Updated Feb 29, 2024 - Food and Drink

The 28 most anticipated new restaurants and bars in Charlotte

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Babe Cave is a popular female-focused cocktail bar that used to be in west Charlotte and is reopening in LoSo. Photo: Courtesy of Morgan Robinson.

28 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 now as supply chain issues slow 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 March 1, 2024. 

The Accidental Baker

A new bakery opening in the Metropolitan.

Opening: March 15

The vibe: The Accidental Baker will specialize in gluten-free options and sourdough. Its menu will feature seasonal options plus cookies, banana breads, and custom cakes and pies. Most of its menu can be made dairy-free as well.

Babe Cave

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

Opening: Early March

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

What The Fries

The popular loaded fry shop has a new home in Wesley Heights.

Opening: By the end of March 2024

The vibe: It’ll open in City Kitch as a 500-square-foot food stall with counter and booth seating. Expect the staples like shrimp hibachi-loaded fries and crispy chicken sandwiches. It’ll also have a few new dishes.

Go deeper: Scoop: What The Fries to open at City Kitch in Wesley Heights

Rendering: Courtesy of City Kitch

Catalú

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

Opening: April 25, 2024

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

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

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: April 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

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 late April. Hermanita will open a week later. "Our goal is to be fully operational by Cinco de Mayo," owner Andre Lomeli tells Axios.

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, and each space is about 1,400 square feet.

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

The Matador

A new Mexican restaurant chain to open on South Boulevard.

Opening: April 2024

The vibe: The Matodor will be located in a building that once housed the city’s second-oldest fire station and will have more than 3,000 square feet of space with indoor and outdoor seating. Its menu will have nachos, salads, sandwiches, classic burritos, enchiladas, tacos and a twice-daily food happy hour.

Maneki

A traditional Robatayaki food stand at The Alley in Uptown, formerly Latta Arcade.

Opening: Early spring

The vibe: This new restaurant by James Beard-nominated chef Sam Hart (of Counter- and Biblio) will “serve up local meat and seafood grilled in traditional Hokkaido Japanese methods,” per its website.

Zepeddi's

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

Opening: Spring 2024

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

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: Spring 2024

The vibe: The restaurant will have lunch, dinner and some light breakfast options 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 options like agua fresca.

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

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

Lost Worlds Brewing

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

Opening: Spring 2024

The vibe: The 4,000-square-foot taproom will be adorned with archeological artifacts. They'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

Cajun Market

A fast-casual Cajun-Creole restaurant coming to Uptown.

Opening: Spring 2024

The vibe: The restaurant will have its first location in San Diego soon, per CBRE. Charlotte will be its second. It'll be in the 1,270 square-foot space on the first floor, where Grabbagreen once was.

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks

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

Opening: Spring 2024

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

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

Chief’s

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

Opening: Spring 2024

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

Chief's
Photo: Clayton Sealey

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: First quarter of 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

Urban District Market
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

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

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 cult-like 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

Super Icy Brothers

A sweet treat shop known for its alcohol-infused Italian ice at Carolina Place will come to Uptown.

Opening: Summer 2024

The vibe: The 1,929-square-foot shop will offer vegan ice cream, smoothies and other desserts like rice crispy treats.

Go deeper: EpiCentre scoop: Instagrammable museum, alcoholic dessert shop and other businesses join redevelopment

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

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: 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

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
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