The new Pasta & Provisions under construction in Charlotte’s Wilmore neighborhood is getting closer to opening.
The gourmet Italian grocer, at 1600 South Mint in the spot previously occupied by the Red Sea convenience store, is expected to open in late May, according to owner Tommy George. This is Pasta & Provisions' third location.
At 3,200 square feet, the new Wilmore store is also the grocer's largest.
The building dates back to the 1920s, George said. The original wooden ceiling beams were taken down and are currently being milled into flooring, a move George said creates a more open feel while maintaining the historic feel of the place. The store will soon be filled with shelves for fresh pasta, sauces and wine. It'll have outdoor seating on its front patio and on the deck that's being added.
The commercial kitchen, George said, is bigger than the ones at his Providence Road and Park Road locations, so the staff will use it to supply the other stores with freshly prepared sandwiches, lasagnas, pastas and other ready-to-eat meals.
George said he wanted to be part of the first wave of redevelopment of the up-and-coming Wilmore neighborhood. He also wanted to open a location in a building he owns, although navigating the permitting and zoning process has caused some delays in the construction process, he said.
The location is currently zoned as residential. Adding seating requires rezoning, so George said tables and bar stools will be put in at a later date.
"I wanted to own my own building. I like the idea of, if something ever happened at our other two stores, we could always have a home base here. We'll always be around," George said.
The store has a fresh coat of bright green paint on its facade facing Spruce Street. On its other side is a giant mural of a Panther and the word "Charlotte" in graffiti, artwork that George is preserving per the request of the neighborhood.
Wilmore and its surrounding neighborhoods are seeing a wave of new development. The Palmer St. Arcade Bar opened last year will be in a former office warehouse space in the nearby Gold District, for instance. The Nichols Company is redeveloping the building that used to house the Mynt Restaurant & Lounge on the corner of Mint Street and Summit Avenue, too.
The design of the new Pasta & Provisions interior is being handled by Cluck Design Collaborative, which has designed breweries and restaurants such such as Haberdish in NoDa and Moo & Brew in Plaza Midwood.