Mod Marvel: Plaza Midwood
Our exclusive guide to Plaza Midwood’s best shops
Over the past decade, Plaza Midwood has morphed into a hot spot for dining and nightlife, not to mention one of the best places to live near uptown. With the growth also came retail—storefronts boast modern home décor, vegan foods, and microbrews. Now this once-hipster neighborhood draws homeowners of all types who scour nearby stores for home goods.
This multi-merchant home store features an ever-changing mix of furniture, artwork, and accessories for your home. Twenty-five merchants—many of which are designers—stock their booths with a little bit of everything: transitional, mid-century modern, and contemporary pieces such as Foo Dog lamps, brass starburst mirrors, and vintage barrel-back chairs. Part home store, part gallery, Slate also represents twenty-seven local artists whose work is displayed throughout the space.
WHAT WE LOVE: Gallery crawls. Slate participates in Plaza Midwood’s monthly gallery crawl the first Friday of every month, when customers can peruse the artwork while sipping wine and sampling organic eats from Thomas Martin Catering.
Since August 1999, co-owner Richard Rathers has filled his storefront with sought-after books. Though Book Buyers recently downsized, you can still expect to find a varied selection of fiction and nonfiction among the 30,000 books in stock for $2 to $9.95 each. Fill your built-in bookshelves with classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Little Women, which Rathers says he tries to keep on hand at all times. Plus, there are plenty of audio books available.
WHAT WE LOVE: The deals. The bargain rack can’t be beat—score used books in excellent condition for just $1 each.
Eco-licious is the brainchild of friends Fiona Humphrey and Marley Claridge. The duo stocks their general store and grocery with vegan foods and natural and eco-friendly home products, many made by local artisans and purveyors. Stock up on pre-made meals by Beverly’s Gourmet Foods (veggie burgers, pasta salads) and Nelly’s Naturals (stuffed figs, empanadas, cannellini bean dip) or pick up all-natural cleaning products. Humphrey and Claridge also create one-of-a-kind pieces by restoring and repurposing furniture and accessories.
WHAT WE LOVE: The candles. Local candle maker Pam Mahaffey created a Gin & Tonic candle just for Eco-Licious from her line of soy wax candles ($9.99 each).
HONG KONG VINTAGE
Though it’s known as the go-to thrift store for stylish clothes from bygone eras, homeowners should come here to pore over the vintage accessories and furniture. Hong Kong Vintage’s owner, Elizabeth Steinfels, scours the country for her finds, which include everything from Heller melamine kitchenware in bold, bright colors and Russel Wright china to Heywood Wakefield end tables and Rya and Flokati area rugs. Steinfels applies her eye for fashion when she weeds through flea markets and estate sales for hard-to-find vintage pieces.
WHAT WE LOVE: The surprises. Occasionally you can even find cool vintage furniture by Danish designers that exemplifies the midcentury modern look. (Think: teak coffee tables and chairs.)
A neighborhood staple, Common Market is more than simply a deli. At this casual spot just a few blocks off Central Avenue, you’ll find one of the best selections of wine, beer, and cider in Charlotte. Beer guru Tom Stanfel stocks the store with customers’ picks and requests such as cold ones from Dogfish Head, Highland Brewing Company, Epic Brewing Company, and dozens more, while wine aficionado Josh Villapando assists customers in picking out the best vino to please their palates. (CM’s all about dishing out discounts, too: mix and match any twelve bottles of wine and get 15 percent off.) It’s not just about the drinks here, though: pick up dips and spreads like CM’s famous housemade pimento cheese for an appetizer or check out the shelves for some handmade soaps and lotions for your guest bath.
WHAT WE LOVE: The service. Stanfel, Villapando, and owner Blake Barnes are readily on hand to help you pick the right beer or wine for every occasion.
GREEN WITH ENVY
Sisters Tina Nardoci and Barbara Blackburn opened this Central Avenue spot in 2003 and filled it with a collection of just about everything. You’ll find clothing and accessories (Curly Girl and Baggallini handbags), candles (Votivo and local line Ella B), and bath and body products (Mixture and Royal Apothic), not to mention goodies for the little ones such as receiving blankets and onesies. But shabby chic home décor is the specialty here—Nardoci and Blackburn scour estate and yard sales and repurpose or revitalize items to their original splendor so once-rusty mirrors or broken lamps become statement pieces.
WHAT WE LOVE: The sales. Customers can expect deep discounts at the store’s sales in January and July.
CITY SUPPLY CO.
Urban and suburban dwellers alike love this hip home décor and furniture store for its tailored selection of sleek furniture and modern décor. Opened in 2000, City Supply boasts a selection of contemporary lighting and sofas, not to mention artwork and accessories. The store is arranged in vignettes for a better idea of how a piece—like a tailored settee by Robert Allen—will look in your home. Accessories abound here, too, such as Voluspa candles, Pierced Clubs porcelain lamps, and patterned pillows made from remnants of designer fabrics. If you’re in the market for contemporary art, City Supply features several local artists, such as Robert Boyd and Sharon Dowell.
WHAT WE LOVE: The help. In-house designers offer full interior design services including specialties such as home staging.
If the aroma of straight-from-the-oven bread isn’t enough to lure you in to Nova’s, then the assortment of freshly baked blueberry scones, marble brownies, croissants, and Swiss chocolate muffins will. Drawing from past generations of Serbian bakers, the Novakovics use only organic and non-chemically processed flours in their baked goods to ensure the flavor is spot on. Loaves of bread such as Kalamata olive, cranberry pecan, and cinnamon raisin are baked fresh daily. While you’re there, grab a pound of coffee beans to take home for breakfast the next morning.
WHAT WE LOVE: The sweet breads. Zucchini pumpkin, banana nut, apple cinnamon, and cranberry orange are perfect breakfast treats when guests are in town.