Feb 23, 2024 - Food and Drink

See the progress of The Bowl at Ballantyne

Under construction brewery

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is The Bowl's anchor tenant. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Those who live and work in and around Ballantyne won't have to drive far for a taste of a few Charlotte institutions when The Bowl, a town center-like destination, opens later this year. 

Driving the news: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will start pouring beers at its second location this spring at Northwood Investors' new mixed-use development. This will be Ballantyne's first brewery.

  • The two-story brewery and 1-acre beer garden will host OMB's popular events, such as Mecktoberfest and the Christmas Market.

Why it matters: Ballantyne, a 20-minute drive south of Uptown, is known for sprawling office parks and manicured lawns. The Bowl is bound to make the golf course community feel hipper with tenants like OMB and Flower Child.

Apartment construction
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

The latest: Construction is nearing completion at The Bowl, a brick main street with places to eat, drink and gather.

  • Also on the site is a 356-unit apartment building that will be move-in ready by October 2025. Wrap-around units will be ready this October. At 26 stories, it's the tallest tower in south Charlotte, says Christina Thigpen, Northwood Office's SVP of marketing.
  • Cars are now streaming through two streets that opened on either side of The Bowl: Upper and Lower avenues.

The big picture: The Bowl is part of a broader plan to overhaul 535 acres Northwood Investors purchased in 2017 for $1.2 billion. The grand vision, called "Ballantyne Reimagined," will transform the office park and golf course into a mixed-use destination with a park.

  • There are 4.5 million square feet of office space on the campus and four hotels, including The Ballantyne, which recently got the nod of luxury from Forbes.
  • Greenway connects through the property. Northwood has designated three spots for future light rail stops if the Blue Line is ever extended.
The Bowl main street and empty storfronts
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Details: Once OMB opens, a lineup of other tenants will follow in 2024:

  • One of Charlotte's most well-known restaurateurs, Jim Noble, is opening two of his restaurants — Bossy Beulah's Chicken Shack and Rooster's Wood-Fired Kitchen — in the summer.
  • The owners of HEX Coffee Roasters are introducing a new coffee spot called Fly Kid Fly. The name is a testament to the Wright Brothers.
  • James Beard-nominated chef Sam Fox is bringing North Italia and Flower Child to the area.
  • Also: Harriet's Hamburgers, Honeysuckle Gelato, Drybar, Arrow Haircuts and [solidcore] are locked in.
  • The Bowl, with its 70,000 square feet of retail already 80% occupied, will be a mix of new concepts and local favorites, Thigpen says.

💭 My thought bubble: The Bowl reminds me of the smaller version of Birkdale Village focused on food.

  • Bowl Street can shut down to just foot traffic for festivals. Northwood can host gatherings on the event lawn.
  • Northwood also began the city's process to seek social district status, like Birkdale. A social district is a place where people can legally carry alcoholic drinks in the streets. Although Northwood filled out the city's interest form, Thigpen says there's no rush to establish it.

The intrigue: The Bowl was built on top of a golf course slop – hence the name. It's also a reference to the culinary scene.

Of note: The Amp, which opened in September 2023, is part of The Bowl. Northwood independently manages the 5,000-person music venue.

The Amphitheater
The Amp. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
The Bowl main street
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
The Bowl under-construction main street and empty buildings
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
under construction storefront
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
Brewery and tower under construction
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
Road
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios
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