Chris and Tara Goulet run Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte.
Brittany Little / Birdsong Brewing

Updated Sunday, May 24, 2020 
Gov. Roy Cooper's Phase 2 reopening took effect Friday at 5 p.m., letting North Carolinians sit down for a pint or glass of wine at their favorite restaurants. And at the last minute, state officials decided some breweries, and other distillers can open, too, according new guidance on the governor's website. But it appears you'll still have to wait to visit most bars.  

Community Matters Cafe is on West 1st Street, on the grounds of Charlotte Rescue Mission.
David Boraks / WFAE

Stay-home orders amid the coronavirus outbreak have forced lots of restaurants to redesign their business models.  The challenge was multiplied for a Charlotte restaurant that doubles as a training program for people in recovery from substance abuse.  

Waiters, Restaurants


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all restaurants and bars to close to dine-in patrons starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Kristen Wile, editor and founder of Unpretentious Palate -- which covers Charlotte’s food and drink scene -- says many restaurants have already been hit hard with a decline in business.

diners at Essex Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

Businesses around Charlotte saw sales drop during last week's protests over the shooting death of Keith Scott. But now that a curfew has been lifted and the weekend is approaching, they're hoping for a rebound.

Violence during the first night of protests uptown last Wednesday left some hotels, stores and restaurants, including those around the EpiCentre, with broken windows and other physical damage.

But the week of protests also scared away customers, causing financial damage that most are still recovering from.  

Owners of a restaurant with locations in Concord and Statesville have to pay back wages to employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.   

 U.S. Department of Labor investigators say the owners of Charanda Mexican Grill and Cantina in Concord and Statesville did not pay their servers any wages. They were paid in tips only.

Sports Boost Hotels, Restaurants During New Years Week

Dec 30, 2014
T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer

Take a college bowl game in uptown Charlotte, add a Carolina Panthers playoff game that seemed improbable just a month ago, and bring an NBA superstar to town.

Schedule it all during the week of New Year’s Eve.

The result: Sold-out hotels, fully booked restaurants and brisk sales of Panthers team hats and T-shirts, according to a half-dozen Charlotte hotel, restaurant and shop owners.

Second Helping

The fried green tomato casserole alone would be reason enough to go.

Second Helping opened the doors to its carry-out shop on Central Avenue on Monday. I was going to explain how the program employs formerly incarcerated women who have difficulty finding jobs when they leave prison.

But then I sampled the coconut cake.

I was going to tell you how its parent organization, Changed Choices, helps those who are “Building new lives beyond prison walls.”

jenlrile / flickr

The dog days of summer are upon us so maybe it's time to switch up your routine with a new food find around town. We gather our regular panel of Charlotte food writers and critics to fill us in on the latest and greatest in chowing down and dining out around the Queen City. What's new, what's closing, who has the best outdoor patios, the best summer cocktails, best barbecue and are things looking up for Charlotte eateries as we crawl out of the recession? We'll tackle those topics, the latest food trends and changes at some of the city's favorite eateries and more, all when Charlotte Talks. List of restaurants mentioned on today's show. 

Erin Keever

  Eating out. We do it when we want to meet up with friends, have a particular craving or just don't want to mess up the kitchen. But dining in restaurants is also a community building practice and has evolved over time. Charlotte has a rich and interesting restaurant history and we'll explore it. Restaurant Week is coming up so we'll visit with its creator and also with Molly O'Neill. The nationally known cookbook author and food writer explores the link between food and community and she's back in town for another Place at the Table event. Make a reservation when Charlotte Talks.

Courtesy of Flickr/waferboard

There are only about 100 restaurants in all of Lancaster County, South Carolina. That's not a lot and some  residents say they routinely cross county and state borders to get some breakfast or lunch. It's tied to the state's prohibition on restaurants serving alcohol on Sundays. Next week, residents will vote on whether to allow restaurants serve alcohol on Sundays.

The effort has been led Elissa Boyet. She didn’t know about the prohibition when she moved from Charlotte to Lancaster County in 2008.

Heist Brewery

Today on Charlotte Talks, Mike Collins and our panel of food writers discussed their favorite restaurants around town. We jumped all over from the latest in Charlotte craft beer to ethnic cuisine to new and old favorites. We've got a list of all the restaurants mentioned on the show. We were scribbling feverishly so you didn't have to! You can listen to the restaurant roundup with food writers Helen Schwab, Patricia Childress and Heidi Billotto here

Charlotte Food Critics

Sep 26, 2012

Cooler weather is in the air, restaurant patios are opening all over the city and dining out is as popular as ever. So we’'ve invited Charlotte'’s restaurant writers back to talk to us about the latest news in dining. We’ll talk about new restaurants, developments in the dining scene, menu changes in some of our favorite spots, the continuing trend in local food and where to find it, the burgeoning ethnic food scene and much more. Join us as the restaurant divas dish out all of their savory dining tips.