One of the best things about Charlotte is the iconic restaurant scene. There are so many restaurants that have been serving customers for over 20 years that are just as delicious as when they first opened. From Price’s Chicken Coop to 300 East to Cajun Queen to Gus’ Sir Beef, there are so many amazing treasures to explore.
With the arrival of Johnson and Wales University culinary school which opened in 2004, the culinary scene in Charlotte expanded. This brought new restaurants like Birdsong Brewing Company, Draught/dr:ft, Heirloom, The Wooden Vine and many more.
No matter what your favorite type of cuisine, there is a great example of it in the Queen City. Patrons get passionate about their favorites as well. There is no better example of this than The Penguin. The Penguin was a local favorite for 10 years in the heart of Plaza Midwood. The restaurant had been running since 1954, but came to be a favorite from 2000 until 2010. This quirky spot had great food, great atmosphere, and a fiercely loyal fanbase.
In 2010, a dispute arose with the owners and the management which ultimately forced the management out in favor of a supposedly lucrative franchise deal. The deal ultimately failed. The result of which was that the fiercely loyal patrons remained loyal to the management who made the place what it was.
Those managers, Brian Rowe and Jimmy King, went around the corner and revamped The Diamond restaurant and took most of that clientele with them. That revamp of The Diamond is still thriving, but Brian Rowe never got over The Penguin.
This week, Charlotte Agenda reported that Brian Rowe has been working on a revival of “The Bird”. The new iteration, cheekily called Bird Bones Cafe, will reside in a hundred year old home in Optimist Park. The cafe will have a skeleton penguin as the logo as a nod to the beginning, and maybe a rise from the ashes. Bird Bones Cafe is under construction now, and is expected to mimic the previous location in style, atmosphere, and menu. We hope to see the small block and big block burgers and the signature sides along with great beers and the amazing jukebox. The expected opening will be late in 2019 or early in 2020 depending on final funding.
This great space between Uptown and NoDa is in a perfect location in a great neighborhood. Optimist Park was under the radar for a long time, just a working class spot close to the city. The homes were mostly for mill workers at first, but now with home prices on the rise, many people find Optimist Park more attractive than NoDa. The Lynx light rail makes Optimist Park even more attractive as you don’t even need a car to get to Uptown. This neighborhood is a fantastic spot to be the home of Bird Bones Cafe. If the food is as good as it used to be, Bird Bones Cafe is sure to become an instant favorite.
To read the Charlotte Agenda article, click here.
To view homes in Optimist Park, click here.