From the editor: July 2024

Features People

July 1, 2024

As I was chatting recently with a couple of restaurant owners for an upcoming story, the conversation turned to the scarcity of bread bakeries in Charlotte. Sure — there are plenty of places to get cookies, cakes, doughnuts, eclairs and macarons (so many macarons).

But there aren’t a lot of places that specialize in bread — rustic, chewy, Old World-style loaves that aren’t loaded with impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. (Shoutout to Verdant, Team Rose and a handful of others for holding up this corner of the market!)

That’s when I mentioned Metropolitan Bakery, Fran Scibelli’s artisan bread shop that was located in the back of Foxcroft East shopping center on Fairview Road, where Brixx is now.  

Blank stares.

Had it really been that long since Metropolitan closed? I went home and Googled it, and yep, the bakery closed in 2004, two decades ago. It was a reminder of how long I’ve lived in Charlotte (since 1997 — I’m practically a native), and how quickly time flies.

The bakery was in its heyday when this magazine’s inaugural issue came out in 1999. It’s fun to flip through the pages of that debut issue, where a “complete guide to SouthPark” included Metropolitan, along with throwbacks like La Bibliotheque, Cino Grille, Scalini and Charley’s, plus ’90s mall staples like Gloria Jean’s Coffee Bar and Atlanta Bread Company.

There was Morrocroft’s at The Park Hotel (now Charlotte Marriott SouthPark), which was arguably the nicest hotel in town. The Rolling Stones, Whoopi Goldberg, and four U.S. presidents stayed there, according to an article in that first issue of SouthPark.

Remarkably, a few places are still going strong, like The Palm, Village Tavern, Harper’s, Arthur’s and Baoding. Other Charlotte favorites have come and gone over the last 25 years.

“I went to the opening of Block & Grinder on Providence Road as a food writer and I still miss that spot’s burger,” says former SouthPark editor Sarah Crosland. “I still crave the butterscotch scones from Pewter Rose, the tuna melt from Pike’s Soda Shop, and, of course, the fried chicken from Price’s. Press Wine/Food in Uptown was my favorite wine bar for years, and I’ll never love a brunch spot as much as I loved the Plaza Midwood French American bistro Lulu Dine|Wine.”

Shares contributing editor Michael J. Solender: “For 20 years, Upstream restaurant in Phillips Place was my go-to place for serious sushi and Pan-Asian dining. From the amazing ‘underwater’ ceiling that made me feel I was just below the surface of the ocean to the best super crunch roll in the city, everything about Upstream was special for me and my wife — we lunched there at least once a month.”

It’s tough for any business to last 25 years. And I’m not sure which industry has faced more challenges lately — hospitality, or media. So I mean it when I say, it’s an honor to carry on the tradition. Thanks for trusting us to tell your stories, and thanks for staying with us. Here’s to the next 25!  SP



1 – Charlotte’s Dennis Reed Jr. and Sainted Trap Choir
2 – Augusto Conte and Chris Thomas
3 – Librarian Sheila Bumgarner
4 – Ceramic artist Jim McDowell at SOCO Gallery


SouthPark Mall giveaway

Win a $500 shopping spree at SouthPark Mall,
a one-night stay at Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark
& a $100 Bulla Gastrobar gift card!

Enter here by July 23!