Charlotte Italian restaurant gets a new owner — and you already know his food

Figo36, a popular gathering spot known for bringing a taste of Italy to NoDa, has new owners.

Charlotte-based Raydal Hospitality Group, which also owns Sabor, Three Amigos, La Caseta and Saru, took over the restaurant last week from The Menagerie Group. Raydal owner Dalton Espaillat is quick to note that customers won’t immediately see any significant changes.

“We plan to retain the staff and the same theme, with a little extra TLC on the operations side,” Espaillat told CharlotteFive. “The restaurant is in good shape and we want to just roll with it as-is. … All of the changes will happen behind the scenes.”

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Sabor owner Dalton Espaillat.
Sabor owner Dalton Espaillat.

Raydal will add its experienced team to daily operations, as well as office management, vendor partners, marketing and customer programs. Raydal also plans to begin scheduling a more robust entertainment lineup.

Figo, which has remained open during the ownership transition, features in-house, fresh made pasta and pizza dough using locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes all of the Italian favorites, from antipasti to dolcetti, along with daily specials.

Figo36 serves modern Italian food.
Figo36 serves modern Italian food.

Eventually, the new owners may tweak the menu slightly to make sure everything is freshly prepared.

“When it comes to ethnic food, it’s all about authenticity and keeping it fresh,” Espaillat said. “We also want to ensure we have plenty of product. That’s often a challenge of running fresh food at a high volume, but we have a perfect recipe and processes in place to get that done.”

The addition of Figo36 helps elevate Raydal’s core mission of creating “authentic dining experiences with a passion and focus derived from connections to food and culture around the world.” The food and the culture at each restaurant reflect the stories and backgrounds of many staff members.

“We are so excited to keep adding brands into the Raydal portfolio,” Espaillat said. “We look forward to providing authentic Italian offerings to our friends and neighbors in NoDa and greater Charlotte.”

What’s next for The Menagerie Group? “We are greatly appreciative of the support and feedback from the NoDa community that helped us explore Italian cuisine and culture on 36th Street,” said Menagerie president Dan Weiss in an email to CharlotteFive. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Figo36 and are excited to focus on and grow The Vintage and Wine Loft brands.”


Location: 416 East 36th Street, Charlotte, NC 28205


Cuisine: Italian

instagram: @figo36_noda