Three powerful names in Charlotte food and drink are teaming up to launch Eight+Sand Kitchen, a “culinary playground” with an artisanal bakery, specialty cafe, bar and modern eatery. Construction is wrapping up, and the concept will open in August.
“We discovered a shared love for worldly foods, sustainable ingredients, coffee, bread and more,” Arons told the Agenda earlier this year. “We have baker expertise, cafe expertise, multiple chefs and a whole lot of passion. We plan on bringing some new things to the Charlotte food scene.”
Eight and Sand will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours will likely be 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Also expect cocktails on draft, bread for sale as well as other bakery items. Oh, and there’s an apple tree (I should have asked why, but I didn’t).
Arons is especially excited about the vegan and vegetarian dishes that Eight & Sands will offer. “They’re really going to impress people.” And he’s obsessed with sandwiches — particularly the porchetta and pastrami sandwiches that’ll be staples on the Eight & Sand’s menu.
Bread: The foundation of the menu will be built on doughs made with house-milled heirloom grains, locally sourced organic flours and natural leaven. There’s a mill room in the back right of the restaurant where you can watch the bread being made. Arons described himself as a “bread nerd.”
Pizza situation: Get ready for Roman-style pizza al taglio served in a pan by the slice (it’s not as greasy or heavy as Detroit pizza).
Name: Eight+Sands is a bygone saying from historic railroad days and a nod to Charlotte’s light rail. “Train crews would use the term as a well wishes of sorts for a safe and speedy journey,” Arons said. Eight refers to the speed of the train in its eighth gear, and sand was thrown on the tracks to create safe friction.
Location: Eight+Sand Kitchen will be located at 135 New Bern St. right on the light rail. The 3,500-square-foot space has soaring 20-foot ceilings and a clean aesthetic that’ll remind you of Not Just Coffee. It’s on the ground-floor retail in the new Bradham at New Bern Station apartment complex (also wrapping up construction). It’s an easy 100-yard walk from Suffolk Punch and across South Boulevard from The Waterman and Holler and Dash.