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Located half an hour south of downtown Charlotte, Matthews has grown from a small farming village into one of Charlotte’s largest suburbs. Home to the corporate headquarters of Harris Teeter, Family Dollar, and Conbraco Industries, the town of 27,000 residents offers many corporate employment opportunities and easy access to the metropolitan area, while still preserving its small town charm.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Matthews, NC is $2,007 for a studio, $1,000 for one bedroom, $1,183 for two bedrooms, and $1,313 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Matthews has increased by 5.6% in the past year.
Twenty-two restaurants line the streets of downtown Matthews, providing options for diners of all tastes, but don’t limit yourself to just the downtown area. Unique restaurants scattered throughout the town make exploring Matthews worthwhile.
For a relaxed yet sophisticated experience, visit Grapes Wine Bar at the Sycamore Commons Shopping Center. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the wine bar features live music on Friday and weekend brunch, with a menu of European cheese plates, bruschetta, sandwiches, and deserts to complement the extensive wine list. The staff can recommend wines to suit both discerning connoisseurs and novice wine drinkers, but if you wish to further expand your palate, sign up for one of Grapes’ wine tastings or classes.
If you’re looking for a casual bar and grill atmosphere, Finz Raw Bar and Grill is Matthews’ best-kept secret. Don’t be fooled by the dive bar image: Finz serves one of the Charlotte area’s best seafood menus, created by owner and lifelong restaurateur Sal Misasi. Daily specials and a menu of seafood and traditional pub fare mean customers can try something new each visit, but the crab legs alone are reason enough to frequent Finz. Friday and Saturday nights feature live music from both local and touring bands. Other bars tend to be scattered around, but make sure you have time for the Friendly Moose, particularly during breakfast the morning after the night before.
For a romantic dinner in a historic setting, book a table at Santé in downtown. Begin your meal with plate of artisan cheeses and baguettes, then dine on an eclectic menu of salads, pastas, and meat or vegetarian entrees, all of which are made with produce from the local farmers market. Providing patrons with leisurely service, Santé is not a place to go for a quick weekday lunch, but patrons wishing to savor a multicourse dinner can do so without ever feeling rushed.
Cotton farmers first arrived in this area in the early 1800s seeking new farmland. As they cleared the land, they left behind many tree stumps, and the village became known as “Stumptown.” In 1874, the Carolina Central Railway Company completed a railroad connecting the village to Charlotte. The local railway station was named Matthews in honor of railroad directors Watson and J.Bronder Matthews. In 1879, the town officially incorporated under the name Matthews.
A visit to the Matthews Heritage Museum is a must for history buffs, who are invited to explore the museum’s collection of local artifacts and stories for a $4 admission fee. The museum shop publishes a cookbook featuring southern recipes interwoven with local histories.
Since 1992, the annual Matthews Alive Festival has brought together the all the best local artists, from painters and musicians to quilters and woodworkers, into a weekend-long festival benefiting local nonprofits.
While the downtown area is walkable, other means of transportation are required to travel in the surrounding area.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) provides bus service to Matthews, with bus stops and park-and-ride lots throughout the city, though public transit is only utilized by 1 percent of commuters. Uber and Lyft also operate here, as do many traditional taxi services.
Most residents travel by car, with many commuting into Charlotte via US-74 (Independence Boulevard). While this route is easily accessible, it is burdened by heavy rush hour traffic, and commuters must anticipate a typical commute time of 31 minutes, compared to the North Carolina average of 25 minutes.
Historic Trade Street continues to serve as downtown Matthew’s center of commerce and its main road. Though a busy road, Trade Street offers over 500 spaces of on-street and lot parking, ensuring drivers a short walk from their cars to any of downtown Matthews’ many local businesses.
Cyclists are a common sight along city streets and two-lane highways, and while dedicated bike lanes may not exist in all areas, drivers happily share the road.
Cost of living in Matthews is 7 percent higher than the Charlotte average, with housing being the largest contributing factor. However, while the average price to purchase a home in Matthews is 27 percent higher than the Charlotte average, renters will find housing in Matthews affordable, with a one-bedroom apartment averaging $827 per month, compared to the typical Charlotte price of $1054.
Riding the CATS bus into town will run $3.00 each way, or you can purchase monthly passes, which provide unlimited rides for $121. For commuters preferring to travel by car, gas prices in Matthews are 3 percent lower than the national average. A draft beer can be had at a local tavern for $2.
The Sycamore Commons pedestrian mall on Northeast Parkway brings to the Matthews community a selection of over 30 chain stores and restaurants.
For shoppers wishing to explore local boutiques, look no further than historic downtown. Renfrow Hardware and General Merchandise anchors the shopping district featuring dozens of unique shops and restaurants. Operating since 1900, Renfrow took advantage of its central location to become the main supplier for local farmers. These days, the store primarily serves home gardeners. Whatever you wish to grow, Renfrow most likely has the seeds.
Many chain grocery stores serve the town, but for fresh local meats and produce, none can beat the Matthews Community Farmers Market. Every Saturday, rain or shine, downtown's Cotton Gin Alley transforms into the Charlotte area's largest farmers market. Selections include everything from fresh greens and shitake mushrooms to grassfed beef and artisan honey, all of which are produced within a 50-mile radius. Growers will gladly answer questions and offer suggestions of how to select and prepare foods.
For people wishing to pair their local produce with a microbrew, the Carolina Beer Temple will not disappoint. Owner Rob Jacik founded the store after a trip to Belgium, where he discovered a deep reverence for local brewing traditions. Believing he could bring this same love of craft brewing to North Carolinians, the Carolina Beer Temple opened offering local beers alongside Belgian imports.
If visiting the hardware store and farmers market inspires you to try your hand at vegetable gardening, consider renting a space in the Matthews Community Garden. For a $30 annual fee, you’ll be granted a 6 x 8 foot garden plot. Applications for new plots are accepted in December and January, so be sure to plan ahead early to secure your space for the spring planting season.
Stumptown Park features everything you could ask for in a lively community park. Located on a full acre in the South Trade St district, the park features playgrounds, picnic shelters and grills, volleyball courts, and a performance stage used throughout the year for concerts, movie screenings, and special events.
For a more tranquil experience, visit Fountain Rock Park along the Four Mile Creek Greenway to meditate or have a picnic, or read a book in the Town Green Park, located right outside the public library.
3 Bedroom Apartments for Rent in Matthews, NC
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