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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

A new dining option rolls into Historic West End neighborhood
Hot Box Next Level Kitchen to debut
 
Published Friday, December 11, 2020 9:00 am
by Ashley Mahoney

PHOTO | JONATHAN COOPER
Chef Michael Bowling and his sister and business partner Joy Bowling of Hot Box Next Level Kitchen.

Hot Box Next Level Kitchen is heading to West End in 2021.


Chef Michael Bowling will open a food truck extension of the Concord eatery, which he opened inside Southern Strain Brewing in 2019. The food truck is scheduled to begin in February near Johnson C. Smith University’s Arts Factory on West Trade Street, where it will be parked most of the time. However, it will travel for festivals. The ultimate goal is to open a brick and mortar restaurant in the area.


The plan is to have the food truck open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. They also intend to take advantage of being located along the CityLynx Gold trolley line.


“We are hoping to get people to come down out of Uptown for lunch,” Bowling said. “They can order online, jump off, pick up their food and by the time the trolley comes back down the tracks, they can pick up their food and head back into Uptown.”


The Beatties Ford Road corridor, which encompasses the area surrounding the JCSU Arts Factory, is one of the city of Charlotte’s six Corridors of Opportunity—a $24.5 million program designed to address gaps in infrastructure. Developments along the corridor have either broken ground or are scheduled to break ground in the coming months.


For Bowling, now is the time to get in on the ground floor of the development, particularly in the Five Points area, which is where Beatties Ford Road, Fifth, West Trade and State streets and Rozzelles Ferry Road meet near JCSU.


Among the projects underway for the Corridors of Opportunity is the Five Points plaza, a pedestrian friendly area set to be completed by the end of the year, including a water feature and amphitheater.


The Gold Line is also part of the program, as well as creating pedestrian-friendly access between Uptown and West End via the West Trade Street and Interstate 77 underpass. The latter is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.


Another project along the corridor near the JCSU Arts Factory is a second Mosaic Village. The first featured 80 apartment-style suites on four floors in a $25 million partnership between the Griffin Family and JCSU. Mike Griffin is working with architect Shook Kelley/Neighboring Concepts on the second Mosaic Village.


“The West End right there in that Five Points corridor is going to be one of the most convenient eat, work, play areas in the city,” Bowling said. “I think when all is said and done, it is going to compete with South End as far as the traffic that goes on. The trolley and all the development that is going on is going to help that. I truly believe it is going to be a great eat, work, play neighborhood.”

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