Restaurant Bites: What’s new and coming soon to a menu near you

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A plethora of new restaurants and breweries are popping up this spring across the Charlotte area.

Restaurants such as What The Fries, Ace No. 3′s second location and Golden Owl Tavern opened their doors in the Charlotte market in March, while others like Fat Cat Burgers & Bake Shop, Just Salad and Day & Night Exotic Cereal Bar will do so later this month.

The outpouring of new breweries include Belmont Brewing Co., which opened in early March, and Vaulted Oak Brewing, which is set to debut in mid-April. Additional breweries with plans to open new locations in Charlotte sometime this year range from Legion Brewing, which has two projects in the works, and Resident Culture Brewing Co. to Asheville-based Burial Beer Co.

And a couple of upcoming additions in particular resonated with readers last month: the replacement for the iconic Mr K’s Soft Ice Cream in South End and and an update on the Birkdale Landing project in Huntersville.

Last month brought restaurants and bars across North Carolina a little closer to normalcy as Gov. Roy Cooper further loosened Covid-related restrictions.

As of March 26, businesses such as restaurants, breweries and wineries were able to increase indoor capacity limits to 75% — up from 50% previously — and outdoor capacity to 100%. Bars are now allowed to operate at 50% of indoor and outdoor capacity. Previously, bars had been limited to an outdoor capacity of 30% with no indoor service.

The 11 p.m. cutoff for alcohol sales also ended. Requirements for face masks and social distancing in businesses and public places are still intact.

The executive order can be viewed in full here. It remains in effect until April 30.

Local restaurant operators spoke to CBJ last week about the new order, saying they likely won’t see a measurable impact from increased capacity limits — but that it could help with the public’s perception of dining out. And it comes as college basketball’s March Madness tournament is helping boost business for some restaurants and bars in Charlotte.

Check out the latest installment of Restaurant Bites here for a roundup of the latest restaurant, brewery and bar happenings in the Charlotte area.