Apr 21, 2022 - Business

First look: The return of Mattie’s Diner

Matties Diner

Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Mattie’s Diner will open in Plaza-Shamrock on April 25 with new vegan and vegetarian options on the menu.

Don’t worry, the deep-fried hotdogs, Mattie’s Ma’s Meatloaf, milkshakes, and crazy French toast are all making a comeback.

Why it matters: The greasy spoon has been closed for more than six years, but ever since owner Mattie King started posting updates on his Instagram account, it’s been clear from the comments section that Charlotte residents have not forgotten about the iconic spot.

Mattie’s Diner at the Music Factory. Photo: Mattie’s Diner via Facebook

Flashback: Mattie’s Diner was a fixture at the Music Factory for years.

  • The 24-hour restaurant closed in 2015.
  • Since then, King has been looking for a new, more permanent place to park his concept, which he bought from a used car lot in New Jersey in 2005, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Matties Diner
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Context: King said he’s spent the last six years trying to keep the brand alive. Whether because of rezoning difficulties, or locations falling through, he hit roadblock after roadblock — all while DreamKey Partners (formerly Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership), kept the 40-by-16-foot building in storage.

  • One day, King was driving around and saw the old Tire Depot lot, on the corner of The Plaza and Shamrock Drive across from Food Lion, had a “For lease” sign.
Matt King behind the counter. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • “I almost crashed my car trying to get the number,” King said.

Since that day, King has worked with landowners Jamie Doyle and Greg Godley to rezone the property and begin construction. “They’re more than just leasers now; they’re partners in the project with me,” King told Axios last year.

What to expect: The new diner will feature a lot of the old charm. It is an adaption of a 1948 diner, after all.

  • Expect jukeboxes, the original diner shell, and about 60-70% of the original menu.
From left to right: Fries, french toast, Cowboy Burger, Jersey Burger, Pot roast bowl. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • Its new layout will fit more than twice as many patrons as the original, and the outdoor patio will be larger.

The menu: King tells me he spent about half a year eating vegan and testing out recipes for the restaurant.

  • There’s a small herb garden outside, which King says will grow cayenne peppers for their homemade hot sauce.
  • Even the fountain drinks will lean on the healthier side—instead of your classic coke, you can grab some “Smart Soda” which is infused with vitamins.
  • King went local when choosing coffee and dessert options. Their house coffee will be Summit coffee and for dessert, you can grab a slice of Mama Wards Little Layer Cake. “It’s incredible, it’s beautiful, it’s family-owned, local, made with more love than actual flower,” King boasted on Instagram.

Details: Mattie’s will be open 7am-9pm every day.

The back of the diner will have the same vibe as the diner shell. The mural was painted by Matt Hooker and has nods to all of the owners. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

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