Things to do

Just Opened in Charlotte

In the August edition of this ongoing series, we’ll be highlighting the growth of the Queen City with recently opened eateries, watering holes and other hot spots to explore.

It's no secret that Charlotte is growing – and we’re excited for it all. From restaurants to apartments to retail hubs, Charlotteans seem to never run out of new places to visit. In this ongoing series, we’ll be highlighting the growth of the Queen City with recently opened eateries, watering holes and other hot spots to explore.

Food and Drink

Photo by Optimist Hall

Optimist Hall
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
1115 N. Brevard St.

Charlotte’s highly-anticipated food hall opened its doors on August 1. The historic mill has been under renovations for the last two years, and the $60 million project includes office space, a food hall with 20-plus tenants, a full-service restaurant and outdoor patio space, making it the largest of its kind in North Carolina. Six culinary spots and two retail shops are currently open, but stay tuned for more updates on this grand addition to the Queen City.

Tenants open as of August 20:

  • Archer Paper: Revamp your office supplies with stationery, pencils, gift wrap and more from this cool vendor. Fun fact: the name comes from the sport of archery.
  • Bao and Broth: Chef Larry Schreiber of Moffett Restaurant Group is the driving force behind this bao and noodles shop. On the menu, you’ll find miso, vegan, and pork belly plus kimchi ramen, baos, side dishes and a few sweets.
  • Honeysuckle Gelato: This Atlanta-based gelato stall has flavors like salted caramel brownie, lemon basil blackberry, strawberry birthday cake and plenty other creative concoctions. Try a gelato sandwich or milkshake if you want to switch things up.
  • Pet Wants: One of two non-food-or-beverage stalls currently open at Optimist Hall. Here, you’ll find all-natural dog and cat food plus treats and toys for your furry friend.
  • The Dumpling Lady: Charlotte’s beloved food truck now has a permanent space at the food hall. Don’t be alarmed if there’s a line. The homemade dumplings and noodles are well-worth the wait.
  • The Spindle Bar: The 18-seat bar is home to craft cocktails and other spirits. And yes, you can walk around the hall with a drink in your hand.
  • Undercurrent Coffee: Fans of the Plaza Midwood location can now get their caffeine fix at Optimist Hall. Try a golden milk latte or seasonal drink and pair it with avocado toast or their savory grits bowl.
  • Zukku Sushi: The Tampa-based spot lets you customize your own sushi roll, sushi burrito or poke bowl. If you’re feeling the pressure, choose from one of their signature creations.

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Hours vary by tenant.

Social: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Honeysuckle Gelato at Optimist Hall - Photo by Allie Papajohn

Lower Left Brewing Co.
Neighborhood: South End/Lower South End
4528 Nations Crossing Road

Charlotte’s newest brewery is located inside an old mechanic shop and is the brainchild of Tim Curtis and Alex Shoenthal. Curtis has had his heart set on opening a brewery for several years, so pairing up with award-winning home brewer Shoenthal seemed like the perfect opportunity. The taproom seats 45 plus additional spots on the patio (and around 17 parking spots out back.) Food isn’t prepared by the team, but they do offer snacks and a rotating food truck option. The brewery currently has five beers on tap with more in the works.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-7 p.m. Closed Monday.

Social: Facebook / Instagram

The Bohemian
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
1319 Pecan Ave.

Charlotte’s newest wine bar, The Bohemian, is open and located behind Plaza Midwood’s iconic Dairy Queen. They’re taking this wine thing seriously with around 120 bottles of wine for sale plus a custom Cruvinet wine pouring machine (which keeps wines fresh for several weeks.) You’ll also find craft beer, charcuterie and cheese boards, salads and flatbreads.

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday; noon-late; Sunday, noon-9 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Social: Facebook / Instagram

Photo by The Bohemian

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea
Area: RedStone (Indian Land, SC)
9623 Red Stone Drive, Suite 500

The original Sweetwaters started in Ann Harbor, MI, and is a welcome addition to Indian Land. The menu consists of classic and global coffee and tea drinks, sweet treats along with light sandwiches and salads.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Social: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Photo by Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea

Bonjour Y’all
Area:
Downtown Davidson
107 N. Main St.

Justin Burke-Samson, former Hello, Sailor and Kindred pastry chef, will open his French-and-Southern-inspired bakery in Davidson at the end of the month. He’ll sell Southern bakery specialties like monkey bread and sticky buns along with cakes, pies and bread. The bakery is inside a historic home and will have a classic Charleston-like feel (but with a modern twist.)

Hours: Not available

Social: Facebook / Instagram

Photo by Bonjour Y'all

Tiff’s Treats
Area:
Waverly
7314 Waverly Walk Ave.

Cookies on demand? Don’t mind if we do. Tiff’s Treats, a company born in Austin and currently backed by Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker, sells cookies, brownies, ice cream sandwiches and other tasty treats. The company, known for their hot, fresh cookie delivery service, plans to open two additional locations in Charlotte in the next year.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Social: Facebook / Instagram

Photo by Tiff's Treats

Things to Do

The Portal
Neighborhood:
Uptown
114 South Tryon St.

Although The Portal opened last month, it continues to be a hit among Charlotteans. The “Instagram museum” rooms were designed by various artists and are staged in ways that encourage guests to insert themselves within.

Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Price: $17.50 for adults; $11 for children ages 4-12. Tax and delivery fee are added at checkout. Get tickets here.

Photo by The Portal

Development

Bradham at New Bern Station
Neighborhood:
South End
145 New Bern St.

This giant new complex across from Suffolk Punch is now leasing to potential tenants. Floor plans include one-bedroom, two-bedrooms, studios and several townhouses. Each unit gets one free parking space, but extra and reserved parking are available for purchase. The ground floor (once completed) will be full of fun restaurants and retailers such as Eight+Sand Kitchen, Link & Pin and Frenchies Nails.

Developer: LMC Living, LLC

Photo by Bradham at New Bern Station

NOVEL Atherton
Neighborhood:
South End
2100 South Blvd.

NOVEL Atherton will eventually fill 346 apartments, but the first 200 are available for lease now. Tenants will have a move-in date starting Oct. 1 and can choose from studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The bottom level of this building will be home to CAVA, Legion Brewing, Warby Parker, Indaco and more.

Developer: Crescent Communities

Rendering by NOVEL Atherton

The fall promises the arrival of a slew of new restaurants, attractions, properties and more. From new stalls at Optimist Hall (Papi Queso, Velvet Taco and el Thrifty Social Club) to spots with familiar executive chefs (The Goodyear House with Chris Coleman, Leah & Louise with Greg Collier) to South End’s first hotel, we have a ton to look forward to. Come back next month to see what September brought to the Queen City.