RESOLVE! … to Explore More of Crown Town in 2022
Your assignment for 2022 … Explore!
Last week, we featured 15 destinations in the Charlotte area to share with guests and family visiting the Queen City. Each was shared by a member of the Biscuit team or one of our readers. But, Charlotte can’t be contained in one story. So our friends at OrthoCarolina have powered us to dive a little deeper and go a little further.
This New Year’s, make a resolution to explore the places below in the coming weeks and months. Be a tourist in your own town and find out what makes our community so creative, colorful and special. Once you start, you won’t want to stop. We promise.
But, before we discover more about Crown Town, we want you to …
Take a Creative Tour of Shelby, NC
Mural by Sam Nurkin of Pro Football Hall of Famer, Bobby Bell
Walkable, historic, charming, inspired. Shelby checks all the boxes for a creative day of play. Lace up your walking boots to enjoy the sights and sounds of Shelby’s tree-lined streets.
Less than an hour from uptown Charlotte, Shelby sits along Hwy. 74 between Kings Mountain and Forest City. The county seat of Cleveland County, Shelby continues to foster its deep historic roots while embracing opportunities for community growth.
Restaurants, antique shops, music venues, public art, outdoor events … Shelby has it all. If you’ve only driven the route along Hwy. 74, you haven’t experienced the true charm that lies in Uptown (Yup! We’re not the only city to call our downtown “Uptown”) Shelby. Get off the highway, put on your walking shoes and discover the beautiful nooks and crannies that await you, just like writer Amanda Lea did.
Now that we’ve taken a trip to Shelby, let’s be tourists in our own town. Here are more places to add to your list in the year ahead. And, if we missed any of your favorite out-of-the-way places, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: This is a holiday week and hours of operation may vary at many of the locations below. We recommend contacting them before you head out.
GARRETT’S ANTIQUE & INDIAN SHOP
“Garrett’s Antique and Indian Shop is easy to miss. It’s a little log cabin on Lancaster Hwy. behind Ballantyne, and you might think it only sells firewood. Go inside. You’ll find Mr. Garrett is surrounded by Native American jewelry, arrowheads, dream catchers and turquoise. All of his pieces are items he purchases directly from Native craftsmen.
“But the real treasure is Ron Garrett himself, who is a walking encyclopedia of local tribes and Native American history in this area. Within a few minutes of chatting with him, you feel the respect and love he has for the early cultures that lived on this land long before settlers arrived. With so much development around him, I love that he has kept his shop open to educate and preserve an often forgotten part of Charlotte.” – Mary Kamerer
THE GALLERIES AT 811
PHOTO CREDIT: The Galleries at Eight Eleven
“The entire team at 811 Providence has been working tirelessly over the past few months to revive the old Colony Building in order to add value to their neighborhoods of Eastover/Myers Park. Now with Rosie’s/Nectar, The Digital Art & Frame Company, a beautiful exhibit by Regine Bechtler, great artists like Elijah Kell and Jeanni Mooney, and so many others (not to mention Luis Machicao, William Wilson and Berhan Nebioglu), this it is truly a cool neighborhood place where art, fashion and friends meet.
“They’ve recently expanded the hours so it can be enjoyed in the morning with coffee or tea, and in the evenings with a glass of wine from Rosie’s. It has unbelievable potential.” – @SlightlyFancy.ETH
PHOTO GALLERY: The 5&2 Project
“My husband and I like to go on a “day date” to uptown Charlotte and act like tourists. We take the LYNX Light Rail or park at The Green and just see where the day leads. Maybe grab a latte at Not Just Coffee and follow the Art Walks CLT Talking Walls Uptown Trail to see some incredible murals. Pop into The Market at 7th Street to grab a pizza from Geno D’s and have a picnic at First Ward Park.
“Or enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the charming Fourth Ward Historic District. (I love the ceramic birdhouses in Fourth Ward Park created by former McColl Artist in Residence Joan Bankemper.) In the evening, it’s fun to have a drink and enjoy the live music at Middle C Jazz.” – Amanda Lea
- LOCATION: Start at the Square of Trade and Tryon.
- BISCUIT BONUS! As Amanda suggests, take the LYNX! That way, you can extend the adventure to SouthEnd, LoSo and down toward Pineville … or head up to University City.
DERITA DAIRY BAR
Editor’s Note: We could give you our thoughts on Derita Dairy Bar, but we thought it would be more fun to get the skinny directly from our pal, Devin McDaniel, co-owner of DDB. But, we will add two little words that will change your life: “Pineapple Lemonade.” Don’t ask any questions. Just get it.
“I always suggest to new customers to try our burgers first. We’ve been ranked Top 5 Burgers in the Queen City by The Charlotte Observer. My personal recommendation is our fried chicken sandwich. We’ve got about 20 different sauces to customize your experience. Hot Honey is a Yelp favorite, but I push the Wingzza Mambo Sauce because it’s a delicious flavor that not everyone has experienced.” – Devin McDaniel
PHOTO CREDIT: Letty Ketner
“Letty’s restaurant on Shamrock Drive is a very special and authentic Charlotte spot. There’s not an ounce of pretension and the atmosphere feels like a warm hug, like you’ve stepped into Grandma’s house. They have a dining room, vintage bar area and cozy back patio with pretty plants to enjoy. Letty and her staff are extremely accommodating and are real-deal Charlotteans with great stories to share about the city.
“Did I mention, the food is phenomenal and reasonably priced? They feature delicious Southern staples including fried green tomatoes and fried chicken, great vegetarian options, New Orleans-inspired dishes and everything in between.” – Morgan Hamer
BEDDER BEDDER & MOORE
“Prior to the pandemic, Bedder Bedder & Moore had one of the best brunch menus in town. Unlike many other restaurants, they didn’t have a drink menu, but they were perfect to take out-of-town family to – especially for folks who didn’t want a bottomless mimosa atmosphere. They are the embodiment of Charlotte hospitality, and their food has always reflected that.”
The pandemic took its toll and they now operate on a weekday lunch schedule, but that hasn’t changed the quality or selection of their food. Featuring an extensive deli menu, their rosemary roast beef sandwich is the best I’ve ever had. And, their daily soup selection is the perfect comfort food to get through the winter.” – Ian McCormick
PHOTO CREDIT: davidsbeenhere.com
“It’s the eternal question: Which Charlotte brewery should we pick? There’s really no bad answer, but Divine Barrel in North NoDa (“NoNoDa” isn’t catching on as I’d hoped) is at the top of the list when guests are in town. With a large party, it’s wise to pick a brewery that offers a wide array of styles, and that’s Divine Barrel’s superpower. The DB team offers one of the most expansive tap selections in town, from lagers and sours to IPAs and porters. Enjoy great beer in a cozy setting that offers a chill atmosphere, local art for purchase and handmade games to play while you’re hanging out.” – Tim Miner
MAIN STREET COFFEE & COWORKING
“This is the quintessential cafe — exposed brick, light pouring through large windows, craft beer and live music. Located in a historic Huntersville building, Main Street Coffee serves up more than just coffee; it serves up creativity and community. Upstairs, you’ll find a collaborative environment without ‘corporate constraints,’ available through membership plans for everyone from creatives and entrepreneurs to corporate executives.”
“Main Street Cafe also recently released their roasting company, Disco Coffee, with a mission to bring fun back to coffee. With blends like ‘Psychedelic Sunrise’ and ‘Velvet Thunder,’ they’ve perfected delightful blends, rich in both taste and texture.” – Rachel Marie Kang
TWENTY DEGREES CHOCOLATE
PHOTO CREDIT: Twenty Degrees Chocolate
“The Design Center in South End is home to Twenty Degrees Chocolates, a bright-red jewel box of a boutique that’s reminiscent of a Parisian shop. Appropriate since owner/chocolatier Casey Hickey studied at Le Cordon Bleu. A jewel box shop is also appropriate to house these chocolate gems. Hand-crafted European-style bonbons, caramels, chocolate bars and other confections join a small selection of French pastries, specialty espresso drinks and sipping chocolates. Bonbon flavors such as Mexican hot chocolate, creme brulee and apple tart tatin are the stuff dreams are made of.” – Page Leggett
It has to be said: the Christmas Vacation-themed house at Marion & Marsh Rd. in the Sedgefield neighborhood is glorious! Check out the incredible attention to detail:
1) The Winnebago
2) Cousin Eddie (with the beer and cigar)
3) Snots the dog
4) The fried cat under the lounger (with smoke)
5) The toxic waste
6) The road-worn sled
7) Clark hanging off the roof
8) A burned tree (complete with a burned squirrel)
No, the homeowners responsible for this masterpiece are not named Todd and Margot … but we like to think they are. You can learn more about their antics here. Don’t wait! Check this awesomeness out before it’s gone. It’s great during the day and up through the new year. After all, Cousin Eddie is holding out for an upper management position before leaving Charlotte.
As you take in the delightful sight, try to set aside the fact that Randy Quaid (who played Cousin Eddie) single-handedly torpedoed a Broadway-bound musical written by Biscuit co-publisher Matt Olin’s mentor, John Haber, and other creative North Carolinians.
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