CHARLOTTE, N.C -- Loft & Cellar, an upscale restaurant in the heart of Uptown, closes its doors this week. 

The buildings owner said he is looking for a new tenant.

But some believe the rising rates in and around Uptown is making it harder for locally-owned restaurants to succeed. 

The former Loft & Cellar location is expected to come with an $18,500 monthly rent. 

It’s causing some chefs to look outside the center city to open their own restaurant. 

“In the town of Waxhaw there’s a bunch of startups that have done very well that are very chef driven,” David Tschirhart of Legacy Real Estate Advisors said. “I think a lot of these guys need a place to start off and can’t afford the $30 per square foot rent [around Uptown]."

There were more than 245 restaurants in and around Uptown at the start of the year, according to Charlotte Center City Partners.