Where an uncommon idea takes root in common ground.

When Blake Barnes started The Common Market in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte in 2002, his big idea was to supply the neighborhood with urban convenience, a modern twist on general stores of the past. The market evolved into so much more. He added a deli… then a bar… then the inevitable happened.

A place filled with old friends, and a destination to find new ones.

Chuck Barger was a regular at the Plaza Midwood store. Over coffee one morning with Blake, Chuck mentioned opening another store. So in 2008 they decided to become business partners and expand the uncommon experience to South End—creating another loyal neighborhood mainstay.

Your neighborhood living room—a place to call your own.

We offer your morning coffee plus three meals a day. An alternative locale for that boring meeting and a gathering place for live music and entertainment (after that boring meeting is over.) The latest in local craft beer and an eclectic wine selection. Plus funky gifts, vinyl, t-shirts and trinkets. You never know what you’ll find.

Come check us out. When you’re awake, we are open. Every day.


Blake Barnes got the party started. Chuck Barger took the party to the other side of town. Graham Worth is taking the party to the next level.

Blake Barnes

Chuck Barger

Graham Worth

When did you start Common Market? December 6, 2002

Who inspired you? Austin’s General Store, Wingate, North Carolina—I’d get pack of nabs and Cheerwine.

Favorite Ghostbuster? Bill Murray. Favorite band? Depeche Mode. Favorite pet? Oliver, my black lab/pitbull mix. Favorite beer? Guinness.

Best day you ever had at CM? Worst day? The best day was when the Charlotte Rollers fought Gorgor Luchador in a blood wrestling match in a pool in the back parking lot. The worst day was when we were broken into at 4 a.m. with my wife in the store. She ran out and ended up knocking on the getaway driver’s car window.

Most memorable customer? David Byrne

If CM were a famous person, who would it be? Kramer from Seinfeld. He’s extremely spastic, but for some reason it just keeps working out.

If you were a CM deli sandwich, what would you be? Spicy Turkey

Best thing about Charlotte? Our neighborhoods have micro-economies that are all diverse from each other.

Pet peeves? People not thanking you when you hold the door, and texting while driving.

I’m new to Charlotte. Tell me what to do. Come to Plaza Midwood, walk around and get a feel for our diverse neighborhood.

You just won $100 million dollars. What’s the first thing you’d do? Have a streaking party. I got bails covered.

When did you join Common Market? April 1, 2008.

Favorite car? 1974 Volvo. The color was like the bottom of a swimming pool. Favorite pet? Mr. Judy or 3-Legged Peggy, I can’t decide.

Worst day you ever had at CM? When I was called away from a Christmas party to clean a toilet overflow in the bathroom at the original South End store.

Music to open the store to? Something calming and definitely not shocking. I like that intimate moment with the store before anyone else arrives.

Favorite time of day at the store? My regular customers in the mornings.

Best thing about Charlotte? Worst? The best thing is the people; the worst is its unbridled growth.

Pet peeves? People who litter.

Biggest challenge with the stores? Trying to make everyone happy 365 days a year, 18 hours a day.

Greatest achievement with the stores? The fact that it became a community living room where people from a variety of backgrounds all became friends.

I’m new to Charlotte. Tell me what to do. Get on a bike and explore inner city neighborhoods. Say hey if you see me!

When did you join Common Market? August 2016.

Who inspires you? People who love their jobs.

Favorite book? Anything by David Sedaris. Beer? Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale. Car? 1998 Toyota 4Runner. Candy? Snickers.

Music to open the store to? Dirty Dozen Brass Band Spotify station.

Favorite time of day at the store? I love the mid-morning crowd.

If you were a CM deli sammich, what would you be? Evil Homer.

Best thing about Charlotte? Different neighborhoods with their distinct characters.

Pet peeves? Slow walkers and food that jiggles

Biggest challenge with the stores? Appeasing the variety of our patrons.

You just won $100 million dollars. What’s the first thing you’d do? Give my 13th customer $1,000,000.


Awards from 2002 to now!