May 10, 2024 - Things to Do

Everything you need to know about Gibson Mill in Concord

gibson mill signage

Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Gibson Mill in Concord is home to a food hall, breweries, an escape room, the largest antique mall in the South, an antique auto showroom, and more.

Why it matters: Thanks to its growing list of tenants, and partly because of construction disrupting downtown Concord, people in the area are calling Gibson Mill the new downtown.

Catch up quick: Gibson Mill was established in 1899 as a plant for the Cannon Mills Company, the Kannapolis-based textile manufacturing company. It thrived for decades until it closed in 2003.

  • One year later, Joe Liles, Tom Cotter and George "Jock" Liles purchased the property together and reopened it for retail, office and warehouse space.
  • Today, the 6256,000-square-foot property at 325 McGill Ave NW is a new cultural center in booming Concord.
three men stand outside
Gibson Mill owners from L to R: Tom Cotter, Jock Liles and Joe Liles. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Planning a trip to Gibson Mill? Here's everything you need to know before you go. Hours of operation vary by business.

The Market

Similar to Charlotte's Optimist Hall, this food hall is home to nine food stalls and restaurants. Tenants include:

  • Cara's Cookie Co. is a locally owned cookie maker benefiting the local nonprofit Cara's Purpose. Jennifer Hamilton, whose baby Cara died of a brain tumor, founded and runs both organizations.
  • Johnny Roger's BBQ is a popular barbecue and burger restaurant.
  • Taco Street is a street taco spot from the team behind the Mexican restaurant Mexicasa in Harrisburg.
  • Churn Buddies is an ice cream shop serving sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, cakes and other treats.
  • Kunu Coffee Co. is a local coffee brand with locations in Huntersville, Denver, Cornelius and Concord.
  • The Market Bar is a cocktail bar led by Cabarrus Brewing's Steve Steinbacher.
  • Barcos Sports & Seafood has a food stall and a hidden restaurant inside the market. Just pass through the arcade when you walk in on the right and you'll find the sports bar on your left.
  • Livy's Neapolitan Pizza serves oven-baked pizza.
  • Mi Isla serves Caribbean cuisine, including mofongo (a Puerto Rican dish with plantains), ceviche and carne frita (fried pork chunks).
  • Thai Esane, which opens later this year, will offer fresh, casual Thai cuisine built from generational recipes.
inside of food hall with multiple food stalls
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
arcade
Through the arcade room, and to the left, you'll find the entrance to Barcos Sports & Seafood. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Breweries

High Branch Brewing, a family-owned craft brewery, is located on the ground floor of The Market, next to Luck Factory Games.

Cabarrus Brewing Co. is the first full-scale craft brewery in Concord and Cabarrus County. They often host events with live music, open mic nights, free movie screenings and food truck Fridays in their taproom and patio with Biergarten.

outside of high branch brewing and luck factory games
High Branch Brewing and Luck Factory Games are located on the ground floor of The Market. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Gianni's Trattoria

This beloved family-owned restaurant recently moved to Gibson Mill after more than 15 years in downtown Concord.

  • The owners of Gibson Mill — Liles and Cotter — approached Gianni's owner John (Gianni) Goode when they heard new development might push him out and offered him a new space.
  • Gianni's new address is 305 McGill Ave. NW in Concord.
outside restaurant with sign that reads "Gianni's Trattoria"
Photo: Courtesy of Gianni's

The Depot Antique Mall

With over 750 booths and 430 vendors, The Depot at Gibson Mill is the largest antique mall in the South — you can spend an entire day here.

  • The 88,000-square-foot mall has five rooms and a Boar's Head Deli for those who get hungry while they shop.
inside an antique mall
We're told production crews for The Hunger Games bought props at The Depot for the movie series, which was partly filmed in North Carolina. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

AutoBarn Classic Cars

AutoBarn sells, stores and details vintage cars. There is also a mechanic who specializes in vintage cars available onsite. AutoBarn's expansive selection of cars is a sight to see while you're in the area.

Stop by: AutoBarn is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

room full of classic cars
AutoBarn also has a club room to rent for special events. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Things to do

The Valcarol Missions Escape Room is an immersive and interactive fun activity for the whole family. Choose a mission and solve puzzles in an allotted amount of time to win.

Iron Axe Society is Concord's first indoor axe-throwing range.

outside of iron axe throwing
Iron Axe is located in the main building of Gibson Mill. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Luck Factory Games, located on the market's ground floor, is a board game café with over 1,000 games for you to play in-house.

  • Entry to the café is $8 per person for unlimited gameplay.

Go deeper: Board game cafe opens in Gibson Mill Market

inside game room with a checkers set up
Luck Factory has craft beers on tap, wine, sodas and food menu to enjoy while you play. Photo: Axios archives

The Paper Theater Studio is a photo, video, and podcast studio designed to accommodate both large-scale productions and aspiring content creators.

Lifeline Charlotte is a local non-profit dedicated to fighting food insecurity both locally and globally. They offer several volunteer opportunities annually.

outside business with sign that reads "lifeline"
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Spend a day in Concord: More than 20 things to eat, drink, see and do

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