Outstanding in the… Hardware Store

Leave it to Outstanding in the Field to create a farm tour and dinner in a hurricane that’s actually even more charming and memorable than the original plans. Local wines, beers, and small bites were served in a greenhouse, surrounded by seedlings. From there, guests in rain boots walked to Renfrow Farm for a full tour of its gardens and farm stand, before settling in at long tables on the aisles of the historic Renfrow Hardware.

I would have happily gone to this dinner knowing no one behind it, but I got lucky. Chef Clark Barlowe, who I’ve known since he first started his Charlotte restaurant, spotted me  and gave me a peek inside the “kitchen” (back of the store) as his talented team cooked the incredible dinner. I’ve known the brewer since before he opened his brewery—and even happened to run into him on Friday evening as he was labeling the cans for the event. And it turned out the owners of the hardware store and farm are the siblings of old family friends.

At one point during the dinner, one of women in the (ridiculously fun) group I went with asked me, “What do you love about Charlotte?” I didn’t even really have to think about it. My answer though is entirely reflective of having a night like this—where there were so many familiar faces alongside new and friendly ones gathering around a table. I answered:

“Charlotte is home.”