What’s new and coming soon in Charlotte area’s dining scene

CHARLOTTE — May marked the end of the road for several restaurants across the Charlotte area.

In the Elizabeth neighborhood, Paul Verica called it quits on The Stanley in mid-May after a nearly four-year run, as the James Beard-nominated chef made the decision to take a step back from the industry. That 2,800-square-foot restaurant’s lease and assets have been sold.

Also near center city, Bocado Bar & Diner announced on social media it had shuttered its space at South End’s Atherton Mill less than a year after replacing Big Ben Pub there. A new concept is expected to take its place. And Rocket Pizza appears to have closed its 4,100-square-foot location in the FreeMoreWest neighborhood.

In the outlying area, establishments to close last month include the Local Dish, a longtime restaurant in downtown Fort Mill.

It wasn’t all bad news last month for local restaurants, however. Several new concepts made their debut in May, such as Drift on Lake Wylie, a chef-inspired chophouse in Belmont that offers lake views and access.

In closer-in neighborhoods, Enat Ethiopian filled out the food-stall offerings at adaptive-reuse complex Optimist Hall, and Super Abari Game Bar marked its return to Charlotte, moving from the NoDa area to a larger space in the Belmont neighborhood.

And there are a lot more dining-and-drinking additions still to come. In just a few days, Asheville-based Burial Beer Co. will open its taproom and bottle shop in Plaza Midwood. South End’s lineup continues to grow with upcoming establishments like Canopy Cocktails & Garden and Culinary Dropout; the Rea Farms development in south Charlotte will see two new spots open later this year; and a celebrity chef is bringing G.O.A.T. Pizza — his latest concept — to Cornelius.

For a closer look at the latest restaurant, brewery and bar happenings across the entire area, check out the latest installment of Restaurant Bites here.

(WATCH BELOW: Uptown restaurant reinvents itself after pandemic closure)