Around Town

Popular places in Charlotte have the worst parking lots

I got laughed at by a coworker for walking 1.2 miles to lunch just so I didn’t have to deal with the cramped parking lot at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille. And because I wanted to walk in the dusting of snow that day. He messaged me, “This is so not a walking city that you are the only person walking.”

But the parking lots at popular places in Charlotte are so abhorrent I end up hiking from an alternative spot anyway. The worst:

Central Coffee


The scenario: You squeeze yourself into this lot that was clearly only designed for seven cars and someone boxes you in. You awkwardly hunt down the coffee drinker who did this to you and beg them to move their car. (Based on true life events.)

The cop out: Proceed past the maxed-out parallel parking on Louise Avenue and turn right onto Sunnyside Avenue. This is a safe space.

Berrybrook Farm


The scenario: Excellent, you just landed a spot on the side of the building en route to your green juice fix. Say “excuse me” to the oncoming East Boulevard traffic while you back out directly into it and risk getting smushed.

The cop out: Park at the Kenilworth Commons lot by Harris Teeter.

Whole Foods


The scenario: You are trapped in a line of cars off of Fairview Road while people do loop-the-loops around the upper lot waiting like predatory birds for someone, anyone, to back out.

The cop out: Note the giant green sign directing you to spacious lower-level parking. Follow it.



The scenario: You spaz out while weaving through the construction cones (and billowing dust) and execute a 12-point turn to jam into the one spot that’s left during lunch. You pray your car won’t get obliterated by falling debris or a dump truck while you’re eating your Buddha Bowl.

The cop out: Park in the lot across the street and hope the Bistro la Bon patrol doesn’t tow you.

Edible Art


The scenario: All you want is to pick up that almond-extract pound cake for Mom’s birthday and you find yourself wedged between a concrete wall and the line of cars on Selwyn Avenue. You have no choice but to wait until Southern hospitality kicks in and someone waves you into said line.

The cop out: Search for a parallel spot on Brandywine Road. Your Fitbit will calculate some extra steps before you stress-eat that cake.

End rant. Realistically, isn’t it great that there are this many parking situations to pout and moan about, plus the two other lists that have been made? (See list one and list two.) Isn’t this a sign of certain Charlotte establishments and their offerings being so desired that swarms of aggravated drivers suffer in parking lots just to be able to get there?

Tenants of 450 new apartments from Grubb Properties at Park Road, 360 apartments at the Pfeiffer University campus and 273 apartments at Park Place from Pollack Shores could be joining you soon.

Keep booming, Charlotte.

Photos: Katie Toussaint