Dean & DeLuca Opens in Phillips Place

June 27, 1997

For a city obsessed with comparing itself to New York, the opening of a Dean & DeLuca gourmet grocery store was a watershed moment.

None other than Martha Stewart flew down to help christen the store, which was one of the first retail outlets to open in the Phillips Place shopping center. The opening had been hyped for months, and a line of people -- mostly women -- snaked outside the building, waiting for a glimpse of the homemaker diva and future shady stock trader and their first look at the exotic foodstuffs inside. Stewart left early, but Dean & DeLuca has not suffered.

It was the first location outside of New York City and Washington D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood for the famous grocery store, which has since expanded into other markets. Charlotteans, their chests puffed with pride and their fingers reaching for a hunk of exotic cheese, pointed this out often to newcomers, visitors, and anyone else who would listen.

Dean & DeLuca has also helped ensure the success of Phillips Place. Though some have derided it for its Epcot-like feel, the development -- a mix of upscale shops, restaurants, condominiums, apartments, a movie theater, and a hotel -- has become a model for mixed-use growth in Charlotte. Hardly a new development is announced without someone comparing it to Phillips Place.

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