Can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for friends Tommy and Debbie George and their family on the opening of their third location of Charlotte, NC’s neighborhood pasta shop, Pasta & Provisions. It all started back in 1992 with the opening of the original P&P on Providence Road in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood. It was and is a much loved neighborhood pasta shop that continues to do a booming business.
Back in the day, fresh made pasta, cut to order, flew overhead across the store on a zip line, bagged up to order from the kitchen to the register; while a wall of wine offered mostly Italian vintages of any pour your heart might desire. And that is still the way it works, although now sometimes they walk your pasta from the kitchen to the counter. There is a huge chalkboard with tons of varieties of pasta options and an equal number of sauce choices to help you make your selections. Pick out your pasta and sauce, salad fixings if you would like, cheese, bread and wine to go with and you are set.
Twenty five, almost 26 years later now, that first store has become the model for two more. Pasta & Provisions second location opened last year on Park Road in the Monfort/Madison Park neighborhoods. Then this week, as the summer solstice marked the change in seasons; on Thursday, June 20 the doors quietly opened to Pasta & Provisions third location at the corner of Mint and Spruce streets.
The Georges, who celebrated their 25th year anniversary in the business of bringing Charlotte fresh pasta and Italian provisions last November, bought the property and building on Mint Street nearly a year ago. Then home to the Red Sea Grocery store, its taken every bit of this past year to work on remodeling and renovations.
The transformation of the building is fabulous and will most certainly make its mark on the resurgence of this historic Charlotte neighborhood.
Just down Mint street from the long standing Little Hardware and the brand new Bardo restaurant, this area of Charlotte snuggled in between Uptown, Southend and the historic Wilmore neighborhood is now being called Charlotte’s Gold District. The new Pasta & Provisions here will be your one stop shop for wine, beer, meats and cheeses, dry good Italian themed grocery, to-go, take and bake; and eventually eat-in options for lunch, dinner and more.
If you are looking, head up or down Mint Street, the big green building is hard to miss. But just in case, you’ll spot the building for sure by looking for the long time mural on the side. Street parking is available in front the mural and on Spruce street as well.
On the Shelves and in the Kitchen at Charlotte’s Pasta & Provisions
While I guess you could say that Pasta & Provisions has become a local chain, it is far from formula. I love that each P&P location has its own special vibe. The neighborhood Pasta & Provisions on Park Road, offers everything you’ll find in the original Providence Road location plus beer & wine to enjoy onsite, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and seating. There is at-the-window counter seating as well as a small patio canopied with strings of tiny white lights for dining al fresco.
The new Pasta & Provisions at Mint Street has all that in addition to the luxury of space. Once some neighborhood rezoning comes through in the early fall, there will also be additional seating both indoors and out. There is beer on tap, wine, too; and all kinds of Italian sodas and sparkling waters on the shelves and in the coolers; and the fully stocked King of Pops freezer case always offers a delicious variety of ways to beat the summer’s heat.
The shelves of all three stores are packed with dry goods, dry pastas, cookies, imported pasta flours, canned Italian tomatoes, bottled olive oils and vinegars, capers and imported tuna and sardines and more. Deli cases at each location offer assortments of fresh sliced charcuterie, cheeses, salads local eggs, fresh baked bread and a host of homemade prepackaged sauces and spreads all from the Pasta & Provisions kitchen headed up by Chef Brent Martin and his talented crew.
In the early 1990’s the George’s three sons, came in and made that first little shop their playground – it was a family run business from beginning to end. You can still see crayon drawings up on the wall behind the register that they boys did when they were young.
Little did the George’s know then, that come 2018 they would have three locations of Charlotte’s favorite neighborhood pasta shop, and son Dylan George, a three-year-old a the time the first store opened, would be working side by side with his dad, Tommy as the company’s general manager.
Another of the things important to note about each location of Pasta & Provisions is the obvious love that has gone into preserving the history of each particular building. For the Mint Street location, as I said, nearly a year of renovation took place. Once you enter the shop, look up and you’ll see the original wood inner structure transformed with a slightly modern take on an open ceiling concept. The original rafters, once hidden by the ceiling in the main store area were pulled out to create an airier more open space and then were resurfaced to be reincarnated as the shops “new” hardwood floors.
A trio of fun but funky flower bouquet Chandeliers – the kind many of us remember from the 1960s – graces the center of each of the large plate glass windows across the front of the store. On the threshold, Pasta & Provisions’ long time motto in tile. The words “Get Fresh” greet patrons as they walk through the doors and on the flip side, the words “Stay Fresh” remind you to come back and visit often!
Wine, Beer and wine and beer dinners at Pasta & Provisions
In addition to the day to day, Pasta & Provisions hosts a series of special wine and beer dinners that really must be on your dining out radar. With Chef Brent Martin at the helm and a top notch culinary team on site at all three locations, these dinners which pop up every quarter or so at one store or another, are a time for the team to think and cook out of the box a bit, creating 5-6 delicious seasonal courses to pair with a partner winery, wine distributer or brewery.
Just after morel season a year or so ago, my husband Tom and I very much enjoyed an Italian themed wine dinner at the Providence Road location. The dinners are fun and casual and meant to be enjoyed. Hightop tables were squeezed in among the shops retail shelves and while it was tight quarters it was a delicious and delightful evening.
Just a note here – while the dinner did not involve morels at all, one of the reason’s I remember it so well is that Tommy had just been foraging the day before for his own family’s enjoyment and showed me his most recent haul from the elusive seasonal harvest – wowzer! That many wild morels do not go unremembered – I am so glad we took the time to snap this shot!
Mushrooms, aside, this year we also enjoyed another delicious dinner with Highland Brewery at the Park Road location of Pasta & Provisions. Its no secret that I am not a big beer drinker, but I do love to taste and am always excited to see chefs work with flavor profiles to create perfect pairings.
This particular dinner wowed the crowds. Again seating was fun and flexible – the weather proved to rain out plans for patio dining so the crew at Pasta & Provision on Park, regrouped and set up seating all around the tiny shop – Tom and I sat up behind the register counter and we had a blast.
Often at these dinners, Brent adds to his culinary team by bringing in his real life partner in crime, Miranda Brown, pastry chef at The Asbury at the Dunhill hotel to help end each of these special evenings on a sweet note.
I suspect as things start to take hold at the new Pasta & Provision on Mint that such dinners will start to become a more frequent experience. If I have whet your palate, simply put your name on the Pasta & Provisions mailing list when you go to shop at any location and let them know you are interested in finding out more about the next wine or beer dinner and any other special Pasts & Provisions events.
Then, to see what is happening day to day, or to find out more about the Pasta & Provisions on Park Run Club, follow Pasta & Provisions’ social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter You can visit their website at pastaprovisions.com #TellThemHeidiSentYou
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