Hidden Gems of CLT: What the Fries

Watch a new episode of Hidden Gems of Charlotte with Alexandra Elich each Thursday on WCCB News Rising.

CHARLOTTE, NC. — WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich visits What the Fries. 

Flowers, traveling, music and fries. All things universally loved, the last of which these Charlotte locals are taking to new heights.

“Everyone loves fries. It’s rare for somebody to be like, oh, I hate fries. There’s a lot of application you can do with our cooking to fries,” says co-owner of What the Fries Jamie Barnes.

Barnes is the co-owner of What the Fries on Park Road in Charlotte. He grew up fascinated with the Food Network and cooking.

“I was watching sports, but I was also interested in what’s going on in the kitchen. So just wanted to see everybody cooking.”

Barnes went to culinary school at Johnson and Wales, where he met his co-owner, Greg Williams. They worked together as chefs at the Ballantyne Country Club when they got an idea.

“That’s where all this food truck stuff started. The other owner Greg Williams, I knew him from Johnson and Wales, and we worked at the country club, and we were just tired of working. At that point, we were burnt out.”

In 2015, with the help of family and friends, they turned this old Fed Ex truck into the What the Fries food truck and began taking it to breweries.

“We didn’t imagine taking off how it took off for us, but we knew it would be; people would like it. It’s gotten really big for us. It’s been cool.”

Growing so much in popularity, in March, they went from a food truck to a storefront. Everything from burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings, and more.

“Cool food. Just something that separates us from everyone else. Got a lot of loaded fries in town, so we try to do, I don’t like the word gourmet, but we try to do nice toppings and different toppings on top of fries.”