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Popular ‘Midnight Diner’ set to relocate as new development makes its way to uptown, South End

Midnight Diner was quite literally picked up and placed at the intersection of East Carson Blvd and South Tryon St over a decade ago and has been at the location ever since.
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 8:17 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A major mixed-use development in the works for the area between uptown Charlotte and South End puts the future of the local and beloved Midnight Diner into question.

Riverside Investment & Development announced plans for the significant mixed-use development on the block located at the intersections of East Morehead Street, Morehead Square Drive...and, finally, South Tryon Street and East Carson Boulevard, where the popular diner is located.

“This is just like in the city, heart and soul,” said Santiago Tapia, who just moved here from Washington, D.C. Tapia says he discovered Charlotte to be a bigger city than he initially thought, so he liked the hometown feel of the diner placed in the prime location of a growing metropolis.

“What’s the point of moving it?” said Tapia. “I think they should keep it. If they move locations, it kinda moves the nostalgia and history, too. So, I just say keep it here and don’t move it.”

Midnight Diner was quite literally picked up and placed at the intersection of East Carson Blvd and South Tryon St over a decade ago and has been at the location ever since.

Now, Brian Dominick - who has owned the property since 1995 and has several active businesses in Charlotte - is said by developers to be relocating the Charlotte staple to an undisclosed, “nearby” location.

Employees working for the current Midnight Diner location told the WBTV team that they had not heard of the diner closing or relocating, though they did mention other locations were in the planning stages.

Another long-time customer, Audrey Bell, says if the diner goes, she’s going, too.

“The city is growing; I understand that,” said Bell. “But I’m going to follow them wherever they go so that’s what we need to do—we need to stick together. Because they have been good to us for many, many years.”

Bell says her daughter works right up the street and she regularly comes with her and her coworkers...or, simply, if she needs a late night snack.

“Where can we go at 2 or 3 o’ clock in the morning and get some good, decent food?” said Bell. ““I have got up and was just hungry and have driven to the Midnight Diner -this is the truth- and the line was out the door. And guess what?...I’m waiting!”

The Midnight Diner is an (almost) 24/7 restaurant that offers a full menu at all hours, making it a popular start for early-risers, second-shift workers, and late night celebrators.

“My prom night!” said Alexis Ash, another long-time customer. “When everything was already closed, and we found out the Midnight Diner is open, we were like “Oh my God, yes! Absolutely!’ And it was AMAZING food!”

Meanwhile, the mixed-use development project by the Chicago-based developers includes three towers, with a mix of commercial and residential uses, along with large, outdoor open spaces, dynamic retail, and cutting-edge sustainability, health and wellness features.

Redevelopment offers up to $750 million in direct investment while providing significant outdoor open space, with a mixed-use office, residential and retail program.

Construction is set to begin in late 2022.

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