Things to Do

What's New in Charlotte

In Charlotte, new restaurants, bars, bakeries and attractions pop up every day. See which ones are open now or on the horizon.

15th Street Market - Photo by Kyo H Nam




  • European-inspired restaurants are having a moment in the Queen City. La Belle Helene, a spectacularly pretty French restaurant opened in Uptown in July, and MERE’s, a European-style wine and cheese shop, opened in Dilworth in September. Barcelona Wine Bar expects to open in November. These openings follow other European restaurants like Bulla Gastrobar, which opened in the spring, and Renaissance Patisserie, which reopened in April.
  • Urban grocers continue to expand. Common Market reopened in South End in September, Reid’s Fine Foods opened a third location in Uptown, Max & Lola Bodega opened in the Gold District, and Rhino Market has two new locations scheduled in Villa Heights and South End. (Rhino opened an Uptown location earlier this year)
  • Fast-casual, especially Mediterranean fast-casual, is quickly expanding as well. YAFO Kitchen will soon have three locations, Siggy’s Good Food is now open in the Belmont neighborhood, Ilios Crafted Greek will open in Wilmore in December, and Washington-based chain Cava has plans for two locations here.



The Waterman
Opened: October 2018
Location/Concept: South End. Serving fried fish sandwiches, oysters and more, this trendy restaurant (and rooftop bar) off South Boulevard is the sister concept of Uptown’s Sea Level.

Sweet Lew’s BBQ
Opened: October 2018
Location/Concept: Belmont neighborhood. This classic barbecue joint serves North Carolina sauces and traditional sides like boiled peanuts.

Skrimp Shack
Opened: October 2018
Location/Concept: Pineville. This no-frills seafood chain serves catfish sandwiches and po’ boys.

Common Market South End

Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: South End. This second generation version of the beloved South End Common Market continues the tradition of deli eats, local taps and a bottle shop of unique finds.

Billy Jack’s Shack
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: NoDa. Replacing Davidson Street Public House is BJ’s, which stocks 50-plus craft brews and serves salads and sliders.

EastSide Local Eatery
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Commonwealth Park. This vegetarian-friendly coffee shop, café and juice bar was founded by three local musicians.

Frutta Bowls
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Midtown. In The Metropolitan, this shop has acai bowls, pitaya bowls, kale bowls and oatmeal.

Siggy’s Good Food
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Belmont neighborhood. This fast-casual Mediterranean café dishes up organic entrees alongside juice and wine.

Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Dilworth. This European wine and cheese shop crafts specialty charcuterie boards.

YAFO Kitchen
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. The second location of the popular Mediterranean joint is on Central Avenue.

BoatYard Eats
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Cornelius. Set in the former Anchorage Marine, this lunch and dinner spot also has games, food trucks and live music.

Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: South End. Sushi, ramen and cocktails await in this authentic Japanese restaurant.

Max & Lola Bodega
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: South End. In the Gold District, this pup-friendly budget stocks bottle shop goods and serves snacks.

Sapienza Pizza
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. This pizza place in Fourth Ward serves giant slices as well as subs and pasta.

Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Ballantyne. Salads, wraps, grain bowls and juices are on the menu at this casual restaurant out of Charleston.

La Belle Helene
Opened: July 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. Escape to Paris at this French-inspired stunner in Center City.

Reid’s Fine Foods Uptown
Opened: July 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. This is the third location for Reid’s, which is also of Selwyn and attached to SouthPark Mall.

Sushi Guru
Opened: June 2018
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. An impressive menu at this two-story restaurant includes sushi, ramen, poke and world-class cocktails.

Queen City Craft & Gourmet
Opened: Summer 2018
Location/Concept: Ballantyne. Cheese flights, rotating grilled cheese, and beer and wine make this an ideal hangout.



Barcelona Wine Bar
Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: South End. This Spanish tapas and wine bar chain will open in the neighborhood’s burgeoning Design Center.

Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: Dilworth. In the same building as Joe and Nosh and The Packhouse, this fast-casual restaurant from Salsarita’s founder Bruce Willette will dish out wood-fired pizzas.

Bistro La Bon
Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: Cotswold. Plaza Midwood’s popular small plates restaurant will open a second location here in the space formerly occupied by Namastay Kitchen.

Poppy’s Bagels
Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: South End. The second location for this bagel shop will open near Five Guys.

Opening: November 2018 and Early 2019
Location/Concept: Park Road Shopping Center and South End. This Mediterranean chain is based in Washington and offers customizable bowls and pita wraps.

YAFO Kitchen Dilworth
Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: Dilworth. The third location for this Mediterranean concept will open in Dilworth Commons Shopping Center.

