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Carolinas Industry Insiders Predict the Headlines for 2024

Costs on the rise, hopes for Charlotte, and thoughts on the former Poole’side Pies space

Overhead photo of pizzas.
What will go into the former Poole’side Pies space in Raleigh?
Lauren Vied Allen

In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in the Carolinas, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequented to the saddest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What are your headline predictions for 2024?

Parker Milner, food editor, Post & Courier

Dining out will be more expensive in 2024. With F&B wages, rent, and food costs on the rise, a correction is likely on the horizon. This could mean higher menu prices and possibly more added service fees.

Stephanie Burnette, Eater Carolinas contributor

Happy Hour is back.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Carolinas

“Patrons Can’t Remember Which Festival They Bought Tickets For: Food & Wine Classic in Charleston or Charleston Wine + Food”

Kay West, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Asheville

An NA-devoted bar will open (wishful thinking!) and a Meherwan Irani concept will take over the ginormous and currently vacant Buxton Hall space.

Eric Ginsburg, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina

More intimate pop-ups from incredible chefs who can’t find any second-generation restaurant spaces, at least within a reasonable price range.

Mike Ledford, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor

La Hacienda reopens on King Street to much fanfare.

Hanna Raskin, editor and publisher of The Food Section

”Yet Another Restaurant Earmarks Weekend Dining for Paying Members”

Stacey Sprenz, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor

Rising rent costs will continue to have a negative effect on the industry which may lead to concepts we haven’t seen before.

Catherine Currin, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering the Triangle

Excited for what’s to come in the Poole’side Pies space.

Kayleigh Ruller, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Charlotte

Already existing Charlotte restaurant owners, chefs, and groups will expand into 2024. I’m picturing less Charlotte newcomers and more restaurant expansion built on established groups in Charlotte.

Matthew Lardie, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina

The good news? Some developers seem to be making it a priority to source local restaurants for their spaces. The bad news? They’re also jacking up commercial retail prices, so I think downtowns will continue to lose locally-owned spots who cannot afford to pay these exorbitant rents.

Timothy DePeugh, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina, will have its first James Beard Award-winning chef.

Melissa Howsam, editor-in-chief, Raleigh Magazine

Everything’s an Experience; Free Spirits Soar With Zero Proof; Dressed to Chill; Boba Bonanza; Pervasive Service Fees; Martini Mayhem