What's happened to Charlotte's Dean & Deluca?

What's happened to Charlotte's Dean & Deluca?
Dean & Deluca, the upscale fine-foods market in Phillips Place, has closed. (Source: The Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Kathleen Purvis/The Charlotte Observer) - The flagship Charlotte location of Dean & Deluca, which once dominated Charlotte's food scene with high-end ingredients, has closed in Phillips Place on Fairview Road.

Signs posted on doors at the Phillips Place location - including its separate Dean & Deluca Wine Bar - noted that the tenant "has defaulted on the lease." The notice was signed by Lincoln Harris and Regency Partners.

Two smaller locations, in Stonecrest and on South Tryon Street, remained open Monday, but a manager at the Stonecrest store would not comment on the plans for those locations.

Jay Kanik, the regional property manager for Regency, a partner in the ownership of Phillips Place, confirmed that the Phillips Place store was closed.

"We hope that resolves shortly," he said. But he wouldn't comment on whether the store was likely to reopen.

Dean & Deluca, once based in New York, was bought in 2014 by Thai-based Pace Development, and the corporate offices were moved to Kansas City. In November, news reports indicated that the company had backed off an expansion plan and canceled leases in some markets, including two planned locations in Manhattan and another in Dallas.

When it opened in 1997, Dean & Deluca put Charlotte cooking into a different orbit, with access to ingredients that were hard to get at the time. But over the years, the store has faced increasing competition, particularly in the busy SouthPark area, with Reid's Fine Foods and Whole Foods opening nearby.