Charlotte Happenings

DEC 2017

Charlotte Happenings is your monthly guide to events and things to do in and around Charlotte, NC.

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FROM LEFT: Customshop entrance on Elizabeth Avenue Customshop's locally grown and sourced ingredients championed farm-to-table food before it was trendy You've seen a lot of changes on this street, Elizabeth Avenue, since you opened in 2007. What was the neighborhood like then versus now? When I signed on, the whole street on both sides was supposed to be developed. I signed on thinking there'd be a Whole Foods, a bunch of local businesses. I loved the vision. But, like so many things during that time, most of it didn't pan out. I saw a lot of my neighbors go out of business. One of the biggest detriments to businesses on your block was the year-and-a-half when the road was closed due to construction of the streetcar. How did you survive when so many neighboring businesses didn't? I stuck with it. I cooked and washed dishes. I did everything I could possibly do to weather the storm during that year-and-a-half that the street was closed. Our regulars kept us in business—the people in the neighborhood right back there. We had a very small and dedicated staff. Front of house was only two servers; my mom was doing accounting. We make everything in- house—our own bread, all of our pastas and desserts. " PHOTOS BY TIM ROBISON Your newest venture is Flourshop in Park Road Shopping Center's backlot. Tell us about it. It's a really small space with an open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant. You're going to see the mechanic of a working restaurant—a lot of fire, me making pastas. It's going to be fun and family driven. The food is still going to be simple. We have these old school crank grills. You'll see whole ducks roasting over coals—true roasting. We'll also have pastas— hard work on our end, but still simplicity in food, old school Italian style. 1601 Elizabeth Ave. Charlotte, NC 28204 Customshop Handcrafted Food 704.333.3396 CHARLOT TESGOTALOT.COM 17

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