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Years ago Mr. Rogers tried to teach all of us to get to know our neighbors, and while we may have lost our way for a bit (hello, cell phone generation!), that concept is easier than ever before in Charlotte thanks to the growing popularity of neighborhood grocery stores — and in some cases — massive urban food halls.

Some have been around for a while and are already beloved, even opening in second and third locations. Others are in the works with highly anticipated opening dates. We’re running them down so that you know the best parts about the ones in your ‘hood.

Earl’s Grocery

1609 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204 • (704) 333-2757
Hours: 7 days, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Since Earl’s Grocery opened three years ago in Elizabeth, it’s become the place for hipsters to take breakfast and lunch meetings. Located just a few feet from the hospital, parking is just across the street (and rarely a problem), and the front windows open to the outside on nice days. You can get fresh sandwiches and salads and an array of healthy foods made from scratch on their food truck-style grill. People dig the No. 6 bowl (beet hash, duck confit, fried egg and TKO sauce), Banh Mi sandwich and burnt-butter chocolate chip cookies. Owner Bonnie Warford says she thinks these groceries are a trend now. “I think it’s the right price point, a fun atmosphere and a cheap way to drink and pay retail instead of restaurant prices,” she explains.

On nice days, those front window go up and the outdoors is invited in!

On nice days, these front window go up and the outdoors are invited in!

There's no shortage of delicious side items to choose from at Earl's.

There’s no shortage of delicious side items to choose from at Earl’s.

The Common Market

Plaza Midwood location: 2007 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205 • (704) 334-6209
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to midnight

Oakwold Location: 4420A Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28205 • (980) 498-0523
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

South End location (opening Spring 2018): 235 W. Tremont St., Charlotte, NC 28203 

The Common Market in Plaza Midwood — the OG having opened in 2002 — recently opened a new location in Oakwold. And a third one is in the works — after all the drama and despair that followed the sudden closing of the fan-favorite South End location, a new one is set to open there in spring of 2018. In addition to the deli sandwiches they’re known for and the local craft beer and eclectic wine selections, they still have their signature tongue-in-cheek gifts (picture vinyl t-shirts and funky trinkets) and will always be considered the original neighborhood hub. The website proclaims, “We don’t write your name on a cup, we know who you are. We’re a hodgepodge of people with stories to tell.”

Common Market currently boasts two locations, and a third is set to open in the spring.

The Common Market currently boasts two locations, and a third is set to open in the spring.

RELATED: 4 Gourmet Groceries Worth the Visit

Rhino Market & Deli

Original location: 1500 W. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28208 • (704) 348-1428
New location: 400 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28285 • (980) 299-6438 (plug in 420 S. Church St. on GPS)
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rhino Market & Deli celebrated the opening of their second location in Uptown in September — it’s right near Romare Bearden Park. (SB TIP: The physical address and mailing address are different, so if you’re trying to find it, plug in 420 Church St. in your GPS.) This specialty market offers simple and fast breakfast and lunch (try the breakfast burrito or chicken torta) similar to what they have in their original location in the FreeMoreWest neighborhood. If you’re looking for dinner, you can grab pre-made meals from Pasta & Provisions, and they have a ton of locally made snacks — Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese, The Naked Tart, Sweet Girl Cookies, Sugar Queen and Great Harvest, as well as some homemade goodies.

The original Rhino

The original Rhino

Rhino now has two Charlotte locations, the newest one having opened in September.

Rhino now has two Charlotte locations, the newest one having opened in September.

7th Street Public Market

224 E. Seventh St., Charlotte, NC 28202 • (704) 230-4346
Hours: 7 days, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

7th Street Public Market first opened in 2011 in Uptown and is now home to 15 different vendors – from a chocolate shop to a gift shop and an array of food and drink vendors. Don’t miss the chicken & the egg at Local Loaf, the sushi burritos at Bonsai Fusion, the maple dream crepe at Hazelnuts and Tuesday night wine tastings at Assorted Table. The coolest part about this place? “We are a business with a purpose,” explains Director Chris Clouden. “The market is a 501(c)3 with a mission to celebrate the food culture of the Carolinas and promote local and regional farmers, food artisans and entrepreneurs. I believe the mission-driven nature of the market gives it the feel and character that is hard to replicate in other places.”

You’ll never hurt for options at 7th Street Public Market. Image: Matt Hensey

Image: Matt Hensey

Everyone can grab whatever they’re craving from the 15 vendors set up in the market. Image: Matt Hensey

The People’s Market

1315 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Hours: 7 days, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The People’s Market is set to open any day now in Dilworth (where the old 131 Main used to be), bringing something to the heart of this historic neighborhood that many have longed for. The market will have all the usual offerings and a little something more that you don’t want to miss: fresh-cooked biscuits! Owner Cory Duran says, “Dilworth was missing a casual grab-and-go place with a relaxed vibe. The table service model is being replaced by the grab-and-go model.” (SB TIP: Shhhh … the owner hints they’re already looking at opening a second location!)

Lincoln’s Haberdashery

1300 South Blvd., Ste. S, Charlotte, NC 28273 • (704) 910-4660

Lincoln’s Haberdashery is set to open in a few weeks in an old Lance factory in South End. The sister restaurant of popular Futo Buta, Lincoln’s Haberdashery’s Chef Michael Shortino is said to be creating a South End Neighborhood Market described as “organized chaos,” consisting of fast-casual gourmet breakfast and lunch, a coffee shop, wine shop, beer shop and retailer. The menu is still a secret, but we’re told they’ll have an array of local jams, honeys, wine, beer, knick-knacks, timeless penny candy, a pet section, kids’ toys, local chocolates, local granola, pastries, soups, salads, sushi, Pure Intentions coffee and more. Lincoln’s Haberdashery’s spokesperson Courtney Estes says, “A market/grocery helps facilitate engagement with your neighbors and connect with friends in an intimate space over drinks or a sandwich (without breaking the bank). But more importantly you’re able to really hone in on where the food you’re consuming is coming from. We think that people want more out of everyday life, and their intimate connection to food is growing and has facilitated these experiences they’re seeking.”

COMING SOON: Tompkins Hall will open next fall at 340 E. 16th St., Charlotte, NC 28206. The historic mill re-development in Optimist Park between Uptown and NoDa will feature 22,250 square feet of food hall space, 33,470 square feet of restaurants and retail, and 80,000 square feet of office space. We’re talking 18 different food stalls (plus restaurants and a craft/tap bar) in one of the most historic structures left in the Queen City. There will be a “living room” meant to be a comfortable space for you to eat your food inside, and a huge outdoor terrace with views of Uptown. A spokeswoman for the project says, “There are so many options that whether you are on your own, with one other person or a large group, each individual can get what they want while still eating together.”

And what better way to get to know your neighbors? Mr. Rogers would be proud!

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