Entrée Boo: 5 Charlotte Restaurants Said to Be Haunted
These spots have history—and according to staff, phantom regulars
A new restaurant seems to open each week in Charlotte. Yet some of the city’s oldest have fed—and, in some cases, scared—us for decades. Meet the ghosties that inhabit five of them:
Rí Rá Irish Pub
Rí Rá is on the ground floor of the second-oldest building in uptown Charlotte. The bar opened in 1997, but its ghosts have reportedly been there much longer. Sightings include a man in a Roaring Twenties-era uniform with white gloves and a pillbox cap. The pub’s website offers another mystery that centers on a single red brick: “The alarm system went off in the middle of the night, triggering a call to the police. … The only thing out of place was a random red brick in the middle of the floor. The security cameras were checked and there were no signs of anyone entering the Pub or leaving the brick in this strange spot. To this day no one knows where the brick came from or who put it there but rumors are linked to its well-known prankster ghost.” 208 N. Tryon St.
Elizabeth’s Caswell Station used to be Kennedy’s Premium Bar, which the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society investigated in 2011. Over the years, staff at both restaurants reported strange sounds and radio interference; one even spotted an unknown figure inside the bathroom after the business closed for the day. A WCNC reporter accompanied the CAPS visit nine years ago, when paranormal investigator Tina McSwain heard noises that resembled a woman’s sigh. The reporter noted that they didn’t hear anything. 366 N. Caswell Rd.
Down the street from Caswell Station is 35-year-old Cajun Queen, a converted house that serves New Orleans-influenced fare and live jazz throughout the week. There are two theories about the woman, the one-time owner of the century-old structure, who supposedly haunts the building. Some say she is angry that her house has been turned into a bar; others say she’s just looking for a drink. 1800 E. 7th St.
The Fourth Ward fixture opened in 1983. Jason Tapp of the @spookyclt Instagram account often posts about the “Lonely Local” there. Servers cleaning up for the night have seen an unknown person sitting at Al Mike’s strange booth for one. “In the late 19th century, Alexander Michael’s, the popular Fourth Ward restaurant, used to be a grocery store, the Berryhill Store,” the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library explains on its website. “As legend has it, Mr. Berryhill now haunts the restaurant.” 401 W. 9th St.
Bruce Moffett opened his Italian restaurant on Providence Road in a one-time home Blanche Reynolds built in the early 1900s. Reynolds was known for her sense of humor and grand parties, and staff now says she hangs around as a scheming spectre. In 2016, chef Drew Dodd told this magazine about a night when he was working alone in the kitchen. He “sat his chef’s notebook on a counter,” wrote Kristen Wile. “It wasn’t near the edge, he points out, it was in the middle of the counter. He turned away and heard a smack. His notebook had flown off the counter and was several feet away from where it was sitting. He decided to go home. He’d met the Stagioni ghost.” 715 Providence Rd. —A.S.