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Leah & Louise Review in Charlotte: A Monumental Eatery

Updated: May 31

Anyone who is into the restaurant scene in Charlotte knows about Leah & Louise which is located in Camp North End just north of Uptown between Statesville Avenue & N. Graham Street. The site first housed a Ford Motor Company assembly plant that manufactured over 230,000 cars from 1924-1932. The US Army purchased the property in 1941 while adding another one million square feet of warehouse to create the Charlotte Quartermaster Depot. The depot employed around 2,500 people and distributed goods to army facilities in the Carolinas and Virginia. In 1954, the Army converted the depot into a missile production operation. Then in 1976, Eckerd/Rite Aid purchased and used it as their East Coast distribution center until 2016. ATCO Development purchased the property at that time and began turning Camp North End into, what they claim is, the largest adaptive reuse project in Charlotte.

Chef-owner and two-time James Beard Award nominee Greg Collier started the restaurant along with his wife, Subrina in 2020. And just a few months after opening they were ranked # 2 on Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in 2020. Greg had a vision for a restaurant that celebrated Black southern cuisine from the Mississippi River Valley foodways such as Memphis, New Orleans, and Jackson, Mississippi. They wanted it to be a place that would be the neighborhood spot where people would gather - a modern day juke joint. Juke joints were opened in the southeastern United States during the era of the Jim Crow Laws. Since black sharecroppers and plantation workers were barred from white establishments, juke joints provided a space for these people to kick back after a long week of work.

Recently we went to check this place out with friends, Mark & Scott, who are fellow foodies. The restaurant has become so popular that you need a reservation if you try to go on a weekend. It took us 3 tries in recent weeks to secure one.

We wanted to explore as many items on the menu as possible, so we started with The Rich Boys and some River Chips as our appetizers. The Rich Boys were fried oyster sliders, with a brown roux aioli, dill pickled celery, and a house made bun. The River Chips were fried chicken skins served voodoo chip style which is commonly done in New Orleans. Both were really good, and we would order them again.

For our entrees, Beth ordered the East Coast to Gold Coast which was a scallops suya with BBQ field peas. Suya apparently is a method of seasoning and cooking meat that originated in West Africa. Mark ordered the blackened catfish over rice grits with a smoked catfish stew on top while Scott and I went for the solf-shell crab special. A true Southern delicacy, in my opinion, soft shell crab is a blue crab that has recently molted its old exoskeleton. It is in season along the Carolina coast in April and May and is my go to if it is on a menu during that time of the year.

So the question that we always ask ourselves is would we go back again? Beth’s dish was served cold and seemed to be more of an appetizer which we did not realize when ordering. She commented that she would not order it again but would absolutely return. The rest of us would repeat our order for sure, so we would go back too! For some of our readers, it may seem like a long drive to Camp North End. But we would strongly encourage you to take the time to explore this fabulously eclectic restaurant and the surrounding development.


Southern Living

Leah and Louise

Camp NorthEnd history on


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