Jun 15, 2022 - Food and Drink

Now open: “Arbol” is Uptown’s new healthy takeout café

Arbol breakfast burrito

Breakfast burrito: eggs, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, beans and cheddar. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

People who live, work and play in Uptown will soon have a healthy grab-and-go café in the mix.

Chef Edwin Cruz, of Edwin’s Organix, and Chris Johnson, of Bueno Box Architecture, opened a new fast-casual restaurant called Arbol.

Why it matters: Uptown is thriving — a stark contrast to the last two years of the pandemic.

  • Cruz and Johnson say they want to be a part of that revival. “Uptown was dead for a long time,” Johnson said. “We’re going to be part of the new change,” Cruz added. 
  • Of note: The business partners are also behind Drip Joint, the espresso pop-up bar often stationed in Uptown.

Details: Arbol will be inside the Carillon Tower (227 W Trade St.). It’ll have a similar vibe to Plant Shed in New York — think “plants everywhere,” Johnson tells me.

  • There’s seating for about 30 people inside, but for the most part, it caters to commuters on the go. “It’ll have more of a takeout vibe,” Johnson said.
  • It’s open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 3:30pm.

The menu: Cruz is designing a healthy menu, including paninis, açai bowls and smoothies.

Arbol uptown
Arbol Cuban sandwich. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Arbol uptown
Flan baked fresh. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Arbol uptown
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • Plus: Cruz, who’s originally from Mexico, says he’ll bring the “Latin flair” with horchata and Cuban sandwiches. Eventually, he plans on adding tortas, tres leches cake and choco flan cake to the menu.
  • Of note: “arbol” means “tree” in Spanish.The big picture: Center City Partners are working with business owners to get people back into the city — whether that’s through community events like Charlotte SHOUT! or by working with people like Cruz and Johnson to bring their talents to Uptown.

What’s next: The duo hopes to collaborate with a local plant shop so customers can also buy plants inside Arbol.

Arbol uptown
Matcha love smoothie. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • They also hope to host events outside the Carillon courtyard, including pop-up events with Drip Joint.
Arbol uptown
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Arbol uptown
Carillon Tower in Uptown. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Editors note: This story was originally published on May 20th and updated on June 14 to reflect Arbol’s opening. 

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