Life and Religion
|Redeveloping Camp North End expands to include a Gama Goat|
|Expansion as economic hub continues|
|Published Friday, June 26, 2020 3:52 pm|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|Members of Charlotte City Council, Mayor Vi Lyles and Camp North End advocates gathered this week to celebrate the opening of Gama Goat at Camp North End. The onetime abandoned industrial area is rebounding as a restaurant, arts and retail hub.|
The 76-acre site, which sits a mile north of Uptown, has gone from an abandoned industrial space to an economic hub housing a myriad of businesses. For Charlotte City Council District 2 representative Malcolm Graham, the district in which Camp North End lies, the memory of the space for a number of years was that of empty buildings.
“It was the old Eckerd’s drug store distribution center, and then it became abandoned,” Graham said. “Then developers came in and reused the property to what we see here today.”
Camp North End’s latest repurposed portion opened to the public on June 26. The Gama Goat building lies at 1701 North Graham St., where the building once served as a factory, producing vehicles of the same name for the Army in the 1960-70s. A Gama Goat was unveiled at the site by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and members of city council at a preview ceremony on June 24.
The six-wheel, semi-amphibious vehicle sits in an enclosed space, greeting visitors as they walk toward the newly opened food stalls. The Gama Goat building will also house Class A office space, bloc—a boutique fitness space, as well as outdoor spaces to work and eat. Each of the four food stalls are 385 square feet, which sit alongside the southwest side of the Gama Goat Building.
Keswick Avenue is undergoing construction in that space to extend the street to connect with other parts of the site to make Camp North End walkable. Current food stall options include: Bleu Barn Bistro, La Caseta and Saru by Bow Ramen. Bleu Barn Bistro is a farm-to-table food truck, featuring items like the Barn House Burger, Heirloom Tomato BLT and Peruvian Bork Belly tacos. This is their first brick-and-mortar location.
Raydal Hospitality’s La Caseta highlights flavors from Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico and Venezuela. Look for dishes like tacos al pastor, pupusas and arepas. The restaurant group consists of immigrant families, who are also the owners of Sabor Latin Street Grill and Three Amigos Mexican Cantina & Grill. Saru by Bow Ramen is their first concept stretching beyond New York City. It will feature Nagahama-style Tonkotsu ramen, which was developed in Fukuoka, Japan as an ultra-thin, hand-cut noodles cooked in pork bone broth.
For Graham, this next phase of Camp North End’s evolution is revitalization done right.
“It’s really a defining moment for the community, as well as something that is really cool and neat for North Graham St.,” he said.
The addition of the Gama Goat building brings the site to 12 food and beverage options. Chef Greg Collier and his wife Subrina opened Leah & Louise, Camp North End’s first brick and mortar restaurant, in March on the part of the site known as The Mount. Collier is Charlotte’s first Black chef to earn a James Beard Foundation nomination, earning consecutive nominations a semifinalist for the “Best Chef: Southeast” category in 2019 and 2020. Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt introduced Collier and Graham at the Camp North End preview on June 24.
“I introduced these two guys so that we can get something going on the West side,” Eiselt said in a tweet. “Chef Greg is interested in a sit-down restaurant on the West side! @CLTgov is down to help!”
For more information: https://www.camp.nc/
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