Uptown hasn’t seen many new places lately. It has been a bit stagnant and a bit of a tease knowing how many things are coming soon but are not here yet. Well I have good news — a whole batch of new bars and restaurants are opening in April and May.
The most exciting thing about this list is just how different and how unique each place is. Every venue has its own identity, its own vibe and each is filling a gap in Uptown nightlife and eating.
Note: I am not listing specific dates because timelines change and delays are almost inevitable. But as it stands, the following places will be open by the time we are posting “it’s gonna be May” memes and/or June comes knocking.
Where is it: Old Republic space @ College & 6th
What is it: Beer hall (80 taps) with live music.
Vibe: Imagine taking OMB’s patio, putting it inside a 10,000-square-foot shell and adding back some outdoor space.
Why it matters: Nothing like this exists Uptown. So surprising to me given that we are such a beer focused city. Right now it’s a bit hard to find a place Uptown to go out, have a beer and chill, yet still be in a social/party atmosphere. This will change that. Also: No cover.
Where is it: Built into the Omni hotel @ Trade and Tryon
What is it: Bar and bistro. Upscale eats, quality cocktails.
Vibe: Surprisingly funky and creative interiors. Upscale but not stuffy.
Why it matters: Presence to the Square. Right now the most important and heavily trafficked intersection in Uptown is nothing more than a glorified street crossing. Our main intersection has no bars, no restaurants, no activity other than walking. This will change that. Huge.
Where is it: Between RiRa and Prohibiton’s stairs at 5th and Tryon
What is it: Good, family-style eats. Craft cocktails, good beer.
Vibe: Relaxed. Approachable. Come to party, come to chill, all are welcome.
Why it matters: It helps to further mature and improve the nightlife and restaurant scene Uptown, specifically, the 5th Street bar collection. I am impressed with the cocktails I’ve seen and I have been assured the menu will have a little something for everyone. Also, 204 North will really improve the streetscape and its décor is impressive.
The Cotton Room
Where is it: Above Belfast Mill in Brevard Court
What is it: Speakeasy
Vibe: Cocktail focused bar but maintaining the laid back nature of all the Brevard Court bars.
Why it matters: Uptown is heavily lacking in cocktail bars and lacking even more when it comes to out of the ordinary bars. This will change that.
Red Eye Diner
Where is it: Next to Mortimer’s in the EpiCentre
What is it: Diner. ‘Nuff said.
Vibe: Old school diner. Midnight Diner’s people are opening this. Same idea.
Why it matters: 24 hours in Uptown! For as long as I’ve lived here (and really forever) Charlotte has been a ghost town outside of business hours (bars being the exception). There really has never been anything open 24 hours. Red Eye is changing the game and giving uptown dining options at all hours of the day. Really hoping this sets a positive trend and others (looking at you Amelie’s) follow suit.
Where is it: Next to The Mint apartments at Trade and Graham
What is it: Irish pub
Vibe: Pub feel. Quality Irish food, Irish cocktails and Irish beer.
Why it matters: Helping to spread out nightlife, Murphy’s will bring a much needed neighborhood bar to the edge of Third and Fourth Ward. This place will have a cozy and authentic feel and has already greatly improved the corner (no more stupid Celebs plastic fence and I love the Murphy’s signs on the building).
Not Just Coffee
Where is it: Inside Packard Place at 3rd and Church
What is it: The best coffee in town
Vibe: Coffee shop
Why it matters: Any new Not Just Coffee location is a win in my book, but add to that it’s going in the fastest growing area in Uptown. Can’t wait to grab a coffee here and go sit in the park (no offense Rush, you’re good too).
Golden Cow Creamery
Where is it: The District Flats apartment complex at Church/Mint and Summit
What is it: ICE CREAM
Vibe: ICE CREAM PARLOR
Why it matters: Because ice cream! This brings a MUCH needed ice cream shop to South End. Do I need to say more?
Northside Station Italian Restaurant (name TBD)
Where is it: The old Cosmo’s space at College and 6th (may not be open by the end of May, but it is possible)
What is it: Authentic Italian restaurant & wine bar
Vibe: A taste and feel of Italy. Upscale decor and tons of fantastic Italian food.
Why it matters: As much as I love Aria uptown needs a prime, and authentic Italian joint (no, I am not forgetting about Luce). I am really excited about the mezzanine level wine bar as well as it will add a layer of depth to the restaurant.