Opened: November/December 2018
Location: Uptown. This sushi and poke spot is the sister concept of sushi bar O-Ku.

Ilios Crafted Greek
Opening: December 2018
Location/Concept: Wilmore. Serving fast-casual Mediterranean food, this restaurant will be the sister concept of Ilios Noche.

The Yolk
Opening: December 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. Set to join 7th Street Public Market is Rock Hill-based breakfast spot, The Yolk, owned by Greg Collier.

Urban Bricks Pizza Co.
Opening: December 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. This BYO pizzeria and bar will be located in the EpiCentre.

Opening: December 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. The popular concept will open yet another location.

NC Red
Opening: Late 2018
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. Bruce Moffett’s latest restaurant brings together New England eats and Southern fare in the space formerly occupied by The Penguin.

Opening: January 2019
Location/Concept: Off Tyvola Road. This fast-casual chain will offer build-your-own burger mini sliders.

Noble Smoke
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: Freedom Drive. From restaurateur Jim Noble, this massive barbecue restaurant will be set up in an old bus storage facility.

Bossy Beaut’s Chicken Shack
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: Freedom Drive. Also from Jim Noble, this simple eatery will serve fried chicken sandwiches and a Hyde brew.

Hawker Asian Street Food
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: South End. Inspired by Asia’s hawker stalls, this Orlando-based restaurant specializes in street food like crispy chicken skins and noodle soups.

Rhino Market
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: Villa Heights and South End. This popular urban grocer also has locations in FreeMoreWest and Uptown.


  • The Charlotte Café in Park Road Shopping Center. The restaurant closed in November after 38 years. Its second location is still open in The Arboretum.
  • Brazwell’s Premium Pub in Ballantyne.
  • Libretto’s Pizzeria. After 10 years in the EpiCentre, the restaurant closed in mid-October.
  • The Rogue. The short-lived Irish pub closed in September.
  • Babalu Tacos & Tapas. Dilworth’s Southern-style tapas restaurant closed in September.
  • Cantina 1511 in Uptown. The restaurant’s third location closed in September; its Park Road Shopping Center and StoneCrest location remain open.
  • Living Kitchen South Park. The location closed in September; its original spot in South End is still open.
  • Savor Café in FreeMoreWest. JackBeagle’s plans to open a third location in this space.
  • Just Fresh in Dilworth. The Kenilworth Commons smoothie shop closed after 17 years.
  • The Liberty Gastropub in Blakeney. The restaurant closed in August following its South End closure in March.
  • Rise Biscuits Donuts in Ballantyne and Steele Creek. The Durham-based chain closed both locations this summer.



  • Breweries are no longer just for drinking. More and more, local breweries are dishing out some of the best meals in the city. On the heels of Kre8 Gastropub’s opening at Wooden Robot Brewery, the Brewers at 4001 Yancey opened in June with a full lunch and dinner menu. So too did Legion Brewing in its new South Park location.
  • Self-serve taprooms are becoming trendy. After Hoppin’s success, Pour Taproom opened in Plaza Midwood. Now Pinhouse, from the owners of Hoppin’, will open in Plaza, and The Studio, a small-scale, self-serve taproom, will open in the space between Mac’s Speed Shop and SouthBound in South End.



The Percantile and Creamery
Opened: October 2018
Location/Concept: Next to Concord Mills. Coffee and sweets come together in this 1920s-themed shop.

Waterbean Coffee
Opened: October 2018
Location/Concept: Midtown. The coffee shop has opened its fifth location in the Metropolitan.

Town Brewing Co.
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: FreeMoreWest. Near Pinky’s Westside Grill and Rhino Market, this brewery adds to FreeMoreWest’s growing appeal.

Pour Taproom
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. With 120 taps, this self-serve taproom bills itself as the “largest self-serve bar in the country.”

The Gibson
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Ballantyne. Set up where Brazwell’s Premium Pub used to be, this lively restaurant and bar pours craft brews, cocktails and boozy milkshakes.

Nuvolé Rootop TwentyTwo
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. Atop the EpiCentre’s new dual-branded hotel, this cocktail bar serves up epic city views.

Legion Brewing SouthPark
Opened: September 2018
Location/Concept: South Park. The second location of the popular Plaza Midwood brewery is South Park’s first brewery.

Your Mom’s Donuts
Opened: September and October 2018
Location/Concept: Park Road Shopping Center and Davidson. The Matthews-based doughnut shop took over the old Key Shop space in the parking lot of Park Road Shopping Center; in Davidson, it shares a space with Carolina Craft Brewery.

Pilot Brewing
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. Near Midwood Smokehouse and YAFO Kitchen, this 1,900-square-foot brewery creates small-batch beer.

