From the moment you step inside The Gallery, there’s something for each of your senses to grab onto. It could be the smell of handmade desserts or fresh brewed Stumptown coffee, the sight of vibrantly colored art splashing the clean white walls of the South End newcomer or the conversations overheard from their growing “regular” crowd. This isn’t by accident. Owner Ana Amigo-Antonio set out to create a place that awakens each of the senses, and by doing so is quickly building up a loyal following.
On a Wednesday evening, a fellow Charlotte adventurer and I met up at The Gallery for a midweek happy hour session. We were on the hunt for the happy hour trifecta: wine, snacks and an atmosphere where one is welcome to sit for more than just the acceptable “hour” to enjoy said wine and snacks. The Gallery takes my more or less standard trifecta to a new level. The equal parts coffee shop, wine bar, restaurant, art gallery and dessert haven welcomed our post-workday, stressed out selves in with open arms and comfy chairs.
Let’s start with what gives The Gallery its name. The white walls and decor are interrupted with bright beautiful paintings, and the artwork is local, to say the least. The art displayed is created by Ana’s husband, William Antonio. Like what you see? The pieces are available for purchase so you can create your own cozy corner at home.
Upon glancing at the menu you can see that your options range from sandwiches to appetizers, desserts to their latest addition, tiramisu laced with Grand Marnier and Kahlua. It’s one of those places where no matter what you order, you can’t go wrong. But it’s not until you taste one of their hand-crafted selections that you can appreciate what Charlotte has gained by welcoming The Gallery to its growing culinary scene. When asked about their menu, Amigo-Antonio says that it all starts with a strong foundation of good ingredients. It’s not uncommon for her or a member of her team to search for the highest quality ingredients in multiple places before they find the best fit. The truffle that came with our charcuterie board, for example, was found after weeks of frustrating hunting. Let’s just say I’m very glad they found it.
Part of the fun of living in a growing city is that there’s always something new. New restaurants, food trends (hello, ramen), cocktails- it’s endless. Sometimes these trends hide away in exclusive eateries and more often, in neighborhood kitchens just waiting to be shared at the next cul-de-sac potluck. The Gallery thinks we should share the foodie love and that is what they’re looking to do. Make what’s sometimes inaccessible, accessible.
Whether its the small bakery down the street with no means to expand just yet or flavors inspired by Amigo-Antonio’s travels, The Gallery is an expert at bringing the best flavors from near and far to Charlotteans without leaving the comforts of home. The menu has a few classics, but you’re likely to notice one or two things done differently in The Gallery’s version. Amigo-Antonio says that they are proud to deliver a unique twist on classic favorites or inspire people to try something new.
The Gallery is tucked in South End, amidst the new craft breweries and shiny apartment complexes under construction. When searching out locations, Amigo-Antonio said that South End was an easy choice. After immediately feeling welcome in the neighborhood, one of their missions is to continue giving back to the community any way they can. In the coming months they’ll keep that promise, welcoming local pastry chefs, artisans and musicians to share their passions with guests.
Do yourself a favor and check out The Gallery for happy hour, lunch or while working the day away. Then stop back and let me know your picks and how you liked this Charlotte newcomer!
The Gallery South End
1320 S Church St. – Charlotte, NC 28203
980-299-1968 – facebook.com/TheGallerySouthEnd