Arbol Latin Restaurant Opens in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina

El Cubano by Arbol, a traditional pressed Cuban sandwich with mustard and pickles.

El Cubano by Arbol, a traditional pressed Cuban sandwich with mustard and pickles.

Since resurfacing on the Charlotte culinary scene as a chef in 2017, Edwin Cruz has remained busy. Whether creating menus for special events at Poplar, launching award-winning sausage company Brewster & Co., filming culinary segments for Compare Foods, or serving coffee from his Drip Joint mobile espresso bar, he has found new ways to share his love of food and drinks with other people. charlottes.

Cruz has no plans to slow down, and his next culinary venture will soon provide Uptown visitors with another breakfast or lunch option. Cruz and business partner Chris Johnson plan to open a new Arbol restaurant on June 1st. Arbol will be located in the Carillon building at 227 W. Trade St.

Breakfast includes croissant sandwiches, burritos and acai platters. Initially, baking will be done at Manolo’s Bakery, but Cruz plans to start baking on his own soon.

“Everything will have a Latin flavor,” Cruz told CharlotteFive. “We’ll have a lot of healthy and organic options, including water murals and smoothies.”

Not all nevertheless, it will be useful – take, for example, chocolate cake and Tres leches cake. Lunch options include salads and sandwiches such as El Cubano and ale italian. “All items on our menu will have funny names. We will play in Spanish,” Cruz said. Arbol’s menu is designed for busy people in need of Uptown’s healthy eating habits.

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Edwin Cruz and business partner Chris Johnson open an Arbol store on June 1 in uptown Charlotte. Carla Sanabia

Cruise’s Other Place for Charlotte: Edwin’s Organix

Cruz moved to Charlotte in 2003 and attended Eastway High School. After graduating from Garinger High School, he traveled to Mexico to attend college but quickly returned to his career in the kitchen. “I’ve been cooking all my life because my parents are both chefs,” Cruz said. “It’s in my blood.”

By the age of 18, Cruz was running Burger King. At 18, he ran the Five Guys. His next move took him to Winston-Salem, where he opened—and worked as a chef—two Famous Toastery restaurants. Back in Charlotte, he knew it was time to open his first independent venture, Edwin’s Organix.

Through Edwin’s Organix, Cruz has partnered with restaurants as a guest chef, catered for events, and offered private cooking classes. Arbol is the chef’s first venture in his own brick restaurant. “The building owner was very flexible when we developed the space,” Cruz said. “We all want people to come back to Uptown.”

Cruz uses many vegan recipes in his kitchen and prefers healthy options. “I will be very selective with my ingredients and choose local produce whenever possible,” Cruz said. As for his personal favorite menu in the Arbol dish? El Cubano is a traditional Cuban sandwich made with mustard, pickles and perfected.


Location: 227 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202.

District: Uptown

Cuisine: Latin American, salads, sandwiches

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, from 7:30 to 15:30.

Instagram: @arbol_eatery

RELATED: Have you been to Havana, Carolina? Why this Cuban restaurant is worth a trip to Concord.]

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Philip’s work in the city connects him to neighborhoods throughout Charlotte. In his free time, he often studies public art, plays outside, or tries new food. Follow him on Twitter @philipfreeman


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