Charlotte’s classic dishes
As new restaurants open every day in Charlotte, it’s easy to forget the old hangouts, the places that grew up alongside the Queen City. Our Charlotte’s Classic Eats series shines a light on the places you’ve visited for years, reminding us why they’ve stood the test of time.
Editor’s Note: With new restaurants opening every day in Charlotte, it’s easy to forget about old standbys, the places that have grown alongside the Queen City. Our Charlotte’s Classic Eats series shines a light on the places you’ve visited for years, reminding us why they’ve stood the test of time.
When I moved to Charlotte in 2014, I felt like I had arrived. Working in the heart of Uptown, my daily routine of parking on a busy patio, walking to my office via walkways, and gazing out of a 35th floor window continually amazed me.
Charlotte’s size makes it hard to remember that not so long ago our town was a typical Southern town with a modest population. Looking at the skyscrapers of Trade and Tryon Streets, it’s especially hard to believe that as recently as 1980, a weekly cattle sale took place within five miles of downtown Charlotte.
Step back 35 years and you can witness the Morris Livestock Company’s opening cattle sale on July 29, 1945. That’s a few years later – in the midst of the cattle and hog auctions every Tuesday and horse and mule sales every Friday – that the owner of Morris Livestock was told he could no longer sell food on the ranch land. His solution was simple, and the original Stockyard Restaurant – right next to the auction premises – opened in 1952.
The restaurant has since closed, reopened and rebuilt, but the original location remains the same. Stockyard restaurant Owner Nick Kakavitsas bought the restaurant in 2013 and hopes to continue serving comfort food at the same location for years to come.
âOur menu has always been one meat and two – but we also have a grill and sandwich feel,â Kakavitsas told CharlotteFive.
Kakavitsas said fried chicken, pot roast, and casseroles are some of the best sellers. However, Wednesday-only barbecue ribs tend to sell, and Friday’s seafood specials are also a big hit. With a line of about fifteen regulars at the door at 6 a.m. each morning, Stockyard Restaurant has created an atmosphere and food that draws many regulars – many from the communities of Oakdale and Paw Creek – to come back for more.
After walking past the restaurant several times, the size and diversity of the crowd surprised me on my first visit. Construction boots and safety vest? To verify. Khaki and polo? To verify. Sweatpants and a tank top? To verify. Suddenly I had found the perfect lunch spot for those working in or near the industrial part of Rozzelles Ferry Road between I-85 and Fred D. Alexander Boulevard.
âWe are a place for workers,â Kakavitsas said.
I opted for the dish of the day: chicken fried chicken, a boneless chicken breast, fried and topped with sauce served on a pile of mashed potatoes. Served with a choice of two sides (I opted for an okra and tomato compote and sweet potato fries), the portion was generous and the home cooking was apparent.
Looking around, there wasn’t a dish I didn’t want to try. I also took note of Kakavitsas’ breakfast order: a Stockyard pan made of homemade fries with sausage, ham, bacon, mushrooms, jalapenos, grilled onions, and peppers. It is covered with cheese and topped with two eggs.
Kakavitsas said his employees are the best team he has had in years in the restaurant industry. Longtime waitress Angie Crump said it’s not just the food, but the connection to customers that makes Stockyard special.
âWe have Southern hospitality – we create a unique bond with each of our customers,â Crump told CharlotteFive. Moments before, Crump met Mrs. Linda, a regular looking for a hug and a prayer. Crump was quick to offer both.
If you are a fan of fried fish, be sure to visit on a Friday. “You would think it was a fishing camp,” Kakavitsas added. âIt’s better than a fishing camp. He might not tell you, but Nick is frying all the fish himself, âCrump said.
When I walked into Stockyard restaurant on a recent Tuesday, it felt like I had walked into any restaurant in a small town in North Carolina during peak lunch hour. You might not be able to buy a cow on your next trip on the ferry from Rozzelles, but one thing is for sure – if you want home cooking served with southern hospitality, the Stockyard restaurant still serves it all these years. later.
Neighborhood: West Charlotte / Thomasboro-Hoskins
Cuisine: American, comfort cuisine
Hours: Monday to Friday, 6 am to 3 pm; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To order: dine on site or call 704-399-9999 for pickup