Blvd: Around town in January

Around town Cuisine Entertainment

December 27, 2023



Now open

  • Nusa, a fast-casual Indonesian restaurant from Prime Fish, opened at the Arboretum in the space previously home to The Charlotte Cafe.
  • Joan’s Bakery and Deli opened at The Metropolitan in Midtown. Named for owner John Dressler’s mom, Joan’s sells baked goods including cake by the slice. It’s also the new home of Meshugannah, the Jewish deli concept by Chef Rob Clement, serving pastrami and corned beef sandwiches and more. Joan’s is open Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • The Ugly cocktail bar opened in NoDa. From Idlewild owner Vince Chirico, The Ugly provides a more casual setting, with classic cocktails and well drinks priced from $10-$12 plus three rotating specials.
  • International fast-fashion retailer Primark opened its first North Carolina store at Concord Mills. 

Comings & goings

  • The Crust Pizza plans to open a second Charlotte location at Promenade on Providence in south Charlotte. Other newcomers to the center include a J.Crew Factory store and Bonnie & Clyde’s, a bar and lounge with a rooftop bar from the team behind Midtown Tavern.
  • Moo & Brew plans to open its long-awaited second location in downtown Matthews this month. Guests can expect plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with a patio and back porch; 32 beers on tap; and the restaurant’s signature Carolina Cup specials on UNC game days.
  • Dilworth Tasting Room will open a third location in Plaza Midwood on Central Avenue in the third quarter of this year.
  • Mano Bella Artisan Foods is opening at the Morrison shopping center in the former Bit by Seoul Food location.
  • Outdoor retailer Orvis will open a 6,000-square-foot store this spring at Strawberry Hill shopping center at Providence and Fairview roads. Smooth Monkey, a smoothie and juice bar with a store in Plaza Midwood, also plans to open at the center.
  • Led by Executive Chef Edmar Simoes, Resident Culture Brewing pivoted to a new barbecue menu at its South End taproom and at the food truck at its Plaza Midwood location. El Toro Bruto has ceased operations at both RC taprooms.
  • Biblio, the wine-focused restaurant from Sam Hart, closed. Hart will open Spaghett, a “craft pasta and cocktail house,” in the former Poplar Tapas location in uptown’s Fourth Ward.
  • Fat Cat Burgers + Bakeshop in Dilworth has closed.
  • Dressing Room Interiors closes its retail store at the end of December but will continue online sales.
A pasta dish from Little Mama's Italian restaurant in the SouthPark neighborhood of Charlotte.

Little Mama’s. Photograph by Remy Thurston

New on the menu

Chef Marc Jacksina is finally putting his stamp on the menu at Little Mama’s. The veteran chef took the helm at the SouthPark hot spot last May. Not wanting to mess with a good thing, Jacksina took his time evaluating the menu, and in December introduced a slate of new dishes, including a Broiled Swordfish served with polenta, pepperonata, pesto and vegetables; a Mama’s Crab Cake appetizer with escarole and fennel-orange salad, pesto, and paprika oil; and Chicken Riggies (fresh rigatoni, chicken, red bell and cherry peppers and mushrooms in a tomato sauce), pictured here. Little Mama’s loyalists, have no fear: Menu staples like the Penne alla Vodka, Chicken and Eggplant Parms, and the Mozzarella Bar aren’t going anywhere. 

Featured image: Photograph Courtesy Dilworth Tasting Room 

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