Charlotte North Carolina’s Plaza Midwood neighbourhood is located less than a mile from Uptown, Charlotte’s city center. Plaza Midwood runs along Central Avenue from Hawthorn Lane to Eastway Drive, though locals may cut it a few blocks short of Eastway Drive.
The neighbourhood also has a locally-designated historic district in its westernmost part, a four block area down Central between The Plaza, Thomas, Pecan, and Clement Avenues. The Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association was created in 1975 to preserve this district.
A collection of Tudors, Victorians, Dutch Colonials, Spanish Revivals, many turned into quadruplexes, and the beloved Bungalow homes that make up the 1519-1627 stretch of the Plaza, are just a few examples of its diverse architecture. The Van Landingham Estate is a popular draw to the neighbourhood.
Plaza Midwood is eclectic, one of the oldest and most popular communities in Charlotte. It has an odd collection of Firsts; the first strip club and first golf course in town, as well as the very first ever locations of Family Dollar and first Harris Teeter. The area began as a residential development in 1903 and it was just called “Midwood” until the 1930s.
Plaza Midwood is packed with residential properties, but has more than its share of cafés and shops. There is a dog park, community garden, and an ongoing Yard of the Month award for residents, as well as various initiatives to make Plaza Midwood more safe and engaging for families, pets, cyclists, and pedestrians.
If you are exploring Charlotte’s NoDa district, follow 11th Street from McGill Rose Garden to where it meets 10th Street and then turns into Central Avenue. Look for Fuel Pizza, the central point of the historic district, on your left. You can not miss all of the funky boutiques, welcoming patios, dreamy gardens, and delicious scents wafting out of each door way.
We had lunch at Dish, a Southern comfort food joint that has been frequented by Guy Fieri from the many photos of him. I got the bacon grilled cheese with cheddar and blue cheese inside, and parmesan grilled into the outside. Very pungent, sharp, salty, and delicious.
We walked around checking out other places and mural hunting among coffee and bubble tea cafés, healing arts lounges, smoke shops, Mexican cantinas, ice cream counters, breweries, salons, brunch spots, wine bars, fusion restaurants, taverns, and social clubs, and fancy condos in this vibrant community.
These next three photos are part of a gigantic collaborative mural by artists Scott Nurkin, Leandro Manzo, Georgie Nakima, Kat Sanchez-Standfield, Cheeks, Amy Bagwell, Renee Cloud, and De-Angelo Dia:
Side note, I have been told more than once that Plaza Midwood is the unofficial Pizza Capital of Charlotte, with more pizza parlors or places serving pizza per capita than anywhere else in the state. I feel like that is a challenge worth investigating…
Thirsty Beaver Saloon is local favourite, a rebellious dive bar that still stands in the center of a fancy condo development instead of selling out. It is known for blasting honky tonk music, hosting bike nights, and even drawing in Mick Jagger one inexplicable night.
Snug Harbor across the street is a hopping place to see live music on evenings and weekends.
Next door, we saw this rad mural on the back of Coaltrane’s and lamented already having full stomachs as we walked by. It was created by local artists Matt Hooker and Matt Moore, two prominent figures in the Charlotte Art Scene.
They work together and independently, as well with other notorious artists. You can find their wild, eye-catching, traffic-stopping murals all over town.
This particular piece is a collaborative effort with artist/tattoo artist Tucker Sward, and is much larger than we could capture with all the vendor booths and trees in front of it.
My favourite Hooker & Moore mural in this area is of Neptune, a little further down Central Avenue, mostly because of the colours and shadowing.
Mural of a lion by unknown artist:
The Whiskey Warehouse, a satellite location of Asheville’s Burial Beer, Ocha Time Tea & Creamery, and Common Market surround it, and just around the corner there is Legion Brewing, and Undercurrent Coffee. Make sure you stop by Resident Culture Brewing Company before and/or after a stroll through the Veterans Memorial Park (no website) too.
Mural of Marvel’s Thanos on the 7th Sin Tattoo building by Alex DeLarge and Dustin Moates who are behind Southern Tiger Collective:
The Peculiar Rabbit Mural by Southern Tiger Collective’s Dustin Moates and Mike Wirth:
Lunchbox Records was a fun jaunt, and I love their angry robot mascot.
There are several tattoo studios, vintage/antique/pawn shops, and repurposed stores in the area, and often local artists have booths set up on the sidewalks.
We passed through the Belmont neighbourhood traveling between NoDa and Plaza Midwood.
Belmont is a small community northeast of Uptown, tucked behind the McGill Rose Garden and Lunchbox Records. Seigle Avenue is its main road and it runs straight through the center to meet Parkwood Avenue.
Super Abari Game Bar on Seigle Avenue was a blast. They have a sunken level of pinball and arcade games, and a bar/grill on the elevated level around the entrance. It had the usual mixed crowd of dorks and metalheads, and I had to practically drag my brother and his friend away.
You can read more about Belmont here, and I look forward to exploring it more during our next visit.
In the area for a while? Follow me to Charlotte’s NoDa District, Second Ward, or Fourth Ward and Camp North End! (in progress)
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