru

What it is: The second location of this modern Japanese sushi restaurant is expanding to Plaza Midwood. Expect the same menu items as the first restaurant, but with more hot items. They’ll have bento boxes, rice bowls, noodles, fried rice, specialty sushi and poke.

Come for: The lunch specials.

1217 The Plaza

Sushi at Sushi Guru

(8) The Unknown Brewing Co.’s new taproom and rooftop bar

What it is: Hello to a new, wrap-around front bar area, 24 taps downstairs and six added upstairs, plus a micro-distillery on-site. The rooftop bar should give patrons a nice view of Uptown.

Come for: The possibility of liquor for purchase, if the micro-distillery does indeed open in time.

1327 S Mint St.

(9) Cinnaholic

What it is: An all-vegan bakery that features cinnamon rolls and other goodies like brownies, coffee, juices and teas.

Come for: The 30 flavors of frostings and 20 topping choices. Holy indulgence.

6461 Old Monroe Road, Indian Trail

(10) Clutch Coffee Bar

What it is: A drive-thru coffee experience with signature coffee-based drinks like the Avalanche (a cascade of white chocolate and vanilla in the form of a latte) and the Base Jumper (a caramel and chocolate adrenaline rush in the form of a mocha), plus infused teas and infused energy drinks.

Come for: Your chance to purchase a 32-oz. coffee or energy drink. That should do the trick.

154 West Plaza Dr., Mooresville and 356 Williamson Road, Mooresville

(11) First Watch

What it is: A breakfast/brunch/lunch chain with a menu featuring items like smoked salmon eggs Benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, housemade granola and avocado toast. The menu also includes soups and salads at lunch, and fresh juices.

Come for: The Project Sunrise coffee, featuring coffee grown by Mujeres en Cafe, a group of female farmers in Huila, Colombia.

643 Matthews Township Parkway, Matthews

(12) Haymaker

What it is: A new Appalachian-focused restaurant from an Asheville-based chef coming Uptown.

Come for: The dinner menu. The original draft of the menu showed small plates like acorn squash and roasted cauliflower soup, raw items like beef tartare and shaved fall roots, and sides like hay roasted carrots and fried kalettes.

225 S. Poplar St.

Photos: Holler & Dash, CharlotteFive, Davidson Ice House, Sushi Guru, Cinnaholic, Clutch, Observer files

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