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Know Your Charlotte Neighborhoods: Plaza Midwood

Plaza Midwood is a Charlotte neighborhood with a lot of personality. You’ll see it described as “quirky,” “trendy,” “laidback” and more. This article introduces you to the characteristics that earn this neighborhood its appealing reputation.

First, it helps to know that Plaza Midwood is named for the grouping together of two original suburbs of Uptown Charlotte. In the 1920s the trolley line ran along Central Avenue, The Plaza and Mecklenburg Avenue to the Charlotte Country Club. Midwood was a subdivision community, one of the area’s largest. The two were bounded together in the 1970s.

The Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association (PMNA), which was founded in 1975, states the neighborhoods “official boundaries are Hawthorne Lane on the west, Central Avenue on the south, and The Plaza and Parkwood Avenue on the north, Masonic on the Southeast and Matheson Avenue along the Northeast.”

Central Avenue remains a hub of activity today. Famed historian Tom Hanchett dubbed Central Avenue “The Most Interesting Street in Charlotte.” Today, you’ll find fancy new restaurants and retailers amidst tattoo parlors and consignment shops. You could try a lamb lollipop at Soul Gastrolounge or late-night diner fare at Diamond Restaurant. Or play some shuffleboard while waiting for a table at the popular Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe.

This is also a top Charlotte neighborhood for music lovers. Plaza Midwood is home to various spots including:

  • The Rabbit Hole
  • Lunchbox Records
  • Snug Harbor
  • Skylark Social Club

If you just want to chill out, try one of the many local breweries or coffee shops. For craft brews try Legion, Pilot Brewing, or Resident Culture. Bottle shops include The Hop Shop, Tip Top Market, or Common Market. For caffeine kicks try Central Coffee, Undercurrent Coffee, or Nova’s Bakery.

Historic Plaza Midwood

Plaza Midwood isn’t all trendy and gritty. This Charlotte neighborhood “also has roughly 14 percent of its neighborhood in the Historic District.” The PMNA notes, “the Historic District boundaries are roughly defined by the rectangle formed by The Plaza, Central Avenue, Pecan Avenue, and Mimosa Avenue.”

Still, you’re going to find a real range of homes in this close-knit community. You’ll find vintage bungalows, new construction homes and townhomes, subdivision neighborhoods, revamped ranch homes, brick cottages, and condos. Saussy Burbank even built 10 new construction homes on Tippah Park Court from 2012-2013.

While you’re in the community, check out the VanLandingham estate, which is now used as an event venue. The VanLandinghams were a founding (and funding) family of the original neighborhood development in the 1920s.

One of the older neighborhoods around Uptown, Plaza Midwood is a sought-after neighborhood for homeowners. The houses range in price from $160,000 to $1.6 million.

If you want to learn more about the neighborhood a good place to stop is Book Buyers. This used book shop on The Plaza specializes in history, art and architecture, lit and fiction books.

Things to Do in Plaza Midwood

Nearby NoDa may be better known for its galleries, but Plaza Midwood has great offerings too:

  • The Light Factory hosts photography events year-round
  • Art P.O.P. Street Gallery, featuring local outdoor art, is headquartered in the neighborhood
  • Charlotte Lit, a resource for local writers, meets at the Midwood International and Cultural Center on Central Avenue
  • The Boom! Arts and music festival happens every April along Commonwealth Avenue

The neighborhood also hosts two annual festivals. Midwood Maynia, the first Saturday in May, includes a 5K, a pet parade parade and live music, food, and craft beer. The Fall Crawl on the last Saturday of October puts costumed kids on parade and brings people together for music, food, and local shopping.

Both these events are held at Midwood Park in the neighborhood’s middle. There’s also green space at both Shamrock Park and Veterans Park just outside the neighborhood boundaries. Veterans offers a splash pad, but if you want to take an actual swim there are also nearby pools. The Sharon Park Swim Club is members-only while the Cordelia Park pool is county run.

For getting out and exploring, the Briar Creek Greenway runs along Plaza Midwood’s eastern border. Lobbying is in the works to connect the Greenway and the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary.

Plaza Midwood cyclists can also enjoy many social rides. Charlotte’s Tuesday Night Ride, which has happened every Tuesday since 2013, regardless of weather, meets at Common Market at 7:45. There’s also a Sunday slow ride leaving Okra Yoga at 2 p.m. (or 8 p.m. in summer). The neighborhood is also home to the spring route of Open Streets 704, when city streets are taken over by cyclists and pedestrians.

While you’re enjoying the hilly, tree-lined streets of the neighborhood, also keep an eye out for the many Little Free Libraries or the area’s Stroll and Roll group. When looking for a book that’s not turning up in the resident owned book nooks, check out the Plaza Midwood branch of the county’s library.

More Neighborhood Fun in Plaza Midwood

If you want to eat local, check out the neighborhood’s two farmers’ markets. Common Market hosts a small market every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall. Pure Pizza opens The Barn for a Sustainable Saturdays market each week.

Midwood Park is also home in the summer to outdoor movie nights sponsored by the PMNA.

Every June, you can also join in House of Africa’s annual Juneteenth festival along Thomas Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

Plus, Plaza Midwood likes to get in on the national Yard Art Day. This annual Labor Day event is a good time to get out and see what neighbors have done to celebrate local art.

In October, you also have another reason to explore the international restaurants on Charlotte East with the Taste of the World event. You can enjoy Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, Salvadorian and more.

Finally, the neighborhood has another 5K fun run each December, the “Running of the Balls.” The run coincides with the neighborhood’s annual Christmas Light Ball Workshop and Holiday Bazaar.

Plaza Midwood boasts plenty of character, an active and engaged community of residents, and a rich of assortment of homes and individuals. No wonder it’s one of the best known neighborhoods in Charlotte.

Saussy Burbank is an award-winning new home builder and developer in Charlotte, NC. Find your forever home with us in one of the city’s top neighborhoods.

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