City News

Fort Mill restaurant comes to Charlotte

Passion8 Bistro now makes its home in the Queen City, although the dim lighting and romantic, rustic feel remain.

The bistro, which spent nearly eight years in Fort Mill, has found a dream location – and kitchen – on the outskirts of uptown Charlotte, said executive chef Luca Annunziata, who co-owns the bistro with his wife, Jessica Annunziata.

Annunziata, a Naples, Italy, native, and Jessica, from Long, Island, N.Y., closed their Fort Mill restaurant Oct. 8 and opened the new location Oct. 24.

Passion8 now sits amid a variety of restaurants in an area becoming affectionately known as the next “eat street,” said Tori Bagdoian, Passion8 assistant general manager.

Luca Annunziata said the Elizabeth Avenue site, which is along the planned route for the streetcar set to open next year, will bring new customers to the bistro.

Though the space features three dining rooms, an upstairs mezzanine and an expanded bar, Luca Annunziata said his favorite addition is the fully equipped kitchen: With the move, Passion8 Bistro went from eight burners to 24.

“It’s a dream come true for a chef,” Luca Annunziata said. “It’s fun to work in.”

Passion8 remains focused on using local ingredients, changing the menu every few weeks to reflect what is available, Luca Annunziata said. The restaurant continues to use Fort Mill farmers and has expanded their reach into Charlotte.

The kitchen is open to guests so that they can see the chefs at work. Adjacent to the kitchen is the chef’s table, which is by reservation only for up to eight diners and can be open or enclosed.

On opening night, Passion8 welcomed 100 guests.

Passion8 plans eventually to offer a late-night menu at its expanded bar and lounge, which when combined seat 25 people, Bagdoian said. Passion8 currently offers both a bar bites and regular menu in the bar and lounge. Locally crafted beers are featured on draft.

Passion8 will open for lunch and Sunday brunch in December, Bagdoian said.

As the bistro continues to grow, it will offer new options for an intimate, fine-dining experience, Luca Annunziata said.

Passion8 Bistro is at 1523 Elizabeth Ave. in Charlotte and is open 5-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, visit www.thepassion8.

com or call 704-910-3161.

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