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South End

Urbex 2008: Battle of the hoods

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South End, located directly south of center city, started off as a thriving manufacturing community during Charlotte's textile boom of the early 20th century. The area went downhill, however, during the 1970s and 1980s as the once thriving manufacturing companies closed shop and moved out, leaving behind huge buildings to rot and decay.

But as the saying goes, what is old becomes new again; South End experienced a revival as businesses and people discovered the beauty and versatility of the abandoned buildings. Now South End is home to a diverse mix of restaurants, boutique shops and design-related businesses. Whether you're looking for an old-fashioned eatery that serves great milkshakes (like Pike's or Mr. K's), tile to put on your bathroom floor or a unique piece of art or jewelry, you'll find it in South End. And hipsters take note: South End is also home to the only American Apparel store in the entire state.

What's so great about South End?

"We have eight to 10 art galleries you can walk to. We have, obviously, the light rail and a lot of hip, new apartments and condos," says John Nance, who's lived in South End for 3 years. "We also have a very young, urban population with kind of a neat combination of demographics. And it's close enough to Uptown without actually being in Uptown. And depending on which way the wind is blowing ... you can smell black beans from Phat Burrito or fried chicken from Prices."

Favorite hangouts?

"Sullivan's [Steakhouse] and Phat Burrito."

Hood Stats

Dimension Ratings

Social Dimension:..................................High

Crime Dimension:..................................Medium

Physical Dimension:...............................Medium

Economic Dimension:............................Low

Profile NSA City

Population.............................................. 2,214 656,983

Youth Population....................................615 168,188

Number of Housing Units......................862 281,358

Area (Acres.............................................418 150,093

Median Household Income.....................$27,297 $46,082

Average House Value..............................$95,197 $192,844

Number of Organizations.......................1 N/A

Unemployment Index..............................Medium N/A

Hood Attractions

 

Restaurants and Bars

 

BEEF & BOTTLE, 4538 South Blvd., 704-523-9977. A homegrown spot, beloved by many, with a traditional menu featuring aged Black Angus beef, oysters Rockefeller, and seafood, including frogs' legs. Dark, dated interior.

BILL SPOON'S BARBECUE, 5524 South Blvd., 704-525-8865. For nearly 40 years, this 65-seat pork parlor has been packed at lunch. The place to go for die hard Eastern barbecue aficionados.

JAIPUR INDIAN CUISINE, 5909 South Blvd., 704-643-1421. Don't let the exterior put you off. Inside you'll find balanced Indian dishes from all parts of the subcontinent. Reasonably priced, too. A great weekday lunch buffet, and a great dinner buffet on weekends.

PEWTER ROSE Bistro, 1820 South Blvd., 704-332-8149. Opened in 1984. With its whimsical, charming, second story ambience and notable wine list, this restaurant is known for Chef Blake Dewey's eclectic cuisine. Very popular Sunday brunch post. Next door is Tutto Mundo, a stylish bar with late night food.

PIKE'S OLD FASHIONED SODA SHOP, 1930 Camden Rd., 704-372-0092. Nostalgia reigns while you're served homemade quality ice cream floats to sandwiches and fries to sticky buns. Breakfast on weekends.

PHAT BURRITO, 1537 Camden Rd., 704-332-7428. A hole-in-the-wall place for great burritos with quality ingredients at a good price.

PRICE'S CHICKEN COOP, 1614 Camden Rd., 704-333-9866. Opened in 1962 and renowned for having the best deep fried chicken and fish in town, if not in North Carolina. Take-out only.

SAIGON PALACE, 5215-B South Blvd., 704-529-0098. Delightful frothy tropical fruit shakes and hardy bowls of steaming pho are among the array of delicious items to try from the menu. Chinese buffet at lunch, but Vietnamese items are always available.

VILLA ANTONIO, 4707 South Blvd., 704-523-1594. Old world style service and straight forward Italian dishes in this local favorite for dining and dancing.

WOODS ON SOUTH, 2100 South Blvd., 704-358-4677. The Woods on South menu features a round up of Southern tastes with international twists.

 

Entertainment and Cultural Venues

 

AMOS' SOUTHEND, 1423 S. Tryon St., 704-377-6874. Bi-level music venue with bar. Performance calendar is always packed, features mostly rock varieties like Candlebox, Saliva and many local groups.

ARTBAR, 1501 B S. Tryon St., 704-277-0802. Gallery space for art venues, local and regional artists represented. Live music, life drawing, auctions, guided tours, bar.

SOUTHEND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 201 Rampart St., 704-332-5300.

THE DESIGN CENTER OF THE CAROLINAS, 1930 Camden Rd., 704-577-4512. Nucleus of the South End design district, prominent locale for design architecture and interior design firms.

TREMONT MUSIC HALL, 400 W. Tremont Ave., 704-343-9494. Longtime favorite for Charlotte music fans, Tremont has hosted legends like Iggy Pop, George Clinton, you name it, and remains a premier stop for acts specializing in modern rock, college rock, punk, hardcore, ska, roots rock and others.

 

Parks and Recreation

 

ABBOTT PARK, 1300 Spruce St. Just shy of six acres, basketball, softball, tennis, picnic shelter, gazebo, playground.

WILMORE PARK, 900 Spruce St. One acre, playground, picnic area.

REVOLUTION GOLF COURSE, 2661 Barringer Rd. 704-342-1946. Over 106 acres, 9 holes golf. The city's oldest public golf course still operating.

REVOLUTION PARK, 2425 Barringer Rd. Twenty-two acres, basketball, softball, picnic shelter, playgrounds.

REVOLUTION RECREATION CENTER AND POOL, 1201 Remount Rd., 704-336-3841. One of the city's oldest swimming holes, and one seriously happening place during the summer months.

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