Neighborhood Explorer: South End
Few neighborhoods have an intrigue like Charlotte’s South End neighborhood. Once home to bustling mills, the history of the neighborhood has been preserved and reimagined through design districts, Main-Street-esque storefronts and adaptive-reuse destinations while simultaneously embracing growth, leaning into modern architecture and the centralizing of Charlotte’s LYNX light rail.
by Liz Logan
Murals line the walls of many of South End’s businesses, creating the perfect photo op. Local retailers and national brands make for a great day of shopping and browsing. Scooter and bike share programs provide an exciting way to navigate the rail trail. South End is almost always abuzz with locals and visitors taking in the sights of the skyline, sipping locally-roasted coffee or craft beer, and enjoying cuisine from world-class purveyors. It’s no wonder South End is one of the city’s most notorious neighborhoods.
Eat & Drink
From sunup to sundown and beyond, South End’s food scene covers a variety of cuisine, perfect for any palate. ROOTS Café features a simple menu of pastries and sandwiches made with local ingredients, with a patio making for a leisurely start to the day. Snooze, an A.M. Eatery features pancake flights and cocktails and, for the sweet tooth, Pepperbox Doughnuts keeps a case full of handmade doughnuts with rotating flavors like cinnamon spiced maple bourbon and a more traditional chocolate frosted, with plenty of vegan options available.
For lunch, the bright yellow umbrellas of Flower Child summon diners to a menu influenced by world flavors. Markets like Common Market & Deli, Lincoln’s Haberdashery and Salted Melon Market & Eatery, each with a personality of their own, offer sandwiches, snacks and plenty of shelves filled with unique grocery and household goods.
Well-rounded dinner options abound, with Yunta offering innovative Peruvian cuisine and Mac’s Speed Shop being the go-to for barbeque. In the Design Center, Superica features TexMex meals and Barcelona Wine Bar serves tapas, charcuterie and large plates, both sharing a courtyard with patios worth spending an evening on.
There’s no shortage of craft coffee from Atherton Mill’s Not Just Coffee to Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. Stable Hand serves locally-roasted coffee and features an impressive selection of natural wines, with Resident Culture Brewing’s South End location featuring a coffee bar alongside their award-winning brews.
Local breweries are a staple of South End with long long-standing favorites like Triple C and Lenny Boy Brewing (featuring their eponymous kombucha) anchoring the beer scene. Sycamore Brewing features an extensive patio while Legion Brewing’s Trolley Barn Fermentory & Food Hall offers a skyline view. World-renowned Gilde Brewery has brought their German-style lagers and ales stateside, while Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brewing has opened a Charlotte location complete with games like soccer pool and foosball.
Canopy Cocktails offers three distinct vibes in their library-and-neon destination. VINYL features not only new spins on classic cocktails but a sound system to transport guests to different eras via hits from rock to hip hop. A build-your-own-cocktail shop, The Cocktailery is a unique storefront in the heart of Atherton Mill featuring cozy couches for lounging, and tools and additions to your at-home cocktail kits.
For wine, The Wine Loft offers a relaxed atmosphere for sipping and Vin Master Wine Shop features light-rail-side sitting and small production and boutique wines from across the world. For an elevated dinner-and-wine experience, PARA features bottles and by-the-glass pours served alongside their inventive dishes.
For local goods, The Charlotte Collective, Girl Tribe and Glory Days Apparel feature clothing, accessories and more created by local designers, often offering opportunity to wear your Queen City pride on your sleeve. Flowers and plants aren’t hard to come by with Bookout Blooms, Exceptional Terrariums and Cactus Club all having shops in South End.
Boots, bags and high-end fashion are found at Atherton Mill with Free People, lululemon, Uniquities, Madewell, Bonobos, Anthropologie and more. Stop in for skincare at The Brown Sugar Collab, Sephora and Selenite Beauty, complete with a relaxing spa.
Paddywax Candle Bar offers unique outings for build-your-own candles while adventurers can find fun at Inner Peaks rock climbing gym. The light rail trail is perfect for strolling, with plenty of community festivals lining the streets season after season.
Life in South End is complete with vibrant neighborhoods, local shopping and plenty of greenspace. If you’re ready to settle down in this neighborhood, make sure to reach out to the experts on John Siddons’ Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who are ranked number one in NC and in the top 100 nationally.