Things to Do

Spend 24 Hours Supporting LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in Charlotte

Charlotte’s gay community brings life and vibrancy to locally-owned businesses all across the city. Here’s our guide to some of the many beloved hotspots opened by our neighbors.

One key force in Charlotte’s constant reinvention is the creativity expressed by our locals. Small businesses opened by our neighbors help areas to thrive and flourish. Whether you’re a Charlotte local or just visiting, here’s a 24-hour guide spotlighting LGBTQ-owned businesses and the unique vibes they bring to the city.

Morning

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If you’re going to spend 24 hours exploring Charlotte, you’ll need a little coffee boost. Make your first stop Detour Coffee Bar, mobile espresso and coffee truck. Proprietor and barista Mike Hargett offers a selection of locally roasted hot and cold coffee drinks, a variety of teas, crafty lattes, and pastry and breakfast options. Check the daily location on Detour’s website. Want an early morning workout? Grab your racket and check out the Queen City Tennis Club. Or, join the welcoming run and walking group, The Charlotte Front Runners, and see some great views of the city along the way.

300 East

When it’s time for lunch (or brunch), 300 East in Dilworth should be on your list for its generous menu featuring local fresh produce and meats. The comfortable home-turned-restaurant was bought in 1985 as The White Horse by Catherine Coulter, mother of chef-owner Ashley Bivens Boyd. 300 East has been serving Dilworth for over 30 years and is a local favorite.

Noon

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Feeling more adventurous? Head over to White Rabbit in Plaza Midwood, one of the city’s top LGBTQ gift shops offering a variety of pridewear. For stylish and modern furniture shopping, High Cotton Home Company in the Park Road Shopping Center will give you a glimpse of the Carolinas’ textile roots in full bloom. If fashion is more your speed, the inimitable House of Lemond is a must-visit. Local clothier Lemond Crayton-Hart always has something new and exciting up his sleeve to help you #StayDapper.

After finishing your shopping, it’s time for some action. Go find the Charlotte Royals Rugby Football Club at a game or at practice. This fun and welcoming group knows how to bring the energy. All levels are welcome to play, though you might enjoy the views from the sidelines too. When the evening starts to creep in, order a cold drink at NoDa Company Store and find a seat on their beautiful patio. At Camp North End, you’ll find their satellite location, NoDa Canteen, with tiki drinks and lots of space for roaming this historic campus. For something quick and flavorful, check out the Tacos Rick-O taco truck. Ricky Ortiz’s bold Mexican street food menu offers choices on choices – tacos, surf and turf, birria pizza, wings and even a mighty fried cheesecake burrito.

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If you’re feeling philanthropic, Charlotte has numerous LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations to support in the area. Spend an afternoon volunteering at Transcend Charlotte, Campus Pride and Time Out Youth. These organizations aim in various ways to help the advancement of LGBTQ+ people in the city.

Night

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When you’re done exploring and are ready to wind down, an evening in the beautiful Fourth Ward Victorian home of Poplar Tapas Wine and Spirits is sure to help you decompress. Executive chef Bruno Macchiavello brings authentic European tapas dishes to the heart of Uptown. For a vegan dining experience, try Bean Vegan Cuisine on Independence Boulevard. Owned by Roy Parkhurst and Charlie Foesch, Bean Vegan Cuisine offers a delicious selection of original vegan dishes including jackfruit carnitas tacos, crabbie dip and their famous meatless chili. If you're looking for a more adventurous and unique dining experience, make a reservation at Counter-. Chef Sam Hart keeps diners on their toes by constantly updating the menu and nightly themes. Guests will be treated to artful plating and music soundtracks tailored to create a truly unique immersive dinner.

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The Wine Vault in the University area is a cozy spot featuring luscious reds and crisp whites for a slower paced evening. For a night out on the town, Charlotte has your scene covered. The Scorpio is an iconic nightclub with spectacular drag shows and high-energy dancing. Shoot some pool at Sideline Sports Bar and Billiards, or venture over to its next-door neighbor Bar Argon where DJs and VJs have the place jumping all night long. Or settle in for a mixed drink at The Bar at 316, one of Charlotte’s oldest LGBTQ-friendly venues.