Mattie’s Diner is on the hunt for a new home.
The diner’s lease in the NC Music Factory ends Sept. 30. Its property at Hamilton and West 12th streets will be the site of a new office tower for AvidXchange, the rapidly growing tech company that announced last year it would build a headquarters office in the Music Factory.
The retro-looking diner has been at its current spot since 2010 and has attracted a loyal following of regular locals, late night concert-goers, musical and comedy acts, police officers and families. It’s known for comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese and fried chicken, prepared diner-style in front of customers.
Matt King, the diner’s co-owner and namesake, says his team is considering signing a new lease elsewhere. They would love to be in an area like Plaza Midwood, NoDa or South End – “somewhere where you still have the nightlife,” King said.
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“It’s tricky for us because not many leases let you bring your own building,” he said. King found the nearly 70-year-old stainless steel mobile portion of the diner in a used-car parking lot in New Jersey, his home state. The historic diner previously operated as Bound Book Diner, according to Mattie’s website.
The other option King’s exploring is selling the diner to a new owner. “In the interest of saving the diner, that would be OK,” King said.
Though his team is running out of time, King said he’s confident that if the diner doesn’t find a new home that it will have a place to be stored at the Music Factory. The factory’s management is committed to making sure it doesn’t get demolished, he added.
“They get a good cross-section of Charlotte that frequents the diner,” said Ken Thomas, vice president of entertainment at the Ark Group, which is developing the NC Music Factory. “They’ve been a great tenant ... and we’re trying to do everything we can to help them out.”
To retain his regular customers, King also plans to open another restaurant concept in the Music Factory, though he says it’s still too early to talk about specifics.
“We’re going to help support him to develop that new menu and new venue,” said Rick Lazes, the Ark Group’s chief executive officer, who described the new concept as “gourmet Americana.”
Construction on AvidXchange’s 200,000-square-foot office building and its accompanying parking deck will begin Oct. 1, Lazes said.
AvidXchange, which automates bill payments and invoicing for mid-sized companies, currently operates out of offices in the Metropolitan near uptown, and about 100 employees currently work in a temporary facility at the Music Factory.