Spend 24 Hours Supporting LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in Charlotte
Explore the Queen City while also supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses along the way.
by Anders J. Hare
The impact of the LGBTQ+ community on global culture is undeniable. We observe these contributions and services during Pride month as a form of celebration and remembrance of those who paved the way. However, there are so many ways to support the LGBTQ+ community in Charlotte throughout the entire year. Whether you’re a Charlottean or just visiting, here’s a 24-hour guide on how to support LGBTQ-owned businesses in the Queen City during Pride month and all year long.
Start your day by making a pit stop at Detour Coffee Bar for your caffeine needs. Opened by former bookstore barista Mike Hargett, Detour offers a wide selection of locally roasted hot and cold drinks as well as a variety of teas, plus pastry and breakfast options. To get a workout in early, join The Charlotte Front Runners for one of their two weekly runs/walks varying in distance. While getting your sweat on, make sure to soak in those beautiful Queen City views.
For a mid-morning pick-me-up, check out Earl’s Grocery in Elizabeth. They’re known for their superb breakfast burritos and sandwiches. For those who want to sit down for brunch, you can’t go wrong when you dine at 300 East in Dilworth. Order the to-die-for spicy chicken biscuit or a bowl of NC-milled grits. The family-owned spot was bought by Catherine Coulter, chef-owner Ashley Bivens Boyd’s mother, in 1985 when it was The White Horse Restaurant. If you feel like sleeping in, get food and more delivered from a surplus of places around town through Intown Charlotte E-Delivery Service.
Feeling more adventurous? Head over to White Rabbit in Plaza Midwood, one of the city’s top LGBTQ gift shops offering a wide array of books, cards, movies, and swimsuits. If you like furniture, pop into High Cotton Home Company in the Park Road Shopping Center to get a glimpse of the Carolinas’ textile roots at full bloom.
Once you’re done shopping, get your sport on at a fierce rugby match featuring the Charlotte Royals Rugby Football Club. Whether you’re a spectator or a player, the Charlotte Royals always bring the noise. When you’re ready to eat, grab a bite at NoDa Company Store or at The Artisan’s Palate. The Artisan’s Palate has live music on Fridays and Saturdays as well as drag brunch shows hosted by local drag queens. If you want to go big, visit Tacos Rick-O for bold Mexican street food, birria tacos and a mighty fried cheesecake burrito.
Charlotte has numerous LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations to support in the area. Spend an afternoon volunteering at Transcend Charlotte, Campus Pride, Queen City Theatre Company and Time Out Youth. These organizations aim to help in the advancement of LGBTQ+ people in the city.
Treat yourself after a long day with a zesty bite and delicious drink by Bruno Macchiavello, executive chef at Poplar Tapas Wine & Spirits. For a vegan dining experience, check out 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 unique dining experience, make a reservation at Counter-. Chef Sam Hart changes the themes and menus on a quarterly basis, keeping guests on their toes. Diners can expect an immersive mix of sound, taste, art, and hands-on involvement.
Skip straight to dessert with a stop at Amélie's French Bakery for their legendary macarons and a plethora of other sweet treats, sandwiches and beverages. They’ve got locations in NoDa, Pineville and Rock Hill. Or ditch the food altogether and head to The Wine Vault in the University area to sip on luscious reds and whites while listening to your fair share of live music. You can also spend an evening exploring the NoDa Gallery Crawl, which features local art galleries every first and third Friday of the year.
Revel in a Queen City night at The Scorpio, an iconic dance club featuring primo cocktails, twerk contests and drag shows. Grab a beer at Sideline Sports Bar & 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.