Updated Apr 9, 2024 - Food and Drink

Tortilleria and agave bar with skyline views opening in west Charlotte

MAS in Charlotte

"Maíz," "agua," and "sal" are the Spanish words for corn, water and salt, the ingredients used to make tortillas. And "más" is Spanish for "more." Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Maíz, Agua, Sal — or MAS for short — opens in west Charlotte on Thursday, April 11.

Why it matters: It's a new Mexican-inspired tortilleria and agave bar by the owners of Craft Tasting Room and Lincoln Street Kitchen and Cocktails.

The vibe: The inspiration for MAS came from the owners' travels to Mexico City to visit friends. Co-owner Alyson Davis tells Axios they're going for authentic food, drinks and atmosphere.

  • It'll be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • The 5,000-square-foot restaurant has 125 seats indoors, outdoors and at the bar.
MAS in Charlotte
When you walk in, the focal point is a preserved tree that sitz prominently inside the dining room. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Dig in: Its food menu consists of tacos made with house-made tortillas and flavors like al pastor (shaved off the trompo and tacos al vapor (steamed tacos with shredded beef filling).

  • It'll also have authentic Mexican dishes like pozole, mole, carnitas and gorditas.
  • Chef Jonathan Olvera will lead the kitchen at MAS. His Mexican roots inspired much of the menu.
picture of man wearing glasses and an apron
Chef Jonathan Olvera, a first-generation Mexican-American from Salisbury, NC, has worked in the kitchens of Peppervine, Bardo, Leah & Louise, and most recently, Dot Dot Dot. Photo: Courtesy of ARDR Hospitality
"I've been drawing inspiration from family recipes ... there will be no Tex-Mex or fusion in the mix."
— Chef Jonathan Olvera
food at MAS in Charlotte

Sip on this: The MAS cocktail menu focuses on mezcal and tequilas. It's led by bar manager Amanda Britton, the renowned mixologist who is also behind The Green Room in South End. The bar has close to 200 different bottles of mostly agave spirits from Mexico.

  • There are eight hand-crafted cocktails on the menu, plus nonalcoholic drinks.
  • Four agua frescas are available by the glass ($5) or in pitchers ($16).
  • MAS also has Mexican beer available by the can or mixed bucket.
cocktails at MAS
The pineapple passion frozen drink ($7) and the horchata are nonalcoholic but each can be spiked with tequila. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
cocktail at MAS in Charlotte
The devil went down to Durango (their take on an El Diablo cocktail) made with El Jimador Reposado, Ancho Reyes, spiced hibiscus cordial, lime and ginger beer ($12). Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Stop by: MAS is located at 1018 Jay St., part of the Lower Tuck development, near Not Just Coffee.

  • It'll be open 8am-9pm Tuesday-Friday, 10:30am-10pm Saturday and 10:30am-4pm Sunday.
mas patio in Charlotte
Its large patio wraps around for plenty of seating. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
MAS in Charlotte
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
MAS restaurant i Charlotte
All of the tortillas are made from Heirloom corn grain that's harvested in Mexico and shipped to MAS directly from the manufacturer. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

What's next: Eventually, MAS will have pre-packaged tortillas available for sale.

Go deeper: The most anticipated new restaurants and bars in Charlotte

Editor's note: This story was originally published Dec. 15, 2021 and updated on April 9, 2024 to reflect the restaurant's opening date.


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