A restaurant is about to reopen inside Charlotte’s Goodwill Opportunity Campus

Community Table Bistro has found new life again, after closing in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic . The restaurant officially reopens April 11 under the new ownership of FDY, Inc., a Black-owned food services company with a rich history in Charlotte.

The bistro is located inside of the Goodwill Opportunity Campus at 5301 Wilkinson Blvd., and is open to the public for breakfast and lunch. It was founded in 2016 to serve as a job-training program, as well as a place to build connections.

The new owners are committed to building on that mission by providing quality food in a welcoming atmosphere that fosters a sense of community, while also growing the talent development pipeline for those interested in a career in food services.

“We were extremely excited to be on campus and have this partnership with Goodwill,” said Najla Haywood, FDY vice president. “It’s a match made in heaven. My grandfather, Floyd David Young, started this company to elevate the dining experiences at historically black colleges and universities and to give people an opportunity to be employed. That mission still remains 40 years later, and it really ties in with Goodwill’s mission to provide opportunities to those who need it.”

For decades, FDY managed food service experiences for college campuses, including Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College and Barber Scotia College.

Today, FDY operates familiar brands such as Bojangles, Red Mango Smoothie Factory, Char-Grill, Salsarita’s, Bruegger’s Bagels and Burger King in three airports, including Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, in addition to its proprietary brands The Young Kitchen and The Queen’s Beignets.

The company has pivoted several times throughout its history, but Community Table Bistro brings it full circle, Haywood said.

“The palate of the Charlotte resident has changed over the years,” Haywood said. “Our head chef, D’Andrea Lawson, has also elevated her culinary work and we’re so glad to have her here to help feed the residents of Charlotte.”

On the menu

Breakfast options at Community Table Bistro include all the standards like bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, along with a smoked salmon bagel, avocado toast, chicken and waffles, breakfast burritos and even sliced banana & Nutella toast. Vegan options are available.

For sides, the bistro serves Charleston-style creamy grits, breakfast potatoes, hashbrown casserole, oatmeal, biscuits, fruit cups, low-fat yogurt parfait and more.

At lunchtime, customers will enjoy a selection of burgers — like the bistro’s signature Black & Blue Burger with blue cheese crumble dressing — along with chicken tenders, wings, hot dogs, artisan sandwiches, wraps and more. Sides include fries tossed in chef’s seasonings, sweet potato fries, chips, vegetables and a side salad.

The Shrimp Bistro Salad at Community Table Bistro. Community Table Bistro
The Shrimp Bistro Salad at Community Table Bistro. Community Table Bistro

“Chef D’Andrea is constantly adding to the menu and rearranging dishes based on customer feedback,” Haywood said, noting the business held its soft opening earlier in March. “The idea is that you can come to Community Table Bistro and get a balanced meal. You’ll enjoy your food, be full when you leave and want to come back and see us again.”

FDY was selected after Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont sent out a request for proposal. Goodyear execs were specifically looking for a well-respected, locally owned business that shares the organization’s mission and values, said Jose Luis, chief operating officer for Goodwill industries of the Southern Piedmont.

“The Goodwill Opportunity Campus was created as a place where people could see possibilities, seize opportunities and prosper,” Luis said in a prepared statement. “Under FDY, Inc.’s ownership, we hope Community Table Bistro inspires possibilities and creates opportunities for our team members, participants and members of the community to come eat together in fellowship.”

This is the third locally owned business Goodwill has introduced in its facilities. The nonprofit added cafés Salty Bean and Big Red’s inside their concept stores in Rockingham and Shelby in 2022.

The Community Table Bistro dining room. Community Table Bistro
The Community Table Bistro dining room. Community Table Bistro

Community Table Bistro

Location: 5301 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 28208


Cuisine: American, breakfast, lunch

Hours: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; soon offering Sunday brunch once a month

Instagram: @communitytablebistro