EAT + DRINK
Charlotte said goodbye to a number of favorite haunts this year: Picnics, potlucks and office lunches won’t be the same without Price’s Chicken Coop, which closed in June after 59 years. Zack’s Hamburgers on South Boulevard also shuttered in June after 46 years in business. Earl’s Grocery in Elizabeth planned to end its seven-year run in July, a year after owners Bonnie Warford and Tricia Maddrey closed its sister restaurant Carpe Diem, a mainstay on Elizabeth Avenue since opening in 1989.
Meanwhile two of Charlotte’s long-running restaurant groups are pushing ahead with expansions. Calle Sol Latin Café opened in Plaza Midwood in the iconic Penguin Drive-In location. It’s the newest concept from Frank Scibelli’s FS Food Group, the team behind Mama Ricotta’s, Little Mama’s, Midwood Smokehouse and Paco’s Tacos & Tequila. Expect traditional Latin comfort-food fare inspired by Cuban and Peruvian neighborhoods in Miami and Tampa, Fla., with rum-centric cocktails. Led by 10-year FS veteran Chef Paul Cruz, menu highlights include ceviches, vaca frita (braised shredded beef with garlic, onions and lime), and Chino-Latino dishes such as chaufa — stir-fried rice with vegetables, ginger, garlic, soy and your choice of protein. Choose from two versions of the Cubano sandwich — the Miami (ham, roasted pork, and Swiss cheese with mustard and pickles) or the Tampa (all of the above, plus Genoa salami and mayo). 1205 Thomas Ave., callesolcafe.com
The Jimmy is the new Myers Park neighborhood hangout from Noble Food & Pursuits, the restaurant group that owns Rooster’s, Noble Smoke, Bossy Beulah’s and Copain Gatherings. The pastaria and pizzeria located in the former Nolen Kitchen spot is led by executive chef Jason Neve and chef de cuisine Vince Giancarlo, previously of Zeppelin. Expect small plates, pastas, pizzas and grilled entrees such as a whole fish with lemon and herbs and a Joyce Farms sirloin for two.2839 Selwyn Ave., thejimmyclt.com
IRO, the second-floor lobby bar at the new Hyatt Centric Hotel, is open at Apex Charlotte in SouthPark, serving craft cocktails and Asian-inspired fare. 3100 Apex Dr. Vaulted Oak Brewing opened in a former bank branch in Oakhurst. 3726 Monroe Rd., vaultedoakbrewing.com
Atlanta’s Bocado Bar + Diner, known for its burgers, opened at Atherton Mill in South End in the spot previously occupied by Big Ben Pub. 2000 South Blvd., Suite 530, thebocado.com
Big Ben reopened in the former Carpe Diem spot in Elizabeth. 1535 Elizabeth Ave., bigbenpub.com
The owners of Goodyear House in NoDa opened Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Rock Hill, S.C. 300 Technology Center Way, Ste. 203, Rock Hill, S.C., oldtownrockhill.com
Unknown Brewing Co. will stop making beer later this summer and will focus exclusively on its craft ginger ale production.
Arhaus moved to a new 10,135-square-foot store at SouthPark Mall. The upscale home-furnishings retailer opened in 2018. arhaus.com
Ruxton Mercantile, a “modern general store” selling home goods, self-care products, clothing and accessories opened in Myers Park/Eastover. 102B Middleton Dr., ruxtonmercantile.com
Featured image: Classic ceviche at Calle Sol. Photo by Remy Thurston