New businesses heading to Uptown; Kindreds to open two restaurants in Duke Energy Plaza

Duke Energy announced five new businesses are opening in its new tower on South Tryon Street.
Uptown Charlotte is booming as more businesses announce they're opening in the center city.
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The lingering effects of COVID, rising food and rent costs, and staffing shortages are all some reasons why more than 50 restaurants have closed in Charlotte since 2020.

Plans for new restaurants are bringing renewed hope to Uptown. Joe and Katy Kindred, the husband and wife duo behind the beloved Kindred restaurant in Davidson, are opening two restaurants in the center city.

Katy said the couple enjoys the southern part of Uptown and felt it was the right time after the pandemic to open a full-service restaurant in the heart of the city.

They’re among others opening in uptown Charlotte, a boom to center city after rebounding from the pandemic.

“At least eight others have announced that they will be opening later in 2023, so already right now it looks like we’re going to have close to 20 new small businesses in 2023 and we still have more than half the year to keep going,” James LaBar, the SVP of Economic Development for Charlotte Center City Partners, said.

Duke Energy announced five new restaurants and businesses opening in its new tower on South Tryon Street. They include, Albertine, milkbread, Que Fresa Taqueria + Bar, Somi Sushi and 24-hour AJ’s Dry Cleaners.

“They’re not chains you can find in any other city in the United States, they’re part of the Charlotte experience,” LaBar said.

Among the list, two from restaurant owners, the Kindreds.

“It just felt like the right time, post COVID,” Katy said. “I’m excited to see the downtown area grow and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Kindred owns several businesses in the Charlotte area, notably, Kindred in Davidson, Hello Sailor and two milkbread locations in Davidson and Plaza Midwood, soon to be three when the Uptown location opens.

Kindred described milkread as, “sort of this collaborative, local community focused fast casual, so that will be opening next year, and right next to that will be a more formal fine dining, very sort of chic, sophisticated, fine dining restaurant called Albertine.”

Kindred said Albertine is named after Queen Charlotte’s mother.

Center City Partners said the announcement of Kindred’s restaurants and other businesses opening in the Duke Energy building is a sign of Uptown’s resilience and vibrancy.

“These small businesses coming in here, they’re seeing these same trends of how many visits are coming into Uptown and South End, and how many people are working from their place of employment,” LaBar said.

Center City Partners is proud more local businesses are coming to Uptown – the Kindreds choose because of the arts and museums.

“We really like that part of Uptown, I think it’s really interesting, I’m a really big art fan, I love the museums and we’re just excited to contribute something in the heart of the city,” Kindred said.

The two restaurants by the Kindreds will open in 2024, meanwhile, the other three businesses announced by Duke Energy will open later this year.

Related: Amélie’s French Bakery reopening uptown Charlotte location after closure