If there’s one thing the global COVID-19 pandemic has revealed about the American routine, it’s that food is at the center of it all. Although eating is the easy part, choosing what to eat can be difficult.
The next time Charlotteans can’t decide what to eat, and the food court at the mall doesn’t sound appetizing, there’s something new on the horizon with The City Kitch – a commercial kitchen that offers both private and shared cooking facilities for local food businesses.
Aside from a few seats inside of Wu-Rons (Bo Ramen,) The City Kitch can be described as a ghost kitchen. The building is full of cooking stations used to produce mostly delivery-only food, although you can order takeout. Place your order at the restaurant’s website, then head into the front entrance of the building to pick up your food.
Chenelle Bragg, also known as “Chef Nelly,” is the owner of The Best of Both Souls, a vegan soul food eatery that’s been stationed at The City Kitch since September 2020.
“It’s kind of like a food court, but with a shared common area that everyone can use,” the first-time business owner and long-time personal chef said.
The City Kitch also offers private kitchen suites, where renters can opt to have the kitchen equipment all to themselves – “a really good concept,” Bragg said of the arrangement.
She had been planning to buy a brick-and-mortar establishment for her eatery, but when she found this option, she thought it would be a good way to stick a toe in the water.
“I’m learning what works for me and what doesn’t work,” Bragg said of the opportunity to rent space without the long-term commitment of a building lease.
“And then I have neighbors,” Bragg said, noting other vendors nearby who she said she’s become fond of.
“It’s been good because it’s helping me learn. The people are really great and very helpful – it’s like you’re around a little family.”
One of Braggs’ neighbors, Sam Diminich of Your Farms Your Table, was a winner on the Food Network show “Beat Bobby Flay.”
The City Kitch currently has two locations, one in West End and another in University, although the University location operates as a commercial kitchen without the option for takeout.
Here’s what you’ll currently find at The City Kitch – West End:
This spot offers plant-based vegan and vegetarian dishes with a soul-food inspired twist. All meals are made using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients for to-go orders only.
This online sweet-shop specializes in weekly cookie boxes available for pickup at its location inside The City Kitch. Cookie flavors change weekly, including a new cookie box each week. Customers can order online, select a pickup time and pick up via the City Kitch West End front entrance.
The American eatery offers gourmet street food, including sandwiches, tacos and fresh-cut fries, all using fresh ingredients. Orders are available to go and for delivery only.
The restaurant’s authentic, homestyle Chinese cuisine includes made-from-scratch dishes with authentic flavors. The food is inspired by the street-side restaurants in China, where locals eat. The menu includes dumpling flights, noodle dishes and rice bowls for takeout and delivery only.
The authentic Japanese eatery serves a variety of ramen bowls and rice bowls for takeout or dine-in.
2200 Thrift Road