Rob Rondelez, Owner of Rhino Market & Deli is no stranger to the restaurant industry — When it came time to open up his own eatery, he had no problem executing his vision. Now, Rhino Market is a go-to spot, filling the bodega needs of the FreeMoreWest neighborhood. With a new location Uptown, Rondelez is ready to feed the Center City lunch crowd in the coming months. We met with Rondelez and he shared his favorite eats and spots in the Queen City.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are today?
I have worked in the restaurant business in some way, shape or form for 29 years, so that set me up pretty nicely for running my own restaurant/deli.
What’s your favorite Charlotte meal?
I have loved Good Food on Montford for some time. It is my wife’s and my favorite dinner date spot!
If you only had 10 words, how would you define Charlotte?
A bustling, progressive and pretty city between beautiful mountains and beaches!
Describe your perfect day in the city. What would you do, see and experience?
Hitting the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, then Romare Bearden Park or Freedom Park, taking a ride on the light rail and maybe grabbing a beer at one of the breweries. I have a four-year-old, so there’s not much time for the latter.
Why is Charlotte “home” for you?
I chose Charlotte out of the blue 21 years ago after growing up in Michigan and graduating from Central Michigan University. I think every day about what a great decision it was.
What is your favorite Queen City memory?
The first Super Bowl run in 2003 was pretty cool. It was the first time I had experienced the city alive with fan excitement for the Panthers.
What is your favorite local beer right now?
Rhino Market & Deli stocks many local provisions, including pasta, coffee, and spreads. Do you taste them all?
We do taste them all, which is one of many fun things about our business; it’s how we determine whether it’s worthy for our shelves.
If Charlotte’s nickname weren’t the Queen City, what do you think it would be?
“The New Frontier.”