The historic Coffee Cup Restaurant plans to return to Charlotte this fall

Jane Little

It’s been almost a decade since the beloved Coffee Cup restaurant closed its doors on Clarkson Street. In late fall, it’s making a comeback.

Owner Gardine Wilson Jr., who ran the old Coffee Cup Soda Grill in the early 2000s, said the new Coffee Cup will be close to Uptown, and will serve breakfast and lunch, just like in the old days.

Wilson said the new menu will have a few more healthy options than before, but will still feature soul food favorites, such as salmon and biscuits, country-style steak and pan-fried chicken.

When the Coffee Cup first opened in 1947, it was segregated — white people ate in the main dining room, and African Americans ate at booths in the kitchen. In the mid-1960s, the restaurant changed ownership and was integrated — one of the first in the Southeast to do so, Wilson said.

coffee cup soda grill


The restaurant was designated as a historic landmark in 2006, but after the recession hit in 2008, Wilson said it was forced to close. It was torn down in 2009.

Wilson wants to make sure the space for the new restaurant captures the same style and feel of the old Coffee Cup.

“It had always been a melting pot for newcomers to Charlotte, for people that were visiting Charlotte and for people that were from Charlotte,” Wilson said.

He said he hopes to have the plans for the new Coffee Cup finalized by next month.

Feature photo via Facebook

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