6 Highly-Anticipated, Upcoming Summer Openings

6 Highly-Anticipated, Upcoming Summer Openings

Charlotte seems to be a city of constant growth; increasingly expanding with unique restaurants, sweet and savory bakeries, local, craft breweries and most importantly, people with widely varying opinions and tastes. With countless restaurant additions year-round, it can grow challenging trying to keep up with all the newest spots or latest trends.

This summer, a handful of new additions will aim to offer residents both unique experiences and bold flavors. Slated to open this summer, below are a few of the Queen City’s highly-anticipated spots that will guarantee something to offer for everyone:

Blue Blaze Brewing:

Blue Blaze will be the first brewery for Charlotte’s West End/Seversville neighborhood, just minutes from Uptown. Located in the 100 year-old Savona Mill, Blue Blaze is the first resident for this extensive redevelopment project. Nestled in between the Stewart Creek Greenway and Frazier Park, Blue Blaze is the perfect spot to grab a refreshing beer after enjoying the outdoors. The name, Blue Blaze, is also inspired by the Appalachian Trail. A Grand Opening will be held this Saturday (6/25) from 12pm – 10 pm and will offer live music, beer and food trucks. Located at 528 South Turner Ave.


Rai Lay:

After a long and impatient wait, Rai Lay (sister restaurant of Deejai Thai), will finally open this weekend. Rai Lay will offer South End another, yet unique, Thai establishment. Different than most other Thai spots in the area, Rai Lay will attempt to offer Thai street food and dishes not typically found on the menu. Their menu will also provide sushi, other various Asian dishes and healthier options with plentiful flavor. Located at 1520 South Blvd. Ste 130.


Essex Bar & Bistro:

The countdown is on for Uptown’s newest Cocktail Bar (literally). According to their website countdown, they are scheduled to open Monday, June 27th. The gastropub and cocktail bar is located in the center of Uptown, right next to Time Warner Cable Arena. Essex will aim to offer Charlotte a place to go for a simple after-work happy hour, evening cocktails before an arena event, a nice authentic dinner, or even late-night drinks. Their menu will have an international twist, offering food and drinks from around the world. Located at 101 S. Tryon St.


Golden Cow Creamery:

After a few construction delays, Golden Cow Creamery is ‘back on track’ with hopes to open July 4th. The soon-to-be South End establishment will be Charlotte’s first hand-crafted ice cream joint. They aim to create new flavors inspired by both seasonal fare and flavors from around the world, while using only basic, fresh ingredients. According to their website, they have 36 creative ice cream flavors so far, including Ginger Peach, Pineapple Habanero and Chai Tea. Golden Cow Creamery will be located at 1449 South Church Street.


NoCA Uptown:

Scheduled to open in July, NoCA, named after Northern California, will soon provide Uptown Charlotte with a taste of ‘pacific coast cuisine’ and a fun, social atmosphere. NoCA will offer both a casual, lounge area and sports bar for games, as well as a separate fine-dining area for those looking to enjoy a nice dinner. Located at 505 E 6th St.


Babalu Tacos & Tapas:

Many people in the Dilworth community know that anything replacing the old Cantina 1511 location has some big shoes to fill, yet the upcoming Babalu Tacos & Tapas seems to have sparked excitement throughout the city. Although ‘taco’ lies within the name, Babalu will offer more than just Mexican food. The menu will serve chef-inspired tacos and Spanish-style tapas with a southern twist. Yes, they will have table-side guac, but they also will serve shrimp and grits, crab cakes, black bean burgers and braised beef short ribs, to name a few. Babalu will offer a fun and creative environment for the neighborhood, and will be the perfect spot for those looking to enjoy some authentic fare, tasty cocktails and craft beer or even soak up some sun on the patio. Set to open late summer, Babalu will be located at 1511 East Blvd.


What upcoming Charlotte restaurants, breweries or establishments are you most looking forward to opening?

In pursuit of the finest meals, craft beers and culinary experiences that the Queen City has to offer.


  1. Ice cream… Cortney Lee

  2. Thanks for including us! We can’t wait to open!

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