Fruit pies for dessert...
Exterior picture from the late-90's (before the red paint)
Across the street sits the former Highland Mills
Former downtown location
Just North of downtown Charlotte lies the NoDa Arts District (on NOrth DAvidson St). The area features a large community of mill houses, built for the workers of the Highland Mills, and a small business district. The last decade has seen a revitalization of the area with new shops, restaurants, and residences.
In the shadow of the Highland Mills, and down a largely-unoccupied side street, sits Brooks' Sandwich House. Brooks' Sandwich House was opened in 1973 by the Brooks family in a tiny cinder-block building, with an enormous gravel lot, at 2710 N. Brevard St. Little has changed since they opened--the order counter area is very small and tight and since there is no seating, patrons either eat in their car or under the large awning that sits next to the building. While they are famous for their cheeseburgers (probably the best in town), hot dogs, and grilled bologna sandwiches, it is their chili that has made them legendary. The chili comes on everything (even the bologna) and resonates with a mix of seasonings that is heavy on the pepper and is largely a dry-meat style. It is truly unique and distinctive and adds just the right punch to any of their sandwiches.
Twin brothers David and Scott took over the operation from their dad in 1991 and even opened a downtown location near the corner of Trade and Church Streets in November 1999 (at the time, a large portion of their lunch crowd at the Brevard St location consisted of workers traveling from downtown). This second location would be unfortunately short-lived.
The NoDa area has gone through several changes--the Mills are long gone and the fringe atmosphere has been replaced with a new generation of businesses and residents. Throughout it all, Brooks' Sandwich House has persevered--the one constant in an area of tremendous change.