An Optimistic Endeavor for Undercurrent Coffee


Undercurrent Coffee co-owners Todd and Erin Huber. Photo by The Plaid Penguin

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Undercurrent Coffee is set to open its second location on Thursday, August 1, in the city’s new Optimist Hall, called one of the biggest summer restaurant openings in the country by Food & Wine.

The Optimist Hall project sees the renovation of an old gingham mill into a 147,000-square-foot mixed-use space featuring retailers, restaurants, offices, and a food hall, where Undercurrent will be located.

A scrumptious spread at Undercurrent Coffee. Photo by The Plain Penguin

“We’re honored to be part of [a] project that will provide our community with a beautiful gathering space inhabited by food and beverage concepts that match our commitment to hospitality and delicious, high-quality food and drinks,” says Undercurrent founder and co-owner Todd Huber. “Optimist is a natural fit for our second location, fulfilling our mission of enhancing the communities that we serve.”

Since opening its flagship location in Plaza Midwood last year, Undercurrent has become a beloved establishment in the region, with its dedication to its community, sustainable sourcing, and education. Along with a café, the original space is home to an education lab, where they host public classes and tastings, professional workshops, and SCA Certification courses.

Tea and espresso at Undercurrent Coffee. Photos by The Plaid Penguin

Similar to the Plaza Midwood location, the beverage menu at Optimist Hall will feature drip coffee, cold brew, lattes (with alternative milk options), loose-leaf teas, house-made sodas and tonics, and a rotating selection of pour-over coffees. Undercurrent has partnered with regional partners including Onyx Coffee Lab, Pure Intentions Coffee, and Homeland Creamery, as well as Spirit Teas and Dona Chai.

Drinks at Undercurrent Coffee. Photo by The Plain Penguin

Undercurrent’s food program will mirror the beverage program in integrity by sourcing quality and seasonal ingredients from local farms and purveyors for dishes ranging from avocado toast and grits bowl to seasonal chia pudding and quiche of the day.

While the food hall itself won’t open until 10:30 a.m., Undercurrent will have earlier hours, opening at 7 a.m. Monday–Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday–Sunday.