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November 12, 2020

Q&A: Which restaurants have it the hardest?

Each week, we answer your questions about food and drink in Charlotte

Q: Any restaurants you know that are having an especially hard time?
UP: Yes, for sure. Most restaurants in Uptown are having a tough time during the week. People are visiting for date nights on weekends, but if you’re looking for somewhere to go on a weeknight, definitely consider Uptown fine dining restaurants, like Sea Level NC, Cicchetti, or Haymaker. The size of the restaurant is also a big factor — smaller restaurants that can’t socially distance tables easily — think Futo Buta or Aqua e Vino — see a drastic reduction of customers. We also got a message from a chef about a Reddit thread saying the Korean restaurant in Super G Market is struggling.

Q: What are your favorite hole-in-the-walls?
UP: If you saw my newsletter last week, you know I love Tommy’s Pub. As for restaurants, I really enjoy Lupie’s and the sister concept to Thirsty Beaver, Tipsy Burro. Another favorite is Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen in NoDa, which has gotten a bit of a facelift recently, but still feels pretty gritty. Lastly, I’d throw in Finga Lickin’ Caribbean Eatery on Central Avenue for their oxtail.

Q: Are you selling gift subscriptions this year?
UP: Yes, you can still buy annual subscriptions and Unpretentious Eater or Drinker t-shirts here. We’re working on a new purchasing experience that we hope to update soon. Thank you for thinking of us!

Q: What is your favorite bar in Charlotte prior to Covid that you miss?
UP: Smokey Joe’s Café on Monroe Road! We used to have a once-a-month meetup of writers there, sitting on the patio and drinking cheap beer. I miss those get togethers, and can’t wait until we can have them again soon.

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