The 17 most anticipated restaurants in North and South Carolina for 2021

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As many restaurants close due to the pandemic across the country, chefs, restaurateurs and investors in North and South Carolina are replacing closed storefronts with new restaurants and bars at an increasing rate. As always, Eater obsessively follows the progress of all Prime Ministers – from menu versions to newly installed signage, come here for the latest updates. This list sums up the places that are generating excitement this season.


ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

NENG JR’S

Site: 701 Haywood Road
Key players: Chef Cousler d’Argent
Scheduled opening: 2021
When COVID hit, Chef Silver Cousler had to end his cooking residency in the Cayman Islands. So they decided to return to Asheville and open the city’s first Filipino restaurant. Cousler’s mother is from Manila and their father is from North Carolina. They say on Neng Jr’s website: “The intersection of Filipino and southern food reveals a host of similarities, like the whole pig traditions of Filipinx Lechon and the oriental barbecue of North Carolina.” Cousler imagines a menu full of lumpia, pancit, sinigang, and more. Cousler comes from the kitchens of Mission Chinese, Gan Shan West, Buxton Hall and Admiral.


CARY, NORTH CAROLINA

A’VERDE

Site: 2300, rue des Noyers
Key players: Excellent chef alum Katsuji Tanabe
Scheduled opening: Soon
Coming from his education in Mexico City, Mexico, Chef Katsuji Tanabe brings his knowledge of the country’s cuisine to Cary, North Carolina. He wants to create a fun and comfortable space to share his modern and traditional cuisine. The restaurant will also house one of the largest collections of tequila in the region.

Also keep an eye out for:
• Crawford Brothers Steakhouse


CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

BODEGA AND SHARED HOUSE

Site: 23, rue Ann, downtown
Key players: Uptown social partners Keith Benjamin, Kara Graves, Bryn Kelly, Brian Dodd and Kat Moore; Chief Alec Gropman
Scheduled opening: 2021
A New York restaurant group brought Uptown Social to Charleston, and now the partners behind Uptown Social want to bring two more restaurants to Ann Street. Bodega will build on the breakfast / brunch concept already in place at Uptown Social, with sandwiches and morning New York-style coffee. Charcuterie and cocktails will be on the menu in the evening. Share House will be a Hamptons-meets-Jersey-Shore seafood house with a party on the side.

MA’AM SAAB

Site: 251, rue Meeting, Downtown
Key players: Chef / owner Maryam Ghaznavi and her husband Raheel Guba
Scheduled opening: Publication date
Pakistani restaurant Ma’am Saab started out as a pop-up, entered a food stall in Workshop, and will now move into the former Jestine’s Kitchen space on Meeting Street. Ma’am Saab serves comfort food from Pakistan like kababs, pakoras, etc.

Dining room of pink bellies.
Mike Ledford

PINK BELLY

Site: 595 King Street, Downtown
Key players: Chef / Owner Thai Phi
Scheduled opening: Soon
Old Vietnamese food truck and pop-up Pink Bellies will soon have a new home on King Street. From banh mi to noodle bowls to pho, fans of Chef Thai Phi’s work eagerly await the opening of the dining room. It should happen any day now.

STOPOVER

Site: 99, rue du marché sud, downtown
Key players: Shelter Kitchen + Bar co-owner Ryan Kaufmann
Scheduled opening: October
Opened in Bubba Gump’s former market space, the Port of Call will be a food and brew hall with exciting new vendors. Look for smoked meats at Palmira BBQ, Asian fusion setup Bok Choy Boy, Greek grill Bapkó, acai place Iaca Bowls, and Empire Oyster raw bar.

Also keep an eye out for:
• 167 unnamed Mediterranean restaurant from Raw (downtown)
• Farmer and exchange (downtown)
• Moulin Garco (Circle of the park)
• Lady Xian (Unknown)
• Small line (city center)
• Le Chick (Downtown)
• Millers All Day Second location (James Island)
• OddFellows (downtown)
• Rancho Lewis (downtown)
• La Ruche à Miel (Downtown)
• The Pickle Bar (Summerville)


CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Mariposa’s menu.
The checkered penguin

MARIPOSE

Site: 500 South Tryon Street, Uptown
Key players: Restaurateur Jill Marcus and Executive Chef Jonathan Moore
Scheduled opening: October
Located inside the Currency Museum, Mariposa will offer mezzes of international influences for lunch and dinner. Examples of menu items include bulgogi lamb belly lettuce wraps, aguachile ceviche, piri piri chicken, tomato burrata pie, paella Gullah, and more.

MESSUGANAH

Site: 1108 Graham Street North
Key players: Chef / Owner Rob Clement and Chef Hannah Woociker from Moonbox Bakery
Scheduled opening: Publication date
Rob Clement (formerly of Porter’s House) and Hannah Woociker were both doing pop-ups during the pandemic when they found out they were both Jews and both wanted to bring classic Jewish groceries to Charlotte. Think pastrami, knishes, matzo dumpling soup, latkes, black and white cookies, and more. They want Messugganah to be owned by employees and employees to have a say in day-to-day affairs.

MILK BREAD

Site: 624, rue Jetton, Davidson
Key players: Restaurateurs Joe and Katy Kindred
Scheduled opening: Publication date
At the start of the pandemic, seasonal Italian restaurant Kindred had to turn to food that would travel well to homes in take-out containers. The owners wanted coziness and nostalgia in a box, which resulted in bread pudding fritters, massive fried chicken sandwiches, and cool, fun wines. The concept was so successful that the couple will be using this menu for the Milkbread derivative coffee.

Also keep an eye out for:
• Broken promises (South End)
• La Capitale (south end)
• The Royal Tot (Belmont)


DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

Pork chop sandwich at Queeny’s.
Ang H. Studio

QUEENY’S

Site: 319 Chapel Hill Street East, downtown
Key players: Kingfisher restaurateurs Michelle Vanderwalker and Sean Umstead and Marketing Director King Kenney
Scheduled opening: Early fall
When it opens, Queeny’s will have a podcast studio, bookstore and coffee bar, and will focus on an all-day menu inspired by ‘classic bar and grill dishes’ like chicken fillets. , a pork chop sandwich, a “hearty dinner salad,” fried pickles and a homemade burger.

Also keep an eye out for:
• Emmy Squared (downtown)
• Krill (downtown)


RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

BB’S CRISPY CHICKEN

Site: 2920 Sherman Oak Place
Key players: Chief Ashley Christensen
Scheduled opening: October
BB’s Crispy Chicken is the future empire of quick and relaxed crispy chicken from James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen. The menu consists of chicken sandwiches fried in varying degrees of spice with toppings like thick pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and Duke mayonnaise with sides like waffle fries and crispy cheese curds. It also plans to expand to Durham and Cary.

Also keep an eye out for:
• Donuts Bright Spot (Five Points East)
• Craften (Knightdale)
• Crawford Cookshop (Clayton)
• The reserve (Unknown)


If we missed a grand opening, please send a note to [email protected]

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