The popular gourmet Italian food and grocery store Pasta & Provisions is opening a third location in the spot occupied by Red Sea grocery store at 1600 South Mint St., in Charlotte’s Wilmore neighborhood.
Owner Tommy George said the newest store will be similar to the Park Road location. In addition to gourmet groceries, the store will carry hot food to go, as well as beer and wine on tap. George said he’s under contract to buy the teardrop-shaped building at the corner of Spruce and Mint streets, a deal that should close in August.
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After that, he’ll work with Charlotte-based Cluck Design Collaborative – which has designed breweries and restaurants such such as Haberdish in NoDa and Moo & Brew in Plaza Midwood – to upfit the interior space over the next few months. This will be George’s first owned, rather than leased, location.
“It’s exciting,” said George. “The most exciting thing is I’m finally going to own a spot.”
The grocery building includes a commercial kitchen, George said, where he’ll be able to produce more prepared foods and meals to supply the other locations.
“The kitchen over here will be bigger than what we have now,” George said. “We’re running out of space.”
The Red Sea building has been a grocery store in some form since the 1930s, George said. It’s blocks away from the fastest-growing parts of South End.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue in those same footsteps,” said George.
The George family at one point operated a small store uptown, but closed that location to concentrate on the original Providence Road store.
At a time when traditional supermarkets in Charlotte are lowering prices and building bigger stores to entice customers, demand for gourmet grocers remains strong. Reid’s opened a new, larger store in SouthPark mall last year, for instance, and Dean & DeLuca this year launched a catering service and expanded its offerings of groceries like meat and seafood.