Updated Apr 1, 2024 - Food and Drink

The 32 most anticipated new restaurants and bars in Charlotte

Babe Cave

Babe Cave is a popular female-focused cocktail bar that used to be in west Charlotte and is reopening in LoSo. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios.

32 highly anticipated restaurants, bars and breweries are opening in Charlotte in the next year or so.

Here's our list of the most anticipated openings, in chronological order.

State of play: Restaurant opening dates are notorious for being pushed back, especially because of permit approval delays and supply chain issues slowing down build-outs and renovations. Many of the timelines listed are approximated based on the owners' understanding.

  • This list only includes new restaurants, bars and other establishments in Charlotte. It doesn't feature big expansions like Suffolk Punch's expansion to Birkdale Village or Halal Cart in Camp North End.

Editor’s note: This guide is updated monthly, with the last update on April 1, 2024. 

Sneak

A sophisticated cocktail lounge in Elizabeth.

Opening: April 5

The vibe: It's late-night a "sneak-easy," open until 2am on the weekends. The cozy cocktail lounge will offer classic and retro cocktails and bar bites. Local DJs will curate playlists featuring hip-hop and R&B.

Stop by: It's at 2001 East 7th St., next to Bang Bang Burgers.

  • It'll open Monday-Wednesday from 4pm-12am, Thursday-Friday from 4pm-2am, Saturday from 2pm-2am and Sunday from 2pm-12am.
inside a bar
Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

MAS (Maiz Agua Sal)

From the team behind Craft Tasting Room and Lincoln Street Kitchen and Cocktails is a new Mexican-inspired tortilleria and agave bar and restaurant.

Opening: Early April

The vibe: The restaurant will have lunch, dinner and some light breakfast dishes including fresh tacos with house-made tortillas and adorned with pickled vegetables and salsas. The cocktail menu will focus on mezcal and tequilas, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like agua fresca.

Go deeper: Tortilleria and agave bar with skyline views planned for West Charlotte redevelopment

Lost Worlds Brewing

The Cornelius brewery is set to open its second area location in midtown.

Opening: Mid-April

The vibe: The 4,000-square-foot taproom will be adorned with archeological artifacts. It'll serve craft beer, cocktails, wine, cider and seltzer. The brewery will overlook the Sugar Creek Greenway.

Go deeper: Coming soon: Cornelius-based Lost Worlds Beer to open taproom at the Metropolitan

outside of a brewery with signage that reads "lost worlds brewing"
Lost Worlds Brewing will be the Metropolitan's first brewery. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Cakeable Cafe

A local nonprofit that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is opening its first brick-and-mortar in Uptown.

Opening: April 20

The vibe: Expect baked goods like brownies, cookies and scones. It'll also have lattes, teas, coffee and hot chocolate.

Stop by: Cakeable Cafe will open at 401 North Tryon St., about a block away from Discovery Place Science and Duckworth's.

  • It'll open 7am-4pm Monday-Friday and 8am-12pm on Saturdays.
teo people behind a coffee shop counter handing a plate full of baked goods to a customer
Photo: Courtesy of Cakeable Cafe

Catalú

A Spanish tapas restaurant, from the owners of Que Onda and Que Fresa, opening in the former Eight+Sand space in South End.

Opening: April 23

The vibe: Expect a heavily tapas-focused menu with a contemporary take on cuisine from the Catalonia region of Spain.

Stop by: 135 New Bern St.

Go deeper: Scoop: New tapas restaurant from Que Onda owners opening in former Eight+Sand spot

Babe Cave

A popular female-focused cocktail bar previously located in west Charlotte will reopen in LoSo.

Opening: April

The vibe: The new Babe Cave will have a content studio, cocktail classes and floral design classes. Expect the menu to include nine cocktails, small bites and sweet treats including a dessert tower.

Go deeper: Babe Cave reopens as a "mature" cocktail bar in LoSo

inside of a restaurant
Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Matador

A new Mexican restaurant chain to open on South Boulevard.

Opening: April

The vibe: With locations in Portland, Boise, Tacoma and Charleston, among others, The Matador is known for its selection of agave spirits. Its menu will have nachos, salads, sandwiches, classic burritos, enchiladas, tacos and a twice-daily food happy hour.

Stop by: Matador will be at 1215 South Blvd.

  • It'll be open daily from 11am-midnight.

Go deeper: Mexican restaurant chain The Matador expanding to Charlotte with twice-daily food specials

storefront with sign that reads "matador"
Photo: Courtesy of The Matador

El Malo and Hermanita

A new Tijuana-style taco shop like the ones you see in San Diego and other parts of Southern California. Attached to it will be its sister bar — appropriately called Hermanita.

Opening: El Malo will open in mid-May. Hermanita will open shortly after.

The vibe: El Malo’s menu will consist of various tacos (al pastor and Tijuana-style birria tacos, to name a few), quesadillas, burritos, nachos and California fries. They’ll also serve vegetarian dishes and loaded potatoes. The entrance to Hermanita will be through El Malo.

