The 15 most anticipated new restaurants opening in Charlotte by the end of 2016

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Babalu

Concept: Tacos and tapas. Site.

Location: East Boulevard next to Mayobird and across the street from JJ’s Red Hots.

Food: Think Soul, but with tacos and Tex-Mex.

Beverages: Margaritas, cocktails and beer.

Other: Solid patio facing East Boulevard. Excellent guacamole.

Timing: Late July.

Full Agenda Story: Details on BABALU from owners Bill Latham and Al Roberts (19 photos)

babalu-charlotte


Bon Chon

Concept: Korean fried chicken. Site.

Location: Myers Park. ParkTowne Village underneath Libretto’s and across the street from Park Road Shopping Center.

Food: Their Korean fried chicken is different. Prices start at $10.95 for 10 pieces and you’ll have the option of wings, drums, sticks or a combo. Korean style uses unseasoned chicken just barely covered in fine flour and dipped into a thin batter. After 10 minutes in 350-degree oil, it’s strained and cooled for two minutes to keep the skin from browning and to get rid of the crumbs. When it’s cooled, it’s put back in for another 10 until the chicken is smooth and golden brown with no fat left over.

Other: Cult-like following, so must be tasty. They have about 200 restaurants worldwide.

Timing: July

Agenda Full Story: 4 reasons Bonchon might actually succeed in the worst Charlotte restaurant location

Chicken via Bonchon.com

Chicken via Bonchon.com


Burtons Grill & Bar

Concept: Polished casual dining. American food. Best comparison is BrickTop’s or Rooster’s. Site.

Location: Myers Park. Park Road Shopping Center where the Monkey Joe’s used to be located.

Food (examples): Appetizers – Sesame Crusted Tuna ($14.95) to Buffalo Chicken Dip ($12.95) to Philly Spring Rolls ($12.95). Sandwiches – Classic Cheese Burger ($13.95) to Fish Tacos ($13.95) to Griddled Club ($12.95). Salads: Mediterranean ($9.95) to Roasted Beet ($10.95) to Cobb ($10.95). Entrees – Crab Cakes ($25.95) to Mediterranean Chicken Risotto $19.95) to Filet Mignon ($35.95) to Pork Tenderloin ($20.95).

Beverages: Beer and cocktail program.

Timing: September/October.

burtons-grill-and-bar-charlotte


Coaltranes

Concept: Rotisserie style chicken and other international flavors. Site.

Location: Ground floor of Epicentre. Replacing IOS Greek Kitchen.

Food: Pulled chicken, Churipan, roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and stuffed avocado.

Beverages: Beer to pair with the meats.

Other: The folks behind this REALLY know their food – it’s the same guys behind such great places as Flight, Pint Central and Libretto’s.

Timing: July

Full Agenda Story: Coaltrane’s is opening soon at the EpiCentre. Here’s a preview of the char-grilled menu

Coaltrane's


Golden Cow Creamery

Concept: Hand crafted, small batch ice cream shop. Site.

Location: South End. Corner of Church and Summit.

Timing: July.

Full Agenda Story: Golden Cow Creamery is looking for help to buy milk and sugar for opening weekend

golden-cow-ice-cream-charlotte-opening

via Facebook


Fern

Concept: Vegetarian spot. Site.

Location: Dilworth. Twin Oaks Shopping Center. Across East Blvd from Outback Steakhouse.

Food: Fern specializes in hearty plant-based food featuring local produce where possible. They’re open for lunch and dinner but brunch is especially popular thanks to the wildly popular chicken-fried tofu and waffles, biscuits and gravy and the cast iron-baked cinnamon rolls with orange and vanilla bean glaze.

Timing: Fall

Other: The new Fern in Dilworth (it’s moving from Plaza Midwood) will add a much larger patio, bar and a chef’s station overlooking an open kitchen.

Full Agenda Story: Fern is moving out of Plaza Midwood

photo via Instagram

photo via Instagram


Ink n Ivy

Concept: Casual restaurant and cocktail bar. Site.

Location: Packard Place (3rd and Church streets).

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Raw bar. Classic American with some surprises.

Beverages: Fancy, but not too fancy, cocktails.

Other: GIANT patio that will take Third Ward by storm.

Timing: Fall

Full Agenda Story: Ink ‘n Ivy at Packard Place will bring a world class patio to Third Ward

park-from-ink-n-ivy-patio


Essex

Concept: Craft cocktail bar and gastropub. Site.

Location: Trade and Tryon

Food: International.

Beverages: A wide range of cocktails, all incredibly approachable. Will help usher in this new wave of cocktail focused bars (See: The Punch Room, 204 North, The Cellar, The Cotton Room).

Other: Patio right on the Square.

Timing: July

Full Agenda Story: The lowdown on the cocktails at Trade and Tryon’s first restaurant in decades

Essex-Main-dining

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Bryant Interior Design Group


Loft & Cellar

Concept: “Three Floors to Explore” tasting room, speakeasy, restaurant. Tapas and Argentine steakhouse style restaurant from Nicolas Daniels (previously at The Wooden Vine). The Loft will have a Louisiana speakeasy feel. The Cellar will have a chef’s tasting table for private dinners and tastings. Site.

Location: Uptown. 4th and Poplar streets.

Beverages: Prohibition style cocktails

Other: BUTTER BEER ON TAP. Speakeasy will host live jazz, blues, funk and more

Timing: September or October.

loft-and-cellar-charlotte-restaurant


O-Ku

Concept: Sushi. Site.

Location: South End. Atherton Mill.

Other: O-Ku is a sushi restaurant out of Charleston (they’ve already expanded to Atlanta) and is one of the highest rated and coolest restaurants in Charleston (and that is saying a lot).

Timing: August

Full Agenda Story: O-Ku is coming. Sushi lovers, get ready.

o-ku-bento-box

Photo via Facebook


Potbelly

Concept: Sandwiches and salads. Site.

Location: Uptown. Taking the spot of Salsarita’s on Tryon.

Timing: Fall

Agenda Full Story: Victory – Uptown lands Charlotte’s first Potbelly Sandwich Shop

potbelly-flat

Photo via Facebook


Two Scoops Creamery

Concept: Homemade Ice Cream. Site.

Location: Plaza Midwood. Across the street from White Rabbit at 913 Central Avenue.

Ice Cream: 32-36 staple flavors as well as rotating seasonal flavors. Two Scoops plans to grow to offer 60 flavors. The flavors will have fun, quirky names all working to create a playful aesthetic. You can expect coffee flavors like almond coffee and mocha varieties. And one seasonal flavor to get excited for? Smack-your-mama-pumpkin-pie.

Other: Two Scoops will have a front patio with games like corn hole as well as outdoor seating. The interior of the shop is going to be artsy — custom artwork and cool logos will cover the walls.

Timing: July

Full Agenda Story: Two Scoops Creamery, a homemade ice cream shop, is coming to Plaza Midwood

photo via Two Scoops Creamery

photo via Two Scoops Creamery


Urban Cookhouse

Concept: I’d compare it to Earl’s Grocery. You order at the counter, they bring it out. Fresh local ingredients. Meat is cooked on Big Green Eggs, which is pretty cool. The concept is described using language like “Southern with a twist” and “New local Americana comfort food.” Site

Location: Myers Park. Park Road Shopping Center where the old Monkey Joe’s used to be located (shares a wall with Burtons Grill, which is also on this list).

Food: Popular dishes include: Chicken salad — “housemade chicken salad served on wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes,” BALT — “Applewood bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes with aioli on toasted white bread,” and chipotle braised pork with”housemade pickles and aioli on two warm yeast rolls.” 

Beverages: Beer and wine.

Other: Most dishes are under $10. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C. Huge catering business as well.

Timing: September/October.

Full Agenda Story: Here’s what to expect from the 2 new restaurants replacing Monkey Joe’s at Park Road Shopping Center

urban-cookhouse-opening-charlotte


Viva Chicken Park Road

Concept: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken. Site.

Location: Park Road. Across the street from Montford.

Food: You’ve been to their other location in Elizabeth.

Other: A Jimmy John’s is going next door.

Timing: September.

Full Agenda Story: Viva Chicken opening new location on corner of Montford and Park

viva-chicken-menu-items


Midwood Smokehouse

Concept: BBQ. Site.

Location: Back corner of the Backlot at Park Road Shopping Center.

Food: You’ve been to their other location in Plaza Midwood or Ballantyne.

Timing: December.

Full Agenda Story: The Backlot is becoming Park Road Shopping Center’s entertainment district

midwood-park-road-shopping-center

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).