We keep up with what’s new and hip around town. Maybe we are parents now, but we’re still cool kids. Actually knowing the comings and goings of Charlotte businesses is part of our job. We truly know the neighborhoods we sell in. Recently, Axios reported on 65 new restaurants, bars, shops and businesses that have opened so far in 2023. We thought this was a good opportunity to highlight just a few of those new places in some of our favorite neighborhoods.
RSVP South End: This is like if Miami nightclubs circa 1990 had a baby with Charlotte’s South End. This is a young, hip and happening night club. Dress up, cocktail up and dance with friends. We like this because it harkens back to a time before the pandemic when people had fun.
Beard Papas: This small Japanese bakery at S. Tryon Street and West Boulevard makes custom cream puffs. It started 24 years ago when a man with a fluffy white beard opened a bakery in Osaka, Japan. His treats became wildly popular very quickly, and his regular customers started calling him Beard Papa. There are now more than 435 Beard Papa bakeries around the world. This is the first one in North Carolina.
Here’s how it works: first you choose a pastry shell (original, chocolate, almond, etc.), then you choose a whipped custard cream filling (vanilla, green tea or chocolate). The result is cream puff perfection. Helpful hint: be sure to grab extra napkins.
South End is a corridor along South Boulevard stretching from Uptown Charlotte to roughly Woodlawn Avenue, but the South End vibe keeps rolling further south. Great, established neighborhoods like Dilworth to the east and Wilmore to the west are great single family home areas to also enjoy all that South Boulevard has to offer.
The Lobby: Located in the Refuge Hotel, this is a really interesting mix of a cocktail lounge and a gift shop is absolutely worth checking out. The Refuge is a tiny hotel that has its own fascinating tale and is worth a visit. It’s so easy to just pop in right on Central Avenue. Just a few steps from The Thirsty Beaver Saloon and amongst a lot of other retail shops, restaurants and bars along and in the nooks of this section of Central Avenue.
There is no shortage of places to live and be walkable to The Lobby and Refuge. The Elizabeth and Sunnyside neighborhoods have condos, 1920s bungalows and you can hop on the trolley on Hawthorne and head uptown.
Open Tap: We know what you may be thinking, ooh, beer, how unique. Well, there IS something a little different about this spot. Open Tap is a family owned business that “doesn’t do mediocre.” Everything from the furniture to the beer is well thought out and carefully curated, yet comfy and easy. They built a really cool carport just for their rotating food trucks.
It’s located in South Charlotte and in the center of some solid family-friendly neighborhoods. One of our favorites is the Carmel neighborhood. Unique businesses are rare amongst the chains around here. We definitely want this business to thrive and think it will be a treasure for the area.
Change Please Cafe: 100% of the proceeds go to training and employing people experiencing homelessness. It’s located in the very intriguing, eclectic and bustling building of 919 Otts Street in the heart of the Belmont neighborhood. Everything is right about this small business, so go get some great coffee.
There is just a thriving creative hive on Otts. We would suggest you get out of your car and do a walkabout in Belmont that begins at Change Please Cafe and maybe ends at Bloom and Bottle, taking a walk on the Sugar Creek Greenway. We just recently wrote about why we love the Belmont Neighborhood.