Photo: Emma Way/Axios
By: Paige Hopkins and Emma Way | April 28, 2021 last updated in June 18, 2021
The effortlessly cool Camp North End complex is a growing destination for the arts, food, nightlife and more. But its goal isn’t to redefine Charlotte’s character — it’s to emphasize what’s been here all along.
The big picture: “As long as I’ve lived here, people have knocked Charlotte as having no history, no identity, no culture,” Camp North End’s community manager Varian Shrum tells me. “I know that’s not true … and I think Camp North End has a special opportunity to … put a flag in the ground and say, this is Charlotte.”
Defining the 76-acre mixed-use development has always been one of the biggest challenges and greatest joys, Shrum says. How can you sum up 40+ vendors, varying community events and dozens of public art displays into one?
Well, we’re going to try here.
(Photo taken pre-coronavirus)
Here’s everything else you need to know about Camp North End.
What is Camp North End: Think of it as a mix between industrial art collective, shopping center, and an outdoor food hall. Camp North End is a massive adaptive reuse project on a 76-acre industrial site north of Uptown. ATCO Properties & Management paid $15.6 million for the land and historic buildings there, which have served as a Ford Model T factory, a missile plant, and most recently as a Rite-Aid facility.
Where: Camp North End is a collection of several warehouse buildings located just north of Uptown in the wedge between Statesville Avenue and N. Graham Street. For mapping purposes, use 1824 Statesville Avenue.
Things to do: Camp North End has played host to music festivals, food trucks, markets and more. You may have seen the wildly popular Durag Fest, which drummed up national attention during summer 2019 (it’s back this year), or the Mistletoe Market, a festive holiday pop-up shop featuring local vendors.
CNE also has recurring events like Fridays at Camp North End, which includes live music. There are also walking tours and fitness classes held at the site.
Farmers’ market: Every Wednesday until October, Camp North End hosts a variety of vendors for the North End Farmers’ Market. [Full guide]
The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit is now open in the Ford building. It’s a touring art show that’s been everywhere from Paris to Los Angeles and was been featured on the Netflix show “Emily in Paris.” [Go deeper]
- The show will run-through September 12.
- Tickets start at $39.99—hurry if you’re interested because there aren’t many left.
Part of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios
Here’s how we’d spend a day in Camp North End.
Note: Not all vendors are open every day so be sure to check before you go.
Morning caffeine: Start your day with Hex Coffee, a specialty roaster based here in Charlotte.
Mural tour: Take a self-guided walk around Camp North End to see all the public art — namely murals and a funky display of painted globes. [Full guide: Axios guide to 30+ murals in Camp North End]
Hunt for your next read: Stop by That’s Novel Books, a used bookstore next to Hygge Coworking, to find your next read. The shop is currently offering curbside pickup and running outdoor book sales on Saturdays.
Lunch from a food stall: The newly opened stalls serve a variety of food, including bowls of ramen, tacos with tortillas made from scratch, burgers, and more.
Burger from Bleu Barn Bistro food stall.
Lounge in a hammock: Or bring a blanket and relax on the grass. There’s tons of lounge space around Camp North End.
Drinks: There’s a growing list of options. For craft cocktails, go with Leah & Louise (with mixologist Justin Hazelton) or Black Moth Bars, an adorable airstream bar open every Friday. For beer, head to Free Range. [Full guide: Camp North End by night]
Dinner at Leah & Louise: You may know of James Beard semifinalist Greg Collier from The Yolk, a breakfast spot in 7th Street Public Market. Leah & Louise is an entirely different experience — it’s upscale, but approachable in price point. Our favorite dishes are the mud island (catfish stew with grits), Leah’s cabbage (slow-roasted cabbage with a pork neck bisque) and the Arthur Lou tart (made with Tang — like the orange drink powder).
Arthur Lou dessert from Camp North End.
Current Camp North End tenants:
FOOD AND DRINK
Babe & Butcher – Popular cheese and charcuterie board company. Now open near Leah & Louise.
Bleu Barn Bistro – Farm to table food truck and stall serving burgers, tacos, and more
Chop & Chisel – Healthy grab-and-go meal prep
Free Range Brewing – Family-owned brewery creating beers with local produce from regional farms.
HEX Coffee – Specialty coffee roaster
La Caseta– Food stall featuring flavors of El Salvador, Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina; inspired by the team members’ diverse family traditions
NoDa Company Canteen – Outdoor bar serving beer, wine, and sangria seasonally at events.
Plant Joy – Vegan food stall from the team behind Nourish. (Opening Nov. 20)
Popbar – Custom gelato and sorbet popsicles
Saru by Bow Ramen – Nagahama style ramen shop based in New York
Wentworth & Fenn – Gourmet scratch bakery
Plant Joy’s grilled green’s sandwich
DUPP&SWAT – Creative space for retail, art, and community events
Feminist Goods Co. – Retailer selling t-shirts, sweatshirts, pins, wall art, and more
Good Postage – Mother/daughter founded paper goods company with cards, prints, stickers, and more
Grow – Specialty plant shop with a variety of plants and gardening accessories
That’s Novel Books – Used book store with cozy places to work and read