Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another uptown bar closing its doors

At 2 p.m. today, Brick & Barrel opened its doors for the last time. The tiny speakeasy on North Tryon will close tonight after six years.


On its Facebook page today, the bar posted this message:

"Today is our last day open. We are gonna miss you guys. Come say bye to the staff you love. We need you guys to come drink the bar dry. Cheers to you, Brick & the amazing family it has created. See you soon!!"

Rumors of the bar's closing have swirled since the EpiCentre's first nightlife venue, Whisky River, opened over a year ago, but partner Larry Parks says the reasons behind the closing have nothing to do with the EpiCentre or the economy.

"We can't come to terms with our landlord on a new lease," Parks says. "He (Garry Bhojwani of Binaco Investments) wants $15,000 a month and I'm not willing to pay that."

Parks says the bar has paid $10,000 a month the past six years on the small space. The upstairs bar is about 1,400 square feet.

"We'll resurface and reopen somewhere," he says. "We'll sit the bad economy out and decide what to do."

In the meantime, Parks says Bhojwani has been contacted by a number of different bars looking to strike a deal on the newly vacant space.

33 comments:

Mike said...

It's a shame. B&B was a great little hangout. Where else am I going to be able to drink my bourbon from a Ball jar? Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

It was a decent little hang out, but nothing that will change the city's nightlife. Please keep in mind that BB was fun, but was a very small place. Now if something like Ri-Ra's closes, then we need to worry about Epicentre's impact.

Looking forward to a cool little bar to move into the vacant BB space.

Eggs Kistler said...

Yeah, jacking up the rent 50% on a good tenant seems a little on the gouging side. People always wanna blame the big box competitors when the little guy gets squeezed out, but in reality - it's really other people (like Binaco) putting the screws to them

Anonymous said...

I think the epicentre or mall of america as its called has already had an impact. Other small locally owned bars are beginning to close and more to come. The city and charlotte chamber had to have the foresight to see this coming. George hermans, the b n b, soon it could be cans, phils, the pub at gateway, connolys. Are we that gar away far away from the bigger clubs closing also? Thanks charlotte take away what little no corporate flavor we have in charlotte and put in cookie cutter bars in the epicentre. And for those that complain about clubs closing down its your fault, bars need to sell drinks to stay open! So maybe its time to frequent ur favorite locally owned bar while u still can. Otherwise the great mall of charlotte will be all thats left, and if you think drink priced are high now wait until there less competition.

Anonymous said...

Downtown/ uptown is going through a little glut this summer. You can notice the trend that people are getting tired of the Epicenter and are venturing to the outer rim bars on Montford, Plaza Midwood, Southend, and Dilworth. There are only so many times people (in this economy) are willing to pay for cover, high priced drinks, parking, or the high priced cab ride home (which is a total different story) to experience the cookie cutter bars known as Epicenter. The experiences at the outer rim bars are unique from each other. What is the difference between Suite or Forum, Whisky River or Black Finn's? Besides the levels of doucheness.

Anonymous said...

People are leaving the fake plastic uptown Epicenter "Walmart of entertainment" for real places with real people in NoDa, Southend, Plaza-Midwood, and Elizabeth. Uptown still have the and college kid and starched suits crowd, though.

Anonymous said...

Ha...the guy said that B+B was fun but a very small space, but he looks forward to a "cool little bar" to move into the place. I doubt the building gets any bigger with a new tenant, and I highly doubt anyone would pay those exhorbitant rates so it will probably rot. Also, dude how can you compare Ri Ra's, an Irish Pub, to a bar where people dance? You have already lost Ri-Ra's...it burnt down.

Anonymous said...

Is Plum Crazy still open?

Anonymous said...

It's not really the Epicentres fault. It's the fact that Charlotte isn't that big, there aren't enough young people here to make all of these bars successful, and a lot of people here are rednecks. It's a pretty bad combo...

Anonymous said...

Christ people, it's called 'Survival of the Fittest'. What is so hard to understand here?

If the bars at Epicenter suck so bad, why are they constantly packed?

If they suck so bad, shouldn't they be struggling and the dives thriving? From the sound of these comments, you'd think dancing in a hot, sweaty, smoky basement where you can touch the ceiling is all the rage and we're all missing out.

Of course, but that would make too much sense. It's easier to just b*tch about everything and not use some common sense.

Clearly everyone's complaint is with the demographics, not the bars themselves. In that case, move.

The bar has been raised, so to speak, in uptown nightlife. The weak will perish as they should and the strong will survive, as they should. Notice that Cosmos and Forum are still doing just fine, and they've been around since the beginning of civilization. Why? Because they do what they do WELL. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Rednecks drink a lot more beer and licqour than most of the gel haired, sprayed on tans p*ssies you see at the bar in Charlotte. This is the south, if you don’t like rednecks, move up north. Funny how the most successful in bar in Charlotte, is redneck themed and has a mechanic bull in the middle of the place. Isn’t ironic.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of it.

Montford Monty said...

I have $1000 on Selwyn Pub as being the next bar to close. Their arrogance and price gouging is now coming full circle as Brazwell's and the rest of Montford Drive dominate them. They have tried lowering their beers a whole dollar and beg people to stay when they try to leave early. They should have dropped their prices a long time ago and ditched the high feeling atmosphere. Serves them right.

Anonymous said...

There are rednecks up north too... I know you think you're special but you're not. Rednecks are not just southern. The difference is that Charlotte is a "city" and well, cities shouldn't be as redneck as Charlotte. Whiskey River isn't exactly a "redneck bar". Coyote Joe's or whatever it is on Wilkinson Boulevard and Bar Charlotte... now that place is scary!

Anonymous said...

I came, I read, I still don't know where you are talking about...

Anonymous said...

Its only survival of the fittest when the playing field is level. No epicentre bar has every had "membership" violations like alleycat and cans did. No one has every had multiple people almost die from jumping off the elevated concourse and had such little media scutiny. The fire marshall never goes to the epicentre and clears them out because thet are over fire capacity. Kinda funny its like there is kind of political shield keeper the powers that be at bay.

Anonymous said...

dont let the gel heads hear about montford, we dont want to ruin a good thing.

Anonymous said...

The most popular bar is suite and the most popular redneck bar is dixies.

Anonymous said...

If the bars at Epicenter suck so bad, why are they constantly packed?

Easy: Because every bar in Charlotte gets a honeymoon period.

When it opened, Cans was jammed every night. Now? Crickets.

When HOM opened, jammed every night. Now? Closed.

Southend Brewery started out busy all the time, then closed.

Everyone starts out busy and looks to be a huge success. It's only once a couple of years have passed and other new things have opened that you find out who truly has what it takes to survive and who just looked good due to Charlotte's obsession with novelty. The problem with EpiCentre is that it has the potential to be another CityFair. At least standalone bars don't leave a block-sized skeