Living Here Guide

What to eat, drink and do in Montford, Park Road Shopping Center and Madison Park

Get to know Stefan Huebner behind the bar at speakeasy Dot Dot Dot. Photo by Justin Driscoll.
Get to know Stefan Huebner behind the bar at speakeasy Dot Dot Dot. Photo by Justin Driscoll.

To know: Madison Park emerged in the late 1950s as one of Charlotte’s first modern post-World War II neighborhoods. It was designed to cater to middle-class families and boasts sidewalks, a bike lane (on Seneca Road) and amazing proximity to hip hangouts on Montford and fun eateries at Park Road Shopping Center. The shopping center was developed in 1956, to become the first open air shopping center in the city.

To eat: Whether you’re in the mood for a dark and snug pub vibe or a quaint patio experience, Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant & Freehouse has it. Grab a Guinness, some Irish potato cakes and bangers and mash. Burtons Grill & Bar boasts a “legendary” scratch kitchen intended to customize the menu offerings to meet customers’ dietary needs. For a Mexican fix, fall back on Cantina 1511, a Charlotte institution that originally opened in 2004. Flour Shop is the latest venture from Charlotte chef Trey Wilson (if you’ve eaten at Customshop, you know and love his food). Expect fresh pasta and bread, plus roasted meats from an open-fire grill. Good Food on Montford offers an exquisite space that was made for intimate conversations over small plates.

To drink: Dot Dot Dot is your members-only speakeasy stop any time you’re feeling weak for an impressive cocktail. Established in 2003, Brawley’s Beverage is a beloved neighborhood hangout stocked with hundreds of craft beers (and some wine). Brazwells Premium Pub is an easygoing pub for a draft beer or a glass of wine — definitely make your way to the patio.

To do: Stop in to browse or enjoy one of the frequent book signings at Park Road Books, which has been open since 1977 and serves as the neighborhood’s independent bookstore. Peruse art at Stella G. Contemporary, opened by Gian Garofalo in 2017 with the goal to exhibit emerging, mid-career and established artists who are creating contemporary paintings, works on paper and sculpture. For more lighthearted fun, belt out a song at karaoke hotspot Jeff’s Bucket Shop or grab a craft beer and some bowling shoes to toss bowling balls with friends at 10 Park Lanes.