Five things you’d miss if you moved away from Charlotte
You may not realize how much you’d miss the good food and coffee hangouts. Or maybe the bakeries and bars. Or the proximity to greenways and lakes, antique malls and flea markets.
That’s some of what five former residents miss the most about Charlotte. Here’s what they had to say.

Joi  Louviere

Age: 26
Location: Lived in uptown and South End from 2011-2012.
What she misses: “I really miss Crave, the dessert bar. I haven’t seen a concept close to it in any city I’ve lived in. Everyone loved it because the drinks were delish and the atmosphere was so relaxed yet oh so sexy.
“I miss the EpiCentre. Well, mostly the concept. The idea of having popular restaurants, bars and clubs in one space is genius and something a lot of other cities should do.”
Also: The Liberty, Phat Burrito and Midnight Diner

Robert Quesenbery

Age: 30
Location: Lived in Chantilly from 2010 to 2012.
What he misses: “Philosopher’s Stone (P-Stone) bar in Elizabeth. I guess this is one thing that even fans still living in Charlotte miss, too. Cheap drinks and outdoor patio in such close proximity to where I lived would be enough for it to make my list, but the place’s character (and the characters and bartenders who were there regularly) put this place over the top.
“The Map Shop store in Myers Park. I decorated my first apartment with maps and flags from The Map Room, and I still carry the compass I bought there during my first week in Charlotte.”
Also: Birdsong Brewing Co. and NoDa Brewing Co. in NoDa.

Bethany Weaver

Age: 28
Location: Lived in Dilworth for two years after a one-year stay in Pineville.
What she misses: “I miss the amount of greenways in the Charlotte area. I miss Amelie’s. I miss Sleepy Poet and the huge gigantic flea market that’s held north of Charlotte twice a year. There were so many good food and coffee places there, so I generally miss that. And just lots more to do. So I also miss that.”

Sarah Rankin

Age: 27
Location: Lived in Myers Park and then Chantilly from 2011-2013.
What she misses: “Philosopher’s Stone. I loved this bar. It had a perfect patio for nice weather days, live music some nights, cornhole boards, friendly bartenders, and it was never too crowded.
“Volunteering at Animal Care and Control. I adopted my dog, Charlee, from the city’s Animal Care and Control shelter.”
Also: Chantilly

Kara Parker Schaal

Age: 26
Location: Lived in University City growing up, until after 2007 high school graduation
What she misses: “Most of my time in Charlotte was spent going to soccer games on Saturdays, doing things with the family, going to XC meets in high school. I think that my memories of Charlotte might be different if I had lived in Charlotte as an adult and done more ‘adult’ things, like going out and enjoying the city.”
Also: Summers at Lake Norman.

So, if Charlotte’s such a great place, why leave?

Weaver: Moved to her hometown of Lancaster, Pa., after a job fell through to have a safety net with family.
Louviere: Left for work in Atlanta, New York City and Dallas for work and landed in Washington, D.C., for graduate school.
Rankin: Moved to Chicago for a new job.
Quesenbery: Moved to Chicago for love.
Schaal: Left for UNC-Chapel Hill and is now an emergency room nurse at Duke University Hospital.
Feature photo by Mark Hames/Charlotte Observer; profile photos courtesy of those featured