Char-Grill / Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina – Terminal 1 RDU

Morrisville, NC

Client: Uptown Airport Group
Year Completed: 2014
Project Team:
David S. Tobin, AIA, Lead Designer, Project Architect, Project Manager, Principal-in-Charge
Jay Byrd – Intern Architect
Jigna Gopaldas, AIA – Project Architect
Carrie Schulz – Intern Architect


In 2013, we were engaged by the Uptown Airport Group, a Charlotte based franchisee of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina and Char-Grill, to design a prime food court operation in first generation retail space at the newly refurbished Terminal 1 of RDU International Airport. The draw for these two concepts was that unlike the usual national chains, these were both North Carolina based quick serve restaurant operations, not yet widely known beyond this region. Salsarita’s was created and founded in Charlotte in 2000 and Char-Grill, in business since 1959, is the venerable old-school Raleigh burger joint beloved by generations. The two separate counter areas reflect the design heritage of their brands but share a common prep kitchen and storage. The operations launched in Spring 2014 and have been a big hit with travelers passing through Terminal 1 at RDU.  If you find yourself between flights at RDU, please stop by for a classic burger and fries or an incomparable burrito!