Asheville’s popular White Duck Taco Shop is coming to Charlotte.
Co-owner Ben Mixson said the restaurant is “actively negotiating in the Charlotte market,” but that there is “nothing to confirm right now” since his lease in NoDa has not been signed yet.
“We’re getting close, but these things take a long time,” Mixson told the Observer. Mixson, who attended graduate school at Queens University in Charlotte, added that the company has been looking to find a spot in the Charlotte area for years.
“The Charlotte area is large, and people in Charlotte like good food. We’d be a good fit there,” Mixson said. He declined to provide a timeline for the restaurant opening in Charlotte.
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Mixson said White Duck plans to open two new locations within the next week or so: In south Asheville and in Greenville.
White Duck has an a la carte rotating menu comprising eclectic Tex-Mex items like a jerk chicken taco, a lump crab taco and chilled tomato gazpacho.
Mixson said nailing down the right space in Charlotte has been tricky, given the city’s competitive real estate market. A typical White Duck restaurant has capacity for about 100 customers inside, with a patio area as well, Mixson said.
“The commercial side of real estate in Charlotte is very expensive and extremely crowded. We’re very particular about where we go,” Mixson said.
New Tex-Mex restaurants seem to be popping up all over Charlotte: The taco and tequila joint SouthBound will open this summer next to Mac’s in South End, an Atlanta concept called El Felix will open in the former Fresh Market space in Strawberry Hill, and a new concept called Que Onda opened uptown last fall.