15th Street Market
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: Optimist Park. This bottle shop-style newcomer has locally made goods and art, snacks, drinks and games.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Opened: August 2018
Location/Concept: South End. In the Gold District, this popular gourmet ice cream chain opened its first North Carolina location.

The Queen & Glass
Opened: July 2018
Location/Concept: Dilworth. Mixologist Bob Peters created the menu for this hidden cocktail bar.

Brewers at 4001 Yancey
Opened: June 2018
Location/Concept: Lower South End. With seats for more than 500, this massive dual-branded brewery pours Victory and Southern Tier brews.

Graham St. Pub & Patio
Opened: June 2018
Location/Concept: Uptown. With views of the skyline, this patio-heavy bar is walking distance to Bank of America Stadium and BB&T Ballpark.

Opened: May 2018
Location/Concept: South End. Capri Sun-style cocktails and beer specials are this bar’s signature.



The Crunkleton
Opening: November 2018
Location/Concept: Elizabeth. The highly anticipated cocktail bar from Gary Crunkleton (of Chapel Hill fame) will open on Seventh Street.

Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: NoDa. In the Novel NoDa complex at 36th Street Station, this no-menu, members-only cocktail bar comes from New York mixologist Vincent Chirico.

Protagonist Brewery
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: Optimist Park. This new brewery will open near Parkwood Station, close to the developing food hall concept, Optimist Hall.

Lower Left Brewing Co.
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: Lower South End. This brewhouse will join fellow LoSo establishments like OMB, Brewers at 4001 Yancey and Sugar Creek Brewing.

Armored Cow Brewing
Opening: Early 2019
Location/Concept: University City. This brewery will focus on crafting gluten-free brews.

Opening: February 2019
Location/Concept: Plaza Midwood. Rich Moyer and Drew Nesemeier of Hoppin’ will open another self-serve taproom here.

The Studio
Opening: February 2019
Location/Concept: South End. A small self-serve bar with 27 taps will be tucked between Mac’s Speed Shop and SouthBound.



  • Carowinds announced in August that the theme park will add a new world-class coaster, Copperhead Strike, which will be the Carolinas’ first double-launch roller coaster. It’s scheduled to be added in 2019.
  • Ballantyne’s first escape room, Timed Out Escape, opened in July.
  • From pastry chef Jossie Lukacik (formerly of Heirloom, The Asbury and Block & Grinder), Sweet Spot Studio rolled out baking classes in September.
  • Charlotte’s first hot glass-blowing studio, Hot Glass Alley, opened in September and now offers lessons, date nights and demonstrations.
  • The South Park area has added new shopping options like men’s boutique Peter Millar in the Village at SouthPark and Trina Turk, Arhaus and Nespresso in SouthPark Mall.
  • GW Boutique, a brand-focused offshoot of Goodwill, opened off South Boulevard in Lower South End.
  • New Elizabeth yoga studio Bijou 5 opened off Randolph Road. The studio’s classes all cost $5, so participants must register online beforehand.



  • This summer in addition to adding flights to places like Munich and Miami, Charlotte Douglas International Airport opened newly renovated Concourse A. With nine additional gates, the transformed concourse has charging stations at every seat, stalls run by local breweries (NoDa Brewing’s taproom opened in October), and digitally generated LED artwork.
  • The dual-branded AC Hotel/Residence Inn in the EpiCentre opened in September. With the hotel comes rooftop bar and lounge Nuvolé Rootop TwentyTwo on the 22nd floor.
  • Optimist Hall, the food hall concept from the creators of Krog Street Market in Atlanta, expects to begin rolling out its vendors in early 2019. The 83,000-square-foot space in Optimist Park will house Duke Energy offices as well as food stalls. Confirmed food and drink vendors include: serving beer, gelato, wood-fired pizza, ramen and steamed buns, sushi and poke bowls, grilled cheese, and baked goods.
    • Ava – A Neapolitan pizza joint out of Tampa
    • Bao + Broth – A ramen and bun shop from Larry Schreiber, executive chef of Good Food on Montford
    • Papi Queso – Gourmet grilled cheeses well-known by food truck fans
    • Suárez Bakery & Barra – The second location for the Park Road Shopping Center bakery will also serve lunch
    • Honeysuckle Gelato – A gelato shop with scoops, sandwiches and shakes
    • Zukku Sushi – A sushi and poke stall out of Tampa
    • Aix Rotisserie – A French rotisserie from the owners of Aix en Provence
    • Undercurrent Coffee – A full-service coffee bar with another location in Plaza Midwood
    • Fonta Flora Brewery – This anchor tenant brings Morganton brews to a 2,400-square-foot tasting room