We obsessively monitor Charlotte restaurants and bars. These are the most exciting openings hitting the scene this season.
Honorable fall mentions:
Best fast food: Skrimp Shack, positioned as the Chick-fil-A of seafood, will open at McMullen Creek Shopping Center. People are losing their minds.
Best brand expansion: Local fast-casual Mediterranean favorite Yafo will open its third location in Dilworth at Kenilworth Commons.
#1: The Crunkleton
Legendary bartender Gary Crunkleton’s flagship craft cocktail bar in Chapel Hill has a cult following and was named one of the Five Best Bourbon Bars in the South by Garden & Gun magazine.
The second location, taking over the old Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find space in Elizabeth, is a big deal for Charlotte’s cocktail scene. But it doesn’t end there. Crunkleton will be introducing a full-service kitchen to the Charlotte operation with a focus on open hearth cooking.
Projected opening: November
Address: 1957 E. 7th Street
Related Agenda story: View renderings: Details emerge on The Crunkleton, opening this fall in Elizabeth
The hip Spanish-inspired wine and tapas bar has locations in places like Denver, Atlanta, Nashville and Boston. The Charlotte location will join runaway hit Superica in South End’s rapidly developing Design Center.
Barcelona is known for its extensive wine program and authentic Spanish food, including jamón ibérico sliced right off the leg and big shareable skillets of paella, one of their most popular dishes.
Projected opening: late fall
Address: Design Center, South End
Related Agenda story: What to expect at Barcelona Wine Bar, a Spanish-inspired tapas bar coming to South End
#3 The Waterman
The casual seafood joint with a rooftop patio is the second concept from the team behind Sea Level in Uptown. It’s located in the Harris Teeter South End shopping center near Holler & Dash.
Don’t expect to find a refined, upscale replica of Sea Level. Waterman will have a more playful, approachable menu with features like oysters, tacos, seafood baskets and “the best fried fish sandwich in Charlotte.”
Opening date: October 1
Address: 2729 South Boulevard
The trendy, fine-casual sushi concept is the latest from the Charleston-based team behind O-Ku Sushi in South End and Oak Steakhouse in SouthPark. It’s located in a high-traffic spot at Bank of America Plaza in Uptown.
You can expect the same quality Japanese cuisine O-Ku is known for but with a more playful menu and casual setting.
Projected opening: late October
Address: 101 S. Tryon Street
Related Agenda story: Fast-casual sushi concept from O-Ku coming to Uptown
#5: Pour Taproom
The self-serve bar with locations in places like Durham, Asheville and Charleston, will open its largest 118-tap location on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. (For reference, that’s about double the size of local self-serve concept Hoppin’ in South End.)
It works like Hoppin’ but rather than a smart wristband, guests will receive cards preloaded for up to 32 ounces in self-serve pours. Scan the card at the tap and pour your own drinks.
Projected opening: September
Address: 1212 Central Avenue