Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yes, it's really called The Thirsty Beaver

Coming from one direction, Plaza-Midwood's newest watering hole looks like anything but. It's a nondescript, cement building with bars on the windows. But if you happen to spot it from Central Avenue going toward uptown, it's probably the big, buck-toothed, cowboy-hat-wearing beaver on the side of the orange building that caught your eye.

The Thirsty Beaver Saloon opened the weekend of Jan. 18 and was already pulling in a decent-sized crowd when I stopped in Friday night.

Brothers Brian (who owns The Rat's Nest in NoDa) and Mark Wilson decided to open the bar on a whim despite no service-industry experience when the space opened three months ago.
Since then, they've gotten a crash-course in bartending and brightened up what used to be The Rose Garden.


(Brian and Mark Wilson)

Kinks are still being worked out:

  • The door is locked (based on some apparent shady business practices of the previous tenants) and you have to be buzzed in. My friend and I were thrown off by that, especially when (jokingly) asked to say the secret password upon entering.
  • It's obvious the guys are pretty green behind the bar. If you go, don't order anything too fancy.
  • It's also a little too bright, but that might be because they have so many beer signs that light up.
But the place has character, thanks to the brothers' collectibles that adorn the walls and polyurethane-topped bar (it's so new, it's sticky) including a record from The Monkees, Tom Petty tickets and an Elvis Presley album cover. It's also smoke-free.



Brian Wilson tells me he hopes to bring in some country music bands when the weather gets warmer. He says he's always wanted to open a honky tonk bar in Charlotte.

Good luck to you guys.

Have a favorite dive bar in Charlotte? Post a comment below.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

i've been once and loved this bar. it's a great addition to the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I agree...it was fun.

Anonymous said...

Excellent addition to the neighborhood. Hopefully they set up some outdoor seating out back when it warms up.

Anonymous said...

keg and cue is a good dive. yesteryears too. and the bucket shop. and pucketts. sanctuary is kind of dive-y. there are quite a few, but good to have another.

Anonymous said...

I cant wait until Whiskey river opens up and I hope they put a matress outside the backdoor so when a fight breaks out its a softer landin instead of the alley; OLD NUMBER 8 has theright idea and women will flock thare trying to catch a rich gear head; This is my type of bar a cigar smokin, poker plain , lady on your lap bar ; Hope they put in a few rooms upstairs in case the passion gets really over elevated in thare; Cant wait to wear a TIM McGraw look alike hat and Ill even shave my head bald on top to look like the man. WEEEEEEE HAAAaaa WHISKEY RIVER let the water flow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling us about place, Party Girl! I've driven by many times and wondered about it. I'll have to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Wonder how they came up with that name...

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to check this place out. I love the honky-tonks in Nashville and it would be awesome to see Charlotte get some.

Smoke-free? Hope that works out for them. We need more places like that.

Anonymous said...

I 've heard of a hungry beaver but never a thirsty one; Not to mention a lot of hungry beaver around Charlotte;

Anonymous said...

They're trying I guess but the place smelled like a nursing home (yes a smoke filled room would have smelled better!) and felt like you were hanging out in someone's basement back in high school. Won't be going back.

Brad said...

This is the most wonderful establishment on God's Green Earth. I would rather spend a night at the Beaver than a night at the Playboy Mansion. There's a really cool guy names Squirrel that hangs out here a lot too.

Anonymous said...

Thirsty Beaver is great...I checked it out last night. It's in danger (probably too late) of being full of yuppies which kind of takes the fun out, but hey I guess they think it's daring to go to a cool place. The jukebox has some fantastic tunes when the right person chooses the tracks.