Go deeper: New Mexican restaurant El Malo to open in Plaza Midwood with speakeasy-style bar 

El Malo
El Malo rendering courtesy of Southwick via Andre Lomeli

Lottie's Cafe

A cafe from the same owners behind Nostalgia Hollow Co. to open in Uptown.

Opening: Early May

The vibe: Expect locally roasted coffee from Magnolia Coffee plus pastries from Beyond Amazing Donuts.

The Wafflery

A fast-casual restaurant specializing in waffles, biscuits and grits.

Opening: May 1

The vibe: Expect the menu to offer waffles, biscuits and grits as a base. Then, you can pick the protein — fried chicken, hot fried chicken, crab cake, shrimp or fruit. Or, you can choose from their signature menu, which will have about five to six pre-selected dishes. They'll also serve wine, beer, rosé and other classic breakfast drinks like mimosas.

Go deeper: Scoop: Owner of Mattie's Diner to open a new breakfast restaurant

Big Dave's Cheesesteaks

An Atlanta-based cheesesteak restaurant chain will open its first NC location in University City.

Opening: May 4

The vibe: The 2,100-square-foot restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating, and it'll be open for lunch and dinner. Cheesesteak flavors include beef, chicken and salmon. You can also expect loaded fries, cheesesteak egg rolls and salads.

Go deeper: Popular Atlanta restaurant chain Big Dave's Cheesesteaks opening in Charlotte

Kitchen + Kocktails

A two-story Dallas-based restaurant to open in the former Vida Cantina space in Uptown.

Opening: May

The vibe: Southern comfort food, with menu highlights including fried hot honey chicken, surf and turf, fried catfish and shrimp and grits. It also will have 17 cocktails, six frozen drinks, seven mocktails plus wine.

Go deeper: Southern comfort chain will replace EpiCentre's Vida Cantina in Uptown

Chief's

A cocktail bar by Charlotte's most famous mixologist Bob Peters in NoDa.

Opening: May

The vibe: The small cocktail bar, located in a former 123-year-old mill home, will have indoor and outdoor seating. The menu will feature a range of cocktails plus simple and creative snacks.

Go deeper: NoDa mill house to be reimagined as a cocktail bar with a nostalgic story

house
Photo: Clayton Sealey

3rd & Fernwood

The latest culinary venture for local restaurateurs Subrina Collier and James Beard-nominated chef Greg Collier, who also own Leah and Louise and Uptown Yolk.

Opening: Spring 2024

The vibe: The 5,200-square-foot restaurant at the Metropolitan will have an "approachable" menu featuring a fried chicken thigh sandwich, grilled catfish and three cheese mac, among other dishes.

  • Eventually, it'll also have a speakeasy with a separate entrance.

Go deeper: New restaurant by the Colliers called 3rd & Fernwood to open at the Metropolitan

rendering of the inside of a restaurant
Rendering courtesy of Bayhaven Restaurant Group

Bobby's Burgers

Bobby Flay's popular burger restaurant chain is opening in SouthPark.

Opening: Spring 2024

The vibe: It'll be located in The Towers at SouthPark. Its menu will have seven types of hamburgers, a fried chicken sandwich and a veggie burger. Sides will include buttermilk onion rings, sweet potato fries and bacon cheese fries.

Go deeper: Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is opening a restaurant and test kitchen in Charlotte

Soul Gastrolounge

Popular Charlotte restaurant will open inside The Pass, a mixed-use development near the Independent Picture House, Charlotte Art League and Blackbox Theater.

Opening: Spring 2024

The vibe Soul Gastrolounge closed its popular Plaza Midwood location due to rising rent. The beloved restaurant is known for its pork belly tacos, which come topped with watermelon.

Go deeper: Beloved Soul Gastrolounge will open in new location near NoDa

Soul Gastrolounge Plaza Midwood
Photo: Axios archives

Leluia Hall

Restaurateurs Jeff Tonidandel and Jamie Brown will turn the former Bonterra spot in Dilworth into a surf-and-turf restaurant. 

Opening: Second quarter of 2024. The restaurant's opening is dependent on the Leeper Wyatt building moving to its new home on Cleveland Avenue.

The vibe: Expect family-style, shareable dishes, a raw bar program and prime cuts of steak. Dishes will be prepared by Tonidandel and Supperland executive chef Chris Rogienski. The new restaurant will feature a 200-plus bottle wine list and a new cocktail program from mixologist Colleen Hughes.

Go deeper: Leluia Hall replaces Bonterra in Dilworth

Leluia Hall
Leluia Hall. Photo courtesy of Tonidandel-Brown Restaurant Group

Spaghett

The pasta and cocktail house by owner Sam Hart will open in the former Poplar Tapas & Wine spot in Fourth Ward.

Opening: June 2024

The vibe: The two-story restaurant will specialize in traditional Italian dishes and handmade pastas. It fits about 50 to 60 people across its main dining room, private dining room, outdoor patio and upstairs bar.

Go deeper: Scoop: Chef Sam Hart of Counter- opening Italian restaurant and speakeasy in Uptown

Spaghett Morrison House
From left to right: General Manager Kristoph Marczinkowski, Partner Executive Chef Sam Hart and Partner Audra Harman. Photo: Courtesy of Sam Hart

Tyber Creek

A Charlotte institution moving in the former 1501 S. Mint space.

Opening: Early summer

The vibe: Expect the iconic features from the original Tyber Creek, from the old upstairs chandelier to the black and white photos.

Go deeper: Scoop: Tyber Creek is moving to Mint Street

The Writer's Room

A bar that highlights and celebrates local artists of all genres

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: Expect a chill atmosphere that caters to good conversation, whether it's for a date or a meeting. It'll offer light bites like charcuterie. Its drink menu will have a selection of wines, local beers, and classic cocktails with local spirits.

Go deeper: The Writer's Room bar will open in the former Protagonist spot in NoDa

Zepeddi's

Zepeddie's Pizzeria is opening in LoSo this spring after being closed for nearly three decades.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: The 2,000-square-foot restaurant will have NY-style pizza, calzones, stromboli and subs.

Spanish Tapas food stall by the owner of Customshop

The nameless food stall will be located where Velvet Taco used to be at Optimist Hall.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: Expect a menu with classic yet modern Spanish tapas, a variety of bocadillos, croquetas, tortilla española, and patatas bravas and desserts like flan. It'll be located between Village Juice and Boxcar Betty's.

Frenchy’s Sip and Shop

A new bottle shop and tasting room in South End with more than 700 wine and beer selections to choose from.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: Expect wine from six different continents, all from small-batch producers. The 3,000-square-foot space will seat about 90 people. They'll also offer several hundred craft beers from local and national breweries. Plus, there will be pre-packaged snacks and grab-and-go charcuterie.

Go deeper: New bottle shop opening in South End with 700+ wine and beer selections

Sweetgreen

The fast-casual salad chain with a devout following will open its first North Carolina location in Uptown.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: The 2,900-square-foot Sweetgreen will be at 101 North Tryon St. in the same building at Trade and Tryon where Monarch Market is. 

Go deeper: Sweetgreen will open its first N.C. location in Uptown Charlotte 

Tipsy Pickle

A new pickleball spot from the co-owner of Protagonist and Hopp will open in Camp North End.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: The 35,000-square-foot facility will include six pickleball courts (four indoor and two outdoor), three bars and a Tex-Mex menu. It will also have golf simulators, ping pong, pool tables, shuffleboard, corn hole and darts.

Go deeper: Tipsy Pickle to open at Camp North End in 2024

Albertine

A fine dining restaurant backed by Joe and Katy Kindred, the husband and wife duo behind the beloved Kindred restaurant in Davidson, will open in Uptown.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: It'll serve contemporary Mediterranean cuisine in the new, 40-story Duke Energy Plaza on South Tryon.

Go deeper: Kindred team to open two restaurants in Uptown Charlotte

Borderline Bar & Billiards

A new bar from one of the owners of The Degenerate will open inside The Pass in NoDa.

Opening: 2024

The vibe: It will have a 1,800-square-foot patio and 4,000-square-foot interior space with regulation-size pool tables, darts, cornhole and a fire pit.

Go deeper: New renderings: NoDa-area development adds a billiards bar and event venue to its lineup

Saucy Brew Works

The Cleveland-based brewery and pizza restaurant will open at 501 E. Morehead St., across from the Dowd YMCA in Dilworth. 

Opening: 2024

The vibe: The two-story brewpub will have an enclosed penthouse space, plus a nearly 10,000-square-foot rooftop deck. There will be at least 20 beers on tap, plus coffee and a full food menu centered on Saucy’s New Haven-style pizzas (thin-crust, coal-fired).

Go deeper: Ohio’s Saucy Brew Works to expand in Charlotte with a huge brewpub and Airbnb

Saucy Brew Works in Shaker Heights, just outside of Cleveland

ESO Artisanal Pasta

A new Italian food stall is coming to Optimist Hall.

Opening: Late 2024

The vibe: Expect pasta dishes and sides like fried risotto balls, Italian meatballs and Sicilian fried chicken.

Go deeper: From "Chopped" to Optimist Hall

PASUTA at Urban District Market

An Asian fusion/pasta restaurant inside the new food hall next to Seoul Food Meat Co. location along the Cross Charlotte Trail.

Opening: 2024

The vibe: Six of the 13 tenants opened in April 2023 followed by a coffee stand called & Coffee and a Japanese-inspired bodega called SUPER, which opened in August 2023.

  • An udon-based food stall called KaUdon opened in late November.

Go deeper: Urban District Market, Charlotte's newest food hall

inside food hall
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Slutty Vegan

Plant-based burgers from Atlanta’s popular Slutty Vegan restaurant are making their way to Charlotte.

Opening: TBD

The vibe: The new location will feature most of the burger and dessert options as the Atlanta restaurant. The dish names are as creative as the recipes, like “The One Night Stand,” a plant-based patty with vegan bacon that is covered in “slut sauce” atop a Hawaiian bun.

Go deeper: Atlanta’s popular “Slutty Vegan” burger joint to open in Charlotte

Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Wheatley/ Axios Atlanta
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found

Charlottepostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more