The Agenda Guide to the Four Wards: First Ward

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Everybody talks about the Wards.

We know they exist, but it feels a lot like nobody’s really sure that, beyond Uptown, they could tell you where they are. In fact, we’ve had readers write in to tell us that they have no idea what we mean when we say, “Try this, this or this in First Ward, Second Ward, Third Ward or Fourth Ward.”

I’m guilty of this. I’ve been here off-and-on since 18 and until recently only knew First Ward because I’ve picnicked in First Ward Park, Third Ward because of where the Agenda HQ sits and the Fourth Ward because of Alexander Michael’s. I still can’t really put my finger on anything that’s in First Ward.

It’s easiest to imagine the intersection of Trade and Tryon as the (0,0) coordinate on a graph and imagine the Wards as the quadrants: First Ward is the upper right hand quadrant, Second Ward the lower right hand quadrant, Third Ward the lower left hand quadrant and Fourth Ward the upper left hand quadrant.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out guides to each of them. First up: First Ward.

First Ward

Anything east of the intersection at Trade and Tryon and within the boundaries of the northwest end of North Tryon and the southwest end of East Trade is considered First Ward.

On a map, it looks like this:

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

Eat

Aria – 100 North Tryon – Upscale Italian grill with fancy dinner options or a more timely, casual three-course lunch option (a salad, pasta entrée and a slice of cheesecake for $8.99).

8 Uptown lunch date spots where you can probably avoid your coworkers (12/15/2015)

Aria Charlotte

@7th Restaurant – 321 North Caldwell – Looking for a flatbread? Check. Hummus? Check. Tuna Nicoise, Fish and Chips or Meat and Potatoes? Check, check and check. This little spot has an eclectic menu with a little bit of everything on it.

barCHOCOLATE – 224 East 7th Street – Run by two best friends, barCHOCOLATE has made an impressive name for itself, with Creative Loafing going so far as to name its products the Best Edible Works of Art in 2014. It’s also been featured in Our State Magazine, Food Network TV Magazine and the Charlotte edition of New York Times’ 36 Hours series. [As of May, the business is on a short hiatus but is hoping to get back in the game sooner rather than later.]

Bar Cocoa – 201 East Trade Street – Despite the fact that it’s in the bottom of the Ritz, Bar Cocoa’s coffee is both better and less expensive than the coffee at Dean and Deluca. Add in the impressive display of sweets and the coziness of the Ritz lounge and you’ve got a winner.

Eating wrong in Uptown, volume III (6/1/2015)

Photo via Bar Cocoa

Photo via Bar Cocoa

BLT Steak – 201 East Trade Street – Also located in the bottom of the Ritz, BLT Steak doesn’t stand for BaconLettuceTomato at all. It means Bistro Laurent Tourondel, which for you means a French steakhouse experience. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served six days a week while Sundays are reserved for brunch. 

Blue Restaurant and Bar – 206 North College Street – Blue takes its inspiration from everything and everywhere Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, Greece and France, just to name a few) and most entrées are gluten free. Martinis are also a staple here.

Bonsai Fusion – 225 East 6th Street / 505 East 6th Street (dinner only) – Their rolls are creative and original – try the Blue Velvet (spicy tuna wrapped in soy paper and topped with escolar) or, if you need something that feels a little more fusion-y, get the Sushi Burrito (spicy tuna, edamame hummus, spring mix, carrots, beets, cilantro, jalapeño, avocado and chipotle honey sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla). All rolls are under $12. 

10 things to do under $10 in Uptown (4/26/2016)

Photo via Bonsai Fusion

Photo via Bonsai Fusion

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza  225 East 6th Street – Exactly what it sounds like. Go after 10 p.m. to get half-off pizza.

Caffe Siena – 230 North College Street – A Mediterranean fusion joint serving everything from Moroccan Lamb Sliders to Carolina Trout that’s “Uptown, not uptight.”

City Smoke – 100 North Tryon Street – Southern comfort food at its finest. Sides to get with your ‘cue include mac n’ cheese, jalapeño cheddar cornbread and cheese grits.

Cloud 9 Confections – 225 East 7th Street – Beautiful wedding cakes, pastries and more to round out your trip to Seventh Street Public Market.

Cloud 9 Confections at 7th Street Market is overflowing with calories today. Yes please. Want it all. via @thetrolleywalk

A photo posted by Charlotte Agenda (@charlotteagenda) on

Connolly’s on Fifth – 115 East 5th Street – One of the only real Irish Pubs in Charlotte, the dim lighting and smell of stale beer make this the “perfect bit of Dublin in the Queen City.”

Don’t let names fool you, there are only a few real Irish Pubs in Charlotte (2/24/2016)

connollys-charlotte

Duckworth’s – 330 North Tryon Street – If you’re looking for casual, stay upstairs for the 150 taps and the iPads on which you learn about them. Head downstairs to The Cellar for a completely different world and experience.

The Cellar at Duckworth’s: All craft everything (7/16/2015)

The Cellar: The best bar in Charlotte to actually have a conversation (9/1/2015)

Here’s how to experience The Cellar at Duckworth’s (1/14/2016)

great lakes duckworths cellar

Einsten Brothers Bagels – 320 East 9th Street – Stop by for an impressive array of freshly baked bagels, made in-house, and cream cheese.

Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub  210 East Trade Street – An American sports bar (it’s a great way to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers), but with an Irish twist.

Hazelnuts Creperie – 224 East 7th Street – Breakfast, lunch and dessert crepes served seven days a week in Seventh Street Public Market.

How to spend 90 minutes at 7th Street Public Market like a pro (4/29/2015)

Jewell Treats – 214 North Tryon Street – Gourmet cupcakes and pastries.

Local Loaf – 224 East 7th Street – High-quality sandwiches and breakfasts served on and with artisanal breads.

Behind the Kitchen: A conversation with Adam Spears from Local Loaf (5/11/2015)

The definitive list of the 4 Best Sandwiches in Uptown (8/3/2015)

4 underrated grab-and-go breakfast options for Charlotteans that love breakfast food (10/5/2015)

5 local bakeries and the bread they bake daily (11/30/2015)

BLT-local-Loaf-Charlotte

Luce Restaurant and Bar – 214 North Tryon Street – Upscale Italian. Entrées range from $12.95 to $17.95.

Malabar – 214 North Tryon Street – Upscale Spanish-style dishes from the same people that brought you Luce. Get the express lunch (two entrées, soup or salad) for $12.95.

Mert’s Heart and Soul – 214 North Tryon Street – A Southern, soul food-filled spot that’s run by a husband and wife and has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Get there early – no reservations, and tables fill up fast.

As Seen on TV: 30 Charlotte restaurants featured on food shows (8/25/2015)

Orrman’s Cheese Shop – 224 East 7th Street – Charlotte’s first cut-to-order cheesemonger. They source from small batch producers and feature a large selection of local artisanal products. They know their stuff. Order the Smoked Mozzarella + Prosciutto Sandwich ($8.50).

Pita Pit – 214 North Tryon Street – Made-to-order sandwiches stuffed into a pita pocket.

Pure Pizza – 224 East 7th Street – Pizza you won’t feel guilty about. Ingredients and toppings are all locally and/or organically grown and farm fresh.

Queen City Q – 225 East 6th Street – Eastern and Western North Carolina-style barbecue meet in the middle and add in a bit of South Carolina’s style to make for a unique taste.

The best tailgate packages in Charlotte, ranked (11/6/2015)

hornets-queen-city-Q

Rí Rá Irish Pub – 208 North Tryon Street – Irish-American Pub serving craft beers, cocktails and food along with a dance floor after dark. Also a great spot to watch sports.

Rock Bottom – 401 North Tryon Street – Charlotte’s oldest brewery also offers an impressive menu of street food, steaks, burgers and seafood.

Rooster’s Uptown – 150 North College Street – A unique combination of French, Spanish and Italian-style food made on a wood-fire grill.

Sea Level – 129 East 5th Street – A farm-to-fork restaurant that focuses on seafood. You know the executive chef from Stagioni, Customshop and Passion8. He knows what he’s doing.

Sea Level brings fresh seafood to Uptown – scope out the menu highlights (2/4/2016)

Sea-Level-mussels

Soho Bistro – 214 North Tryon – The necessary staple in every diet that is take-out Chinese.

Something Classic Café – 220 North Tryon Street – Boutique sandwiches, gourmet TV dinners and hand-crafted desserts set this café apart.

4 answers to this question: “I’m visiting Charlotte, what should I do there?” (1/5/2016)

Taste – 100 North Tryon Street – Gourmet breakfast and lunch. Order the dessert – the pastry chefs are Johnson & Wales students.

Drink

Assorted Table Wine Shoppe – 224 East 7th Street – Your go-to for wines, craft beers, sake and bitters along with gift baskets and oils. Anything and everything.

How to spend 90 minutes at 7th Street Public Market like a pro (4/29/2015)

Caribou Coffee – 100 North Tryon Street – Coffee and pastries to get your morning going in Founders Hall.

Charlotte Tea & Spice Co. – 224 East 7th Street – Clint Medlock spent time collecting teas and spices, and when his wife asked what he was going to do with it all, he brought it to Seventh Street Market for the public. Come here if you’re looking for unique tea flavors and spices.

Kanvas – 525 East 6th Street – A unique combination of small plates and tapas in an art gallery setting.

Not Just Coffee – 224 East 7th Street – The place to get your coffee at Seventh Street Public Market. Espresso, pour over coffee and teas available.

Charlotte brews more than beer: A conversation about our city’s coffee evolution (7/27/2015)

Your guide to Uptown’s non-Starbucks local coffee options (12/3/2015)

Top 10 Charlotte coffee shops to work from, ranked (2/22/2016)

not-just-coffee-nitro

Port City Java – 214 North Tryon Street – House-roasted organic coffee, breakfast and snacks in Hearst Tower.

Rock Bottom – 401 North Tryon Street – Charlotte’s oldest brewery also offers an impressive menu of street food, steaks, burgers and seafood.

Tank’s Tap – 224 East 7th Street – Small beer bar in 7th Street Public Market with a focus on Charlotte’s local beers. Growlers are available and with a counter pressure filler, they’ll stay fresh for up to six weeks.

1st Ward Beverage – 820 East 7th Street – 10 rotating drafts, 100+ beer options and food from local businesses like Something Classic and Pasta and Provisions.

Shop

Bank of America Store and Heritage Center – 100 North Tryon Street – Essentially Bank of America’s gift shop. Think Bank of America sweatshirts, mugs and pencils.

Blis Gift Boutique – 100 North Tryon Street – A gift shop with an Uptown feel run by a mother-daughter duo since 2004.

Blossom Shop – 100 North Tryon Street – Charlotte’s go-to florist since 1929.

Eden Flowers – 224 East 7th Street – Flower and gift shop that makes bouquets for everything from quinciñeras to corporate events.

Gateway Newsstand – 100 North Tryon Street – A source of local, national and international news – along with snacks to get you through that 2:30 hump – in the bottom of Founders Hall.

Greeneman Farms – 224 East 7th Street – Top-notch produce, processed food items and nursery products locally sourced and grown.

ivy & leo – 100 North Tryon Street – Boutique clothing shop specializing in women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Jos. A. Bank – 100 North Tryon Street – Source for fine menswear, specializing in suits, dress shirts and pants. Excellent sales.

Julie’s Too – 100 North Tryon Street – Sister store to ivy & leo, specializing in women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Small Keys – 224 East 7th Street – Eco-friendly, organic and fair-trade bath and beauty products. No products contain perfume, phthalates, parabens, toxic chemicals or artificial dyes or colors and come in green packaging.

The Drapery Niche – 530 East 9th Street – Windows dressings and installation.

Activities

B-cycle – Find stations on East 9th Street and East 7th Street.

Here’s how to use the B-Cycle bike share program (8/12/2015)

B-Cycle is growing quickly. Look at the numbers (8/28/2015)

B-Cycles are sorely underutilized, so here are some routes to explore this spring (3/18/2016)

Charlotte B-cycle

Body Sculpting and Performance – 610 East 7th Street – Personal training and bootcamp at the Carol Hoefner Center.

ImaginON – 300 East 7th Street – A combination library and theater that helps bring stories to life for children and teenagers that includes multi-use classrooms, a multi-media production space and interactive exhibits.

Levine Museum of the New South – 200 East 7th Street – History museum focusing on life in Charlotte and the surrounding areas and how it was affected after the Civil War.

Outdoor Space

First Ward Park – 301 East 7th Street – A 4-acre park that makes First Ward the “Garden District,” complete with an interactive fountain and an outdoor dining area.

Events

Music Box Lunch – Enjoy your lunch with a side of free, live music at First Ward Park on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. through September 6th.

Sip ‘n Shop – 224 East 7th Street – When holidays roll around, Seventh Street Public Market hosts Sip ‘n Shop, which showcases a variety of different vendors and alcoholic beverages to sip on while you shop. Dates vary.

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Kylie Moore
Writer doubling as a travel, wine, and Oxford Comma enthusiast.