Charlotte, NC is a bustling city in North Carolina that has been recently making headlines due to an influx of Black tourism. Black men and women from all over the country are flocking to Charlotte because of its increasingly Black culture. Charlotte is home to many Black-owned businesses, from restaurants to aquatic centers to law firms. And after visiting the city, many Black people consider moving there to start their own.

Black businesses, on average, have a more challenging time achieving long-lasting success. According to a report from CNBC, eight out of ten Black companies shut down within the first 18 months of opening.

After a global effort to buy Black following the highly-publicized murder of George Floyd, many Black businesses began to thrive. However, in many cases the support didn’t last long as public interest waned over time.

Fortunately, many people still make an effort to support Black businesses. And with cities like Charlotte that are full of these businesses, buying Black is easier than ever.

Even though Washington, DC is considered “Chocolate City,” the Black community in Charlotte, NC is truly putting its city on the map. Charlotte is a beautiful city with a rich and diverse culture. There are so many things to see and do there, and supporting Black-owned businesses is definitely one of them. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or planning a week-long getaway, Charlotte is a great destination to immerse yourself in the culture. Here are eight Black-owned businesses to support during your visit to Charlotte, NC:

1. Experience Nostalgia at a Juke Joint Restaurant


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Leah and Louise is a popular restaurant serving traditional Southern meals with a modern twist. The self-proclaimed “modern juke joint” is a hit among locals and tourists alike.

The owners and husband-wife team, Greg & Subrina Collier, started the restaurant with a mission to honor their heritage. As a result, the restaurant has earned a reputation for its food that truly puts the “soul” in soul food. Their “Wabbit Season” dinner made with smoked rabbit, grits, an almond-raisin crumble, and shaved carrots is a customer favorite.

Don’t forget to order a round of their famous specialty cocktails while you jam to some classic oldies tunes!

2. Smoke Some Hookah at Red at 28th


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Red at 28th is the first multicultural literary lounge in Charlotte. Tourists from all over flock to the lounge for the unique experience it provides.

The lounge boasts a library of books for customers to read while they sit on their outdoor patio. And to experience some of the city’s nightlife, Red at 28th serves hookah to patrons as they listen to the latest bops blaring from the speakers.

On select days, the lounge offers live entertainment for customers to enjoy while they eat their meals. Speaking of meals, Red at 28th is known for serving some of the most delicious foods in the city. Their chili meatballs and pimiento cheese fries, for instance, are a great compliment to their fantastic specialty cocktails.

3. Feel Like a Kid Again at Day and Night Cereal Bar


When most people think of a bar, cereal typically doesn’t come to mind. But Day and Night Cereal Bar isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill bar. Instead, the company specializes in serving cereal and cereal-themed desserts.

The company started in Los Angeles but, after much success, opened storefronts in other parts of the country. Their “Cinnamon Toast Iced Latte,” made with cereal milk and a cinnamon roll sprinkle, is a popular choice among fans. They even sell bacon in specialty flavors such as maple and rosemary or Jamaican jerk.

What they’re known for, however, is their modern take on cereal bowl classics. For example, the company’s “Scooby Snacks” menu item combines Cinnamon Toast Crunch, graham crackers, Oreos, peanut butter, and chocolate drizzle. And “Unicorn Breath” is made with Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, whipped cream, and strawberry drizzle.

Also, customers can turn each cereal concoction into a milkshake upon request. And if you prefer non-dairy milk, the company offers different milk options to suit various dietary needs.

4. Learn Martial Arts at Legacy Martial Arts and Fitness


Legacy Martial Arts and Fitness is a Black-owned fitness studio specializing in LOTUS self-defense, a type of mixed martial arts. Its owner and chief instructor, Ajarn Jay Henderson, has committed nearly two decades to teaching students how to defend themselves safely.

Even though the studio focuses on self-defense, they also provide several other fitness services. Customers new to fitness may prefer taking a private class where a trainer can tailor the workout to meet their unique fitness needs. More advanced customers also enjoy their high-intensity group classes that may include barbell work, kettlebells, gymnastics, and cardio, depending on the Workout of the Day.

They offer classes for families with children, as well. Kids love their NinjaTrix classes that combine elements of parkour, martial arts, and gymnastics. It’s a fun and healthy way for kids to learn the importance of exercise and look cool doing it.

5. Sample Southern Fusion Cuisine at G.R.I.T.S. CLT


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G.R.I.T.S. CLT is a Black woman-owned food truck and catering company that serves Southern fusion cuisine. Started by Chef Jo, the company offers delicious menu items that keep its customers coming back for more.

Their G.R.I.T.S. roll, named after the company, is beloved by its many customers. Made with jerk chicken, rice and beans, yams, and cabbage, the roll combines elements of traditional Caribbean and soul food dishes. And customers especially enjoy their chicken and red velvet waffles breakfast that’s served hot and fresh.

To sample some of their meals, follow the company on Instagram, where they regularly post their menu and food truck schedule.

6. Take a Black-Owned Tour of the City

As the only full-service tour company in Charlotte, Charlotte NC Tours provides a great way to learn about the Black-owned city. They offer unique touring experiences, including Segway, scooter, and hoverboard tours. And when it comes to the quality and quantity of information they provide during the tour, Charlotte NC Tours is unmatched.

For a more traditional experience, the premier touring company offers walking tours where a local guide ushers them around the city to learn about its history. Customers can choose from a number of walking tour options, including Uptown Charlotte and Center City. The company even offers a haunted walking tour for ghost-hunters to learn about the city’s spooky history.

7. Dance the Night Away at Members Only Bar


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Members Only is a cocktail and social bar that sees plenty of foot traffic from tourists. Located in the bustling neighborhood of Plaza Midwood, the bar is a popular choice for those who want to enjoy a night out.

The company serves a number of alcoholic beverages, including designer cocktails and a premium selection of top-shelf wines. They also offer wine and bourbon tastings for customers who want to maximize their experience at the speakeasy. Their tasting rooms are an excellent way for tourists to sample some of their boutique wines and rare Bourbons in an intimate setting.

Members Only also offers hookah to patrons who prefer to sip and smoke as they vibe to popular Top 40 hit songs. And for customers celebrating special occasions, the bar serves up some of the finest champagnes to kick off the party.

8. Walk Down Memory Lane at a 90s Museum


Tourists from all over travel to Charlotte to visit the Home of the 90s museum featuring art by local artists. This 3,800 sq. ft. museum is covered in wall-to-wall 90s art and memorabilia, making it a popular choice for selfie lovers.

Their Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wall is a fan favorite, designed by creative director Justin Surgeon. Other popular art rooms include classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Street Fighter, and famous musical artists like Tupac and Christina Aguilera. Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the classic cereal wall where customers can pose with giant bowls of their favorite cereal.

Their 90s-themed lounge is located inside the museum. There, guests can attend fun events, including painting and other arts and craft classes. Large groups can book the entire venue to celebrate special occasions.