Wining & Dining: Power Restaurants
When it comes to toasting a merger or debating over dinner, Charlotte’s power players have their favorites. Here’s where the big wigs go and the big deals go down
By Michelle Boudin
Located in the heart of SouthPark, this restaurant hosts so many heavy hitters that The Wall Street Journal covered it as a place where deals get done.
Courtesy of Del Frisco’s
- Felix Sabates (NASCAR entrepreneur)
- Panthers rookies (Tradition requires that rookies treat their teammates to dinners that can range from $5,000 to $25,000.)
- Marcus Smith (runs Charlotte Motor Speedway)
- Panthers Coach Ron Rivera
- Brian France
- (NASCAR chairman)
- Pat Riley (CEO of Allen Tate)
State laws changed after a liquor company paid almost $10,000 for a holiday dinner with the Mecklenburg County ABC Board in the restaurant’s private downstairs dining room.
This swanky steakhouse in the heart of uptown is said to be a favorite among the city’s high-profile African Americans, including Michael Jordan and Mayor Anthony Foxx.
Courtesy of Ruth's Chris
- Dell Curry
- Fred Whitfield (President of the Bobcats)
- Denny Hamlin (NASCAR driver)
- Herman Cain (Republican presidential hopeful)
- Steve Smith (Panthers player)
- Pat McCrory
Steve Smith once wore a Ric Flair cape at a charity event hosted here (he was trying to help auction off the cape).
This members-only club on the thirty-first floor of the 121 West Trade building offers one of the best views in Charlotte as well as nine private dining rooms often used for all-day deal-making sessions.
Courtesy of Charlotte City Club
- Hugh McColl
- President Obama
- President Clinton
- Bob Morgan (Charlotte Chamber president)
- Johnny Harris (developer)
The club’s distinguished members love Wednesdays and Fridays, when the chef’s famed sticky buns are served.
This popular Dilworth coffee shop is hot with creative types, nurses (CMC is around the corner), architects, and retirees. The manager says the mood changes from day (when business gets done) to night (when it’s a popular hangout).
Courtesy of Caribou Coffee
- Local TV reporters (Anna Kooiman from Fox and Dion Lim from NBC NewsChannel 36)
- Scott Stone (mayoral candidate)
- Jimmie Johnson and crew
When the movie The Hunger Games was being shot in Charlotte, the crew bought scones from Caribou to use in a scene featuring a bakery.
This no-frills restaurant on Charlottetown Avenue serves breakfast all day, is just outside uptown, and—bonus—has its own parking lot.
Courtesy of Virtual Tourist
- Cam Newton (Panthers quarterback)
- Ronnie Bryant (President of Charlotte Regional Partnership)
- Police Chief Rodney Monroe
- John Lassiter (former mayoral candidate)
- Pat McCrory
Former Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad was having breakfast late last year with County Commissioner Harold Cogdell Jr. when they ran into former mayor Pat McCrory. The manager says this is the kind of thing that happens all the time here.