New program brings outdoor entertainment to uptown on weekends

New initiative brings outdoor entertainment to uptown on weekends

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanks to a new initiative, you can get down in uptown like never before. Each weekend, select streets will close to allow for live entertainment, pop-up shops and outdoor dining.

From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, North Tryon Street between 5th and 6th streets will be closed for “Uptown Street Eats.”

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Outdoor seating areas will be set up for folks to enjoy dinner from their favorite uptown restaurant and listen to live music, plus food trucks will be scheduled throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, you can shop local at 7th Street Public Market’s Sidewalk Market, where vendors will be set up along the Rail Trail side of the market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free parking will be available at 7th Street Station as well.

In addition, parking at the Fifth Third Center and the Truist parking deck (formerly Hearst) will be reduced to $1 per vehicle from 5 p.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Sunday.

The initiative is part of Charlotte Center City Partners' plan to bring people back uptown while businesses there try to rebound from COVID-19 closures and restrictions.

“We know this has been a difficult time for our community. Employers, workers, families all face different challenges. From the corner office to the corner coffee shop, the pain is real,” CCCP CEO and president Michael Smith said at a news conference. “We continue to believe that our central business district offers Charlotte the recipe for restoration and economic recovery."

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the city is cautiously beginning to turn a corner.

“So many months of quiet streets, empty restaurants and staying at home, it’s time for us. We are ready to show up for uptown,” Lyles said.

Future plans include outdoor movie nights, art installations and pop-up retail events, including special markets and interactive decor throughout the holiday season.

For more information or to stay up to date on uptown happenings, check out the new website, uptowncharlotte.com.

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In University City, University City Partners is providing money to Armored Cow Brewery to host Street Eats on Fridays there.

Andrew Kalinoski, the co-owner of Armored Cow, said he’s thankful for the support and is taking advantage while he can.

“It’s not as busy as I’d like it to be, and I’m not brewing as much as I typically would be,” he said. “We’re just trying to do everything we can.”

Armored Cow is using its parking lot to accommodate additional socially distanced tables and will host a number of food trucks, including its own.

“I greatly appreciate it. I’m excited about this," Kalinoski said.

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Community Matters Cafe supports employees, community during pandemic

Street Eats in uptown fast facts:

  • Hours are Friday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at 9 p.m.
  • Participating restaurants include 204 North, Sea Level and The Asbury.
  • The block will have picnic tables and special lighting for an inviting experience.
  • Center City Ambassadors will be on hand to answer questions and provide hospitality.
  • Food Trucks are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Street Closure: North Tryon Street between 5th and 6th streets will be closed from Friday at noon until Sunday at 10 p.m.

Programming: Free outdoor programming in and around the closed blocks includes small stages for music and fitness classes.

Street performers will provide free entertainment from:

  • Friday from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Saturday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Sunday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Discounted Parking and Ride Transit: Nearly 4,000 free and $1 parking spaces will be available in uptown from Friday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at 9 p.m. Cars must enter decks after 5 p.m. on Friday and vacate by Sunday at 9 p.m. to qualify for this special flat-rate pricing. The decks are:

  • Seventh Street Station - Free
  • Fifth Third Center - $1
  • Truist (formerly Hearst) parking deck - $1

In addition, public transit is a great option. Check RideTransit.org for schedules.

Charlotte Joy Rides Launch: As part of the program, a new and improved bike share experience called Charlotte Joy Rides has launched, which includes a fleet of 343 e-assist bicycles and 33 docking stations. Charlotte Joy Rides, the next chapter for Charlotte B-cycle, features bikes painted by seven of Charlotte’s best muralists. As part of this re-launch, Charlotte Joy Rides is providing simplified, introductory pricing:

  • Flash Pass: $5 for 30 minutes
  • Joy Pass: $30 all day (no docking required in a 24-hour period)
  • Monthly and annual memberships: $50 per month or $150 per year

The Flash and Joy Passes are available at any Charlotte Joy Rides kiosk, on the mobile app or website. Subscriptions (monthly or annual memberships) are available on the app or website. Passes will be made available on an as-needed basis to anyone who would like to use the system but cannot afford the fees.