Sandwich and $5 wine glass lovers rejoice, Roots Cafe opens on Wednesday in South End

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After a successful soft opening this past weekend, Roots Cafe officially opens its doors Wednesday in the South End space formerly occupied by Cluck N Cup.

Hours will be 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday.

“It’s simple, we want to open a place where we’d love to hang out and eat,” 31-year-old Roots owner Craig Barbour explained. His goal is to become a go-to neighborhood market that you can frequent daily.

I went with my 2-year-old son on Saturday for their soft opening. The Roots Cafe space reminds me of littleSpoon’s interiors, with Earl’s Grocery functionality and the attention to detail of Not Just Coffee.

Actually, if I was to compare it to one spot, I’d say it’s like a miniature Craft Growler Shop (one of my favorite spaces in Charlotte), but with a focus on food instead of beer.

The 5-seat bar is gorgeous. On draft is OMB’s Copper, Legion’s Juicy Jay, Lenny Boy’s Life in the South, Gibb’s Hundred Chanson De Boheme and Triple C’s Smoked Amber ($5.50). Root’s Cafe also offers affordable wine options with by the glass prices from $5 – $13 and bottle prices from $16 – $42. Huge props to Roots Cafe for offering three wine options at a $5 glass and $16 bottle price point.


In addition to this good looking bar, I also loved the high top table for a large group. Root’s exact address is 2135 South End Dr. Suite 109 Charlotte, NC 28203.

Roots Cafe will be open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There’ll be an extended breakfast/brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays and expect more and more grab-and-go options.


Since I just got done with a riveting Top 12 BECs in Charlotte story, I, of course, had to order Root’s BEC – buttermilk biscuit, bacon, scrambled egg, melted cheddar, heirloom tomato and local lettuce ($8).

Sandwiches include:

  • Hot Pastrami, Half Sour Pickles, House Mustard, Soft Rye $9.25
  • Sliced Roasted Turkey, Cucumber, Pickled Red Onion, Goat Cheese, Croissant $9.00
  • BLTA – Benton’s Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Black Pepper Aioli, French Pullman $8.00
  • Thick Sliced Ham, Brie, Melted Onion, Dijon, Orange, Honey, Brioche $10.00
  • Veggie –  Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Sprouts, Cucumber, Sweet Curry Aioli, Brioche $8.00
  • Chicken Salad – Free Range Chicken, Herb Aioli, Onion, Celery, Fennel, Walnut, French Pullman $8.00

Bowls include (add pulled roasted chicken to any bowl $3):

  • Fatush – Kale, Tomato, Radish, Crispy Naan, Cucumber, Mint, Parsley, Tangy Lemon Dressing
  • Roots – Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Fennel, Arugula, Walnut, Goat Cheese
  • Soba  – Warm Green Curry, Soba Noodles, Snap Peas, Shaved Carrot, Cilantro, Basil, Green Onion
  • Grain – Quinoa, Basmati, Cucumber, Fried Onion, Chick Pea, Greens, Smoked Chili Lime Vinaigrette Pastrami – Shaved Romaine, Benton’s Bacon, Blue Cheese, Red Onion, Dijon, Radish
  • *Sides include: black eyed pea salad, pickled green tomatoes, simple greens and cucumber salad

Weekend Brunch Menu: Spanish Style Tortilla, Pizelle (fancy waffles), BEC (bacon, egg and cheese on a biscuit) and Hash. And yes, they’ve got Mimosas for $4 too.

In addition to the Roots Cafe, the Roots team operates the kitchen in Plaza Midwood’s Legion Brewing and a big catering business (10 – 1,000 person events).


31-year-old Roots owner Craig Barbour (via Roots)


Craig went to school at Johnson and Wales and then went to work for several years at Carmel Country Club and brief stint at Barrington’s. This experience combined with food truck, catering and subcontracted kitchen experience gives him a wide range of restaurant experience by the age of 31.

He’s one to watch. 

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