$10 – $15

THRIVE Talks - Charlotte Restaurant Industry Growth

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8.2.0 Pizzeria & Bar

820 Hamilton Street

Charlotte, NC 28206

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THRIVE Talks

A quarterly discussion about the industries and businesses that have contributed to the growth of Charlotte and the marketing strategies behind them.

The next topic:

Restaurant Industry Growth in Charlotte

Join us for our second Thrive Talks quarterly panel as we discuss the rapid growth of the restaurant industry in Charlotte, NC. With the abundance of new restaurants opening in the last few years in the Queen City, capturing the attention of potential guests is becoming increasingly difficult.

During the event, we’ll talk with restaurateurs and those involved in the Charlotte media to learn more about this quickly-changing landscape and their strategy to stay relevant in an extremely competitive industry.


Thursday, June 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.

8.2.0 Pizzeria & Bar


THRIVE Talks Moderator:

Sarah Crosland - Food Writer

For more than a decade Sarah Crosland has been covering what to do, where to go, and what to eat in Charlotte. She's worked as an editor at The Charlotte Observer and Charlotte Magazine and is the author of several books about the city including 100 Things to Do in Charlotte Before You Die, Secret Charlotte: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, and Food Lovers’ Guide to Charlotte.

She’s also covered the city and its dining scene for notable national publications like Travel and Leisure, American Way magazine, Thrillist, Forbes Travel Guide, and Food Republic. She’s convinced that it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out that getting paid to eat and drink isn’t a real job, so in the meantime, she’s trying to squeeze in as much as possible of both.


On the THRIVE Talks Panel:

Kristen Wile - Founder of Unpretentious Palate

Kristen Wile is the editor and founder of Unpretentious Palate, a digital publication covering food and drink in Charlotte. The former editor and food editor of Charlotte Magazine, she felt traditional media outlets were cutting costs too much to provide the ethical and consistent food journalism readers crave.

Unpretentious Palate is old-school reporting and restaurant criticism on a new platform. Before her time at Charlotte, she worked at The Washington Post.

She lives in Plaza Midwood with her husband Jon, two rescue pit bulls, and a tortoise. Find her at unpretentiouspalate.com, or on social media @uppalate (Twitter) or @unpretentiouspalate (Instagram and Facebook).


Kara Taddeo - Co-Founder of VBGB Beer Hall and Garden & 8.2.0 Pizzeria and Bar

Kara founded VBGB Beer Hall and Garden with her husband Tom Taddeo after an internet search for a beer garden in Charlotte after closing on their home led to nowhere. Kara and Tom decided then and there to open their own beer garden in the Queen City. VBGB has been a popular destination for great food, their huge selection of craft beer and one of the city’s largest patios.

After being open for 7 years, the couple opened 8.2.0 Pizzeria and Bar to offer a walk-up pizza option for those at the Avid Xchange Music Factory. 8.2.0 hosts one of Charlotte’s few karaoke rooms and even have their very own secret library.


Remy Thurston - Marketing Manager, Frank Scibelli Food Group

Rémy Thurston is a commercial photographer and marketing director. He manages the media efforts for FS Food Group, parent company to Paco’s Taco’s and Tequila, Mama Ricotta’s, Midwood Smokehouse, Yafo Kitchen and Plate Perfect Catering. He has photographed the likes of Futo Buta Ramen, Haymaker, Inizio Pizza, Omaggio Pizzeria, Lincoln’s Haberdashery, La Belle Helene, Dilworth Tasting Room, Shake Shack, Hello Sailor, Heirloom Restaurant, Kindred and Haberdish among other restaurants. He mostly takes cell phone pictures of his fiancée and dog, however, and wishes people would stop using the term flavor profile.


Nikki Wolfe - Yelp Charlotte Community Manager

Nikki Wolfe single-handedly connects Charlotteans with many Charlotte restaurants. As the Yelp Charlotte Community Manager, she coordinates events at local businesses to help increase awareness of restaurants, beauty salons, local shops, and much more.

When Nikki isn’t at her own Yelp events, she’s most likely doing hot yoga, hanging with her dog Marley or watching a football game at a Charlotte restaurant or bar.


Andrew Wilen - Co-Founder of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

Andrew Wilen launched Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, Charlotte’s most popular cooking classes, with his now wife Chef Alyssa. In 2013, the couple realized that there were hardly any options for cooking classes in the Queen City and decided to offer their own.

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8.2.0 Pizzeria & Bar

820 Hamilton Street

Charlotte, NC 28206

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