Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Newmarket Cafe at Belk-Southpark

Review of the Newmarket from August 1986

Before Arthur's moved into the first floor of Belk-Southpark, the space was occupied by the Newmarket Cafe. Modeled after the emporium at Harrod's of London, the Newmarket Cafe opened in 1986 as a joint venture between Belk's and Harris Teeter. The center attraction was the Cafe which featured sit-down waitress service in a high-end setting (with high end prices, too--especially during this era at Southpark). The Newmarket also featured a deli and speciality prepared foods area (pictured above), a candy counter, a bakery, a wine shop, a floral department, a coffee counter, and an area of assorted gourmet cooking items. This entire concept was unheard of in Charlotte before the Newmarket Cafe arrived. Though the concept was an immediate hit, the unrealistic high-prices in the restaurant most likely led to the Newmarket's ultimate demise.

The Newmarket lasted for five years, closing in 1991. At that time, Arthur's relocated from Dillard's down the hall and took over the space. If you ever dined at Arthur's before the 2001 renovation, you will recognize the glass case that is housing deli meats in the above photo on the left. This was where the line formed at Arthur's and the glass case showcased their salad selections. You will probably also remember the candy counter and bakery at Arthur's--all hold-overs from The Newmarket Cafe.


  1. How cool! I would have loved to have seen the Newmarket Cafe in person.

    I didn't realize Belk had a special logo for SouthPark back then either.

  2. The candy counter was actually owned and operated by Belks. It featured Godiva and Neuhaus chocolates. The rest of the food area was leased to Newmarket. I worked for Belks at the candy counter in the late 80's. I will always remember the wonderful smells that came from the bakery, as well as the aromas of the gourmet coffees that were sold (long before the arrival of Starbucks and Carribou the the city).