Outer East Charlotte – Matthews, NC

The community of Outer East Charlotte encompasses the city of Mint Hill and its surrounding area. This suburban neighborhood lies within the counties of Mecklenburg and Union, and sits near the Cabarrus County line, just 12 miles southeast from the city center. Residents choose to live in Outer East Charlotte because it lacks the congestion of the city without being too far away from the entertainment that makes Charlotte a fun and metropolitan city. Most locals identify as white, middle-income wage earners with average education levels. Factors such as the low crime and great schools draw in those looking to relocate to this more rural part of the city.

Schools in Outer East Charlotte

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Outer East Charlotte houses a small selection of casual eateries. A majority of them deliver chain favorites, such as Showmars, Subway and Papa John's Pizza. Luckily, a few gems have found their way into the heart of Mint Hill. Jimmie's Restaurant serves American and Italian-inspired cuisine made from the heart. This family-friendly joint features quite an extensive menu. Locals love ordering the pancakes for breakfast, chicken pot pie for lunch and the hearty, oven-baked lasagna for dinner. Remarkably wonderful service comes as just the icing on the cake here at Jimmie's. The Hill Bar and Grill ranks as another favorite along Matthews-Mint Hill Road. Daily specials at The Hill include $6 burgers, 50 cent wings and great drink deals. The atmosphere remains relaxed, even during the busy dinner rush. The Hill Burger, a local favorite, consists of angus beef topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo on a fresh bun. Be sure to order this burger with a side of onion petals for a real treat. Every region has their own barbecue style, and North Carolina specializes in this regard with vinegar and tomato-based sauces. Mint Hill Rock Store BBQ does barbecue right, and serves the aforementioned sauces plus another one with a mustard-base. Smoked-to-perfection pulled pork and brisket get rave reviews from restaurant-goers. To top it all off, the prices here average significantly less than most barbecue spots around the state. Bars and general nightlife options appear few and far between in Outer East Charlotte. Locals head to The Hill, Hawthorne's New York Pizza and Bar, or Dunwellz Custom Kitchen and Pour House to grab a beer or cocktail after work. All three places market daily drink specials and have a relaxed vibe. For upscale clubs, bars and live music, residents must head uptown where a number of establishments can be found, such as Suite, BAR Charlotte and the Fillmore.

History & Culture

Eastern Charlotte was originally an area of vast farmland that also housed the occasional gold miner. All that changed in the 1960s when urban sprawl moved residents to outlying potions of Mecklenburg County. Mint Hill gradually became the hub of Outer East Charlotte. Residents here enjoy ample amenities, quality infrastructure and a family-friendly vibe. The city of Mint Hill hosts Movies on the Lawn, at City Hall every Friday during the month of May. Residents also head to the lawn at City Hall every June for June Tunes, a series of free concerts that begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evenings. Local museums include the Mint Hill Historical Society's Carl J. McEwen Historical Village, which features a doctor's museum, restored schoolhouse and preserved general store.

Transportation

Residents of Outer East Charlotte recognize that personal vehicles remain necessary in order to commute to work and run errands. Those driving uptown, south to Matthews or Ballantyne area have the option to either take the Interstate 485 loop that encircles the city of Charlotte, or follow smaller corridors. Interstate 485 access can be found along Fairview Road (Exit 44) and Blair Road (Exit 43). Interstates 85 and 77 can be reached via this loop. Many commuters find that uptown can best be reached by following Lawyers Road to Independence Boulevard. Visitors to Outer East Charlotte may park along residential streets within the neighborhoods. Affordable public transportation through the Charlotte Area Transit Service appeals to a handful of residents traveling to the city center for work. Buses operate along Lawyers Road from 5:45 a.m. until 7:45 a.m, and return trips begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. during the work week. Those looking to walk or bike to amenities around Outer East Charlotte find that the area does not provide the convenience or infrastructure to do so. Though many residents find the streets perfectly safe for a leisurely stroll, a car remains necessary to pick up groceries or for a trip to the post office. Taxis provide service to residents but need to be scheduled beforehand. Uber does not operate here.

Cost

Residents in Outer East Charlotte pay a cost of living that sits at 5 percent more than the Charlotte city average. Like most neighborhoods in Charlotte, housing costs factor greatly in this variance. Though house prices remain high, renters don't necessarily feel the pinch. A one-bedroom apartment costs renters $676 per month. Restaurants and bars in the immediate area charge similar prices as elsewhere in the metro area. Charlotte houses a number of great locally-owned microbreweries, and a pint of NoDa or Olde Mecklenburg beer sets patrons back around $5, depending on the establishment. Transportation costs also resemble those around the city. Charlotte Area Transit System's express bus service costs $2.60 each way. Gas prices here sit at 4 percent less than the national average.

Shopping

Outer East Charlotte houses a number of small shopping centers located primarily along Lawyers Road and Matthews-Mint Hill Road. Whitley Commons, at the intersection of Matthews-Mint Hill Road and Fairview Road, contains a Food Lion grocery store, Dollar General and a handful of automotive parts and repair shops. Further south along Matthews-Mint Hill Road sits Mint Hill Festival. Festival houses Monroe Hardware, Edible Arrangements and a Harris Teeter. Locally owned Monroe Hardware was built from the ground-up by the same owner that began the department chain store Belk during the 1880s. Monroe Hardware sells everything from building materials and automotive parts, to pet supplies and housewares. Smaller speciality stores can be found throughout Outer East Charlotte and include consignment shops, craft stores and convenience markets. At Cottage Yarn along Matthews-Mint Hill Road, shoppers rummage through an old house converted into this small shop. Each room contains hundreds of spools of yarn as well as needles and notions for knitters to explore. Every person interested in knitting and crocheting, from the novice to expert, finds the selection amazing and the service by owner Sara to be second-to-none. Upscale stores come few and far between in Outer East Charlotte. Locals here, alike many throughout the Carolinas, travel to the SouthPark neighborhood in south Charlotte, or Concord Mills Mall in the far north of the city for name brands and boutique options. Locals purchase groceries at the Harris Teeter in Matthews Festival or the Food Lion at Whitley Commons. Ethnic marketplaces can be found closer to the heart of east Charlotte along East W.T. Harris Boulevard. Mint Hill hosts a farmers' market every Saturday from May through September at the Carl J. McEwen Historical Village. This market showcases local produce and homemade goods.

Parks

Two great, well-visited parks lie in Outer East Charlotte. The Mint Hill Veteran's Memorial Park covers over 50 acres and provides visitors volleyball courts, soccer fields, softball fields, tennis courts, a disc-golf course, picnic shelters and a huge playground for the youngsters. The grounds feature a nature trail, and hikers should be on the lookout for various reptiles and birds that call this park home. Mint Hill Municipal Park sits along Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road and features 4 tennis courts, a softball field and a nature trail that encircles the facility. Children enjoy the expansive playground and many play dates occur on these grounds. These parks welcome dogs and do not charge an entrance fee. The annual festival celebrating the founding of the town, Mint Hill Madness, happens annually at Mint Hill Veteran's Park during Memorial Day weekend. This event draws in families looking for carnival rides, an arts and crafts fair, parades and fireworks.
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