Optimist Hall, Charlotte's First Food Hall, is Open

Citizens of Charlotte have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Optimist Hall, a historic mill redeveloped into a food hall located in the Optimist Park neighborhood, just north of Uptown.

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Almost two weeks ago, the doors opened, and guests were introduced to the first tenants. These retailers are currently open:

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-      Spindle Bar: beer, wine, draft cocktails, and spirit-free drinks

-      Undercurrent Coffee: coffee bar with food options (the original location is in Plaza Midwood)

-      Bao and Broth: bao and ramen courtesy of Chef Larry Schreiber (of Moffett Restaurant Group)

-      Honeysuckle Gelato: gourmet gelato scoops plus shakes and gelato sandwiches

-      Zukku Sushi: sushi rolls, sushi burritos, and poke bowls – all customizable

-      Pet Wants: homemade, healthy dog and cat food plus treats and toys

-      The Dumpling Lady: one of Charlotte’s favorite food trucks serving dumplings and noodles dumplings and noodles made with a Sichuan (Szechuan) Chinese family recipe that goes back farther than anyone can remember (yes, the truck will stay open when the storefront is open, too!).

These tenants are expected to open later this month or into September:

-      Village Juice Co.: cold-pressed juice and plant-based food

-      Suarez Bakery and Barra: everything you love from Suarez Bakery plus sandwiches and tapas

-      Ava: Neapolitan-style pizza

-      Papi Queso: Charlotte’s favorite grilled cheese provider

-      Archer Paper Goods: stationery and other paper supplies


Finally, the remaining spaces should be filled early fall:

-      El Thrifty Social Club: Mexican-inspired food, cocktails, and games

-      Botiwalla: Indian street food (and boozy slushies)

-      Velvet Taco: fun taco joint from Dallas

-      Billy Sunday: cocktail lounge from Chicago

-      Aix Charlotte: French rotisserie

-      Felix’s Empanadas: savory and sweet empanadas

-      Fonta Flora Brewing: brewery with outdoor space

Parking is available but limited, so consider arriving by Light Rail at the Parkwood station (conveniently located just 0.3 miles away from the hall). Hours are Monday – Thursday, 7 AM – 9 PM; Friday, 7 AM – 10 PM; Saturday, 8 AM – 10 PM; Sunday, 8 AM – 9 PM. Undercurrent Coffee will be open during the earlier hours, and most other tenants open at 10:30 AM.

The venue has plenty of seating both indoors and out, including a spacious courtyard and patio.

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Heather Sinyard