Less than a month after announcing plans to open a third location in Villa Heights near NoDa, Rhino Market’s owner said this week he’ll open a fourth site in South End.
Rob Rondelez told the Observer that the new location, in the RailYard development, jibes with the big-picture mission of Rhino: To open in fast-growing parts of the city where demand is high for the kind of funky, young market he operates.
Rhino’s latest announcement underscores how quickly the brand has grown in the last few years.
Rhino first opened on Morehead Street in November 2014. Its second location, in uptown near Romare Bearden Park, opened in summer 2017. The Villa Heights store, next to Free Range Brewing, is expected to open in early 2019. The South End store is expected to open sometime next summer, Rondelez said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“We’re trying to go into (areas) where we are needed and where we think we’re needed,” Rondelez said. “There are a lot of parts of town that we think could use a Rhino.”
Rondelez called the RailYard a “great opportunity” for Rhino, which will have, like other Rhino Markets, a small retail store, deli and bar, and will sell groceries, six-packs of craft beer and wine by the glass. The South End location will have a few new features distinct from the others, Rondelez said, declining to say what they are.
“There’s kind of not a rhyme or reason (for expanding),” Rondelez said, adding that he’s expanding the concept on his own, without a team of investors.
“We’re just going into places where we think stores will be profitable.”
Rhino Market in South End will be in a 3,100-square-foot space on the ground level of the RailYard, which includes a pair of eight-story buildings housing office space, ground-floor shops and restaurants and a courtyard between the buildings that will have outdoor dining and events. The project, developed by Beacon Partners, also includes 100 “micro apartments” to be built on the rear of the buildings.
Rondelez, former manager of the Common Market in South End, chose the new location despite the fact that it’s a mile from where the new Common Market is opening soon on Tremont.
“There are a Publix and Harris Teeter in South End right across from each other,” Rondelez noted. “It tells you a lot about how many people (live and work) in South End and Dilworth.”