What's In Store

Popular food truck and other new tenants to open this spring in Optimist Hall

Rendering of Optimist Hall
Rendering of Optimist Hall

Four new tenants, including the popular food truck The Dumpling Lady, will join the lineup of retail tenants at Optimist Hall, a massive former textile mill that’s being restored in Optimist Park between uptown and NoDa.

Charlotte-based White Point Partners and Atlanta-based Paces Properties said in addition to The Dumpling Lady, the following tenants will open in the spring of 2019: the stationery and supply shop Archer Paper Goods, the cocktail bar Billy Sunday and the nutrition-focused pet store Pet Wants.

Once construction is wrapped up, Optimist Hall, formerly called Tompkins Hall, will have a food hall with about 15 vendors, one to three restaurants, a large tasting room for Fonta Flora Brewery, as well as retail shops and offices for Duke Energy. The hall is at 340 E. 16th St.

With the latest new retailers, Optimist Hall has 10 vendors lined up already for the food hall. Others include Undercurrent Coffee, Zukku Sushi and Aix, a rotisserie chicken stand from the owners of Aix En Provence. Papi Queso, another popular Charlotte food truck, is also opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Optimist Hall.

More Optimist Hall tenants are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“(The new tenants) share our vision of creating a gathering place at the heart of the city,” said Jay Levell, a partner and co-founder at White Point Partners.

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Here are the details on the new tenants:

The Dumpling Lady: This will be the first brick-and-mortar location for the food truck concept, which makes dumplings, noodles, dim sum and Sichuan dishes. Operated by executive chef Qian Zhang and sous chef Bea Vang, The Dumpling Lady will be in a 500-square-foot space in Optimist Hall.

Archer Paper Goods: The stationery and paper shop, which also sells greeting cards and gifts, will be in a 2,258-square-foot space in the new development. This will be Archer’s first Charlotte location; its other stores are in Dallas, Atlanta and Athens.

Billy Sunday: The bar, which specializes in classic cocktails as well as creative drink recipes, has one other location, in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. It will open in a 1,450 square-foot space in Optimist Hall.

Pet Wants: Self-described as a “health food for pets,” Pet Wants will be in a 500-square-foot spot in the hall. The store sells natural pet foods and treats.