The new year is creeping up, but there are still plenty of new eating and sipping spots with a shot at opening before 2019. Here are five to keep an eye on:
The Crunkleton in Elizabeth
Chapel Hill’s private, upscale cocktail club The Crunkleton is opening its second iteration in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood at 1957 E. Seventh St. Owned by Gary Crunkleton, the menu will feature both small plates and classic cocktails with variations. According to an Oct. 23 Facebook post, the establishment is adding the finishing touches to the cocktail menu and hiring for staff positions.
Ilios Crafted Greek in South End
Likely to open at 1514 S. Church St. in December, this sister restaurant of the upscale Mediterranean spot Ilios Noche will operate as a fast-casual Mediterranean eatery under the direction of Angelo Kaltsounis. Expect a casual atmosphere, and well-established dishes already served at Ilios, spinach pie included (the pie features leeks, feta and baby spinach).
Yafo Kitchen in Dilworth
The third location of this Middle-Eastern-and-Mediterranean, fast-casual concept known for frenzied lunch lines has a targeted December for opening at 1231 A. East Blvd. In keeping consistent with the SouthPark and Plaza Midwood locations, diners can anticipate a vibrant smorgasbord of proteins such as shawarma chicken, beef kofta, and falafel; spreads including hummus, baba ganoush, and tzatziki; toppings such as sumac onions, tabbouleh, and purple cabbage slaw; and bases spanning couscous, lettuce, and hummus — all to craft the ideal bowl, salad, or wrap at the counter. It’s a creative culinary playground.
Poppy’s Bagels & More in South End
Ronnie Rippner opened the original Poppy’s in 2010 in the Myers Park area with his parents Leslie (called “Poppy”) and Georgeana to honor the bagels of his New York roots with the kettle boiled and baked method. The new location (initially projected to have a September or October opening date at 2201 South Blvd.) is expected to have a bit more seating and an outdoor terrace, with a menu similar to the first location, plus varying specials.
Bistro La Bon in Cotswold
Known for an eclectic menu featuring globally inspired small plates from pan-seared gnocchi to grilled Spanish octopus, this concept is projected to open a second, much smaller location at 274 S. Sharon Amity Road in Cotswold in November. The restaurant, next to Y2 Yoga, will feature both indoor and patio seating, and a similar menu to the Plaza Midwood location. Per the brand, diners can also expect locally sourced ingredients, and attention to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, not to mention a reliable wine list.
• All Coverage of Charlotte [ECHS]