A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

[caption id="attachment_129384" align="alignleft" width="254"] Diane Hook.[/caption] When Diane and Larry Hook bought a house within walking distance of downtown Waxhaw 30 years ago, there was almost nowhere to shop or

Madison County Championship Rodeo

[caption id="attachment_129384" align="alignleft" width="254"] Diane Hook.[/caption] When Diane and Larry Hook bought a house within walking distance of downtown Waxhaw 30 years ago, there was almost nowhere to shop or

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

[caption id="attachment_129384" align="alignleft" width="254"] Diane Hook.[/caption] When Diane and Larry Hook bought a house within walking distance of downtown Waxhaw 30 years ago, there was almost nowhere to shop or

Downtown: Waxhaw

Diane Hook. photograph by Jamey Price

When Diane and Larry Hook bought a house within walking distance of downtown Waxhaw 30 years ago, there was almost nowhere to shop or grab a bite to eat. But the California expats took on active roles in their new community — Larry opened a tire business, and Diane joined the farmers market board — and transitioned from newcomers to downtown boosters. Now, they often walk to town to stock up on fresh produce and provisions at local markets, meet friends for dinner or drinks, and listen to live music. Downtown has undergone a significant revitalization over the past three decades, but Diane insists that the friendly neighbors, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of all things local have been here all along. “We love everything that Waxhaw has become,” Diane says. “On our vacations, we’re always thinking, ‘Would we like to move here?’ But no other place lives up to Waxhaw. We’d never give up our little one-stoplight town.”


Eat

Waxhaw Creamery. Diane jokes that this local creamery has turned her into an ice cream snob. “We won’t go anywhere else,” she says. The shop serves up homemade ice cream in flavors ranging from chocolate and vanilla to Creamsicle and Cotton Candy Krunch.

109 East North Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 843-7927

Provisions Waxhaw. This old-school market stocks everything from fresh pasta and sauces to alpaca mittens and fudge — all made by local purveyors. “I buy things there that I can’t find anywhere else,” Diane says. Try “The Best Corned Beef Reuben” for lunch.

107 West South Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 256-3642
provisionswaxhaw.com

The corned beef reuben at Provisions Waxhaw. photograph by Jamey Price

Maxwell’s Tavern. Casual fare like wings, burgers, and chili draws crowds: You’ll find a line out the door most evenings. “It’s a favorite gathering spot,” Diane says. Check out the work of local artists hanging on the walls while you wait.

112 East South Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 843-2773
maxwellstavern.com

Cork & Ale. Stop in for supper — Diane loves that many of the ingredients featured on the menu are sourced from local farms — or purchase beer and wine to go: Cork & Ale also operates as a bottle shop, stocking more than 300 wines and an impressive selection of craft beers.

113 East North Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 256-7757
corkale.com

Emmet’s Social Table. The menu here features small plates of glazed brussels sprouts, flatbreads, sliders, and barbecued ribs. Diane believes that “sharing plates creates conversation.” The location, a refurbished cotton mill, is also a talking point.

401 East South Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 233-7813
emmetsnc.com


Drink

Uptown Tea Shop. In addition to stocking a huge selection of loose-leaf teas and tea accessories, this shop has a to-go menu that includes sweet tea floats made with creative flavors such as dragon fruit sorbet or pomegranate-blueberry green tea. The owners call it “a unique spin on a Southern tradition.”

310 East South Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(734) 777-4870
uptownteashop.com

The Uptown Tea Shop in Waxhaw. photograph by Jamey Price

The DreamChaser’s Brewery. Located in a refurbished firehouse, this brewery is the place to order a pint of craft beer, grab dinner from one of the food trucks on-site, and join revelers for open mic nights, music bingo, and live entertainment.

115 East North Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173

(704) 843-7326
dreamchasersbrewery.com


Shop

Waxhaw Farmers’ Market. As many as 30 vendors set up on Saturday mornings to sell fresh produce, proteins, and flowers. Diane is proud that it’s a producers-only market, which means that only local growers and ranchers are allowed to sell there.

7290 Waxhaw Parkway
Waxhaw, NC 28173
waxhawfarmersmarket.org

The Waxhaw Farmers’ Market photograph by Jamey Price

Siela Boutique. This shop sells clothing, accessories, and home goods crafted from sustainable materials or ethically made by artists who earn living wages. “Everything they sell gives back,” Diane says.

318 East South Main Street, Suite I
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 256-3716
sielaboutique.com

The Indigo Pearl. Deann Eckhart makes handcrafted leather goods in a small workshop in the back of her store. “Every single item has a story,” Diane says. The shop also stocks unique jewelry and home goods.

101 East North Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 221-3769
theindigopearl.com

The Antique Clock Shop. A downtown mainstay, this shop stocks (and repairs) antique grandfather clocks and cuckoo clocks dating back to the late 1880s.

202 North Broome Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 843-4120
waxhawantiqueclockshop.com

The Antique Clock Shop in Waxhaw. photograph by Jamey Price

Sweet T Flowers. Not only does floral designer Tina Enyart create beautiful arrangements, but she also uses local flowers whenever possible. “She does a great job of educating people about the importance of supporting local,” Diane says.

401 East South Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 843-8248
sweettflowers.com


From Waxhaw to the World

Outside downtown Waxhaw, JAARS bustles with nearly 600 workers fulfilling a global mission. Founded in 1948 by famed missionary William Cameron Townsend, JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) helps Bible translators reach the world’s most remote communities. The Waxhaw headquarters, donated by Charlotte businessman Henderson Belk in the 1960s, is home to two museums and hosts “JAARS Days” with flight demos, educational talks, and activities. — Katie King
(704) 843-6000, jaars.org.

This story was published on Jul 28, 2020

Jodi Helmer

Jodi Helmer

North Carolina-based journalist Jodi Helmer writes about food, farming, and the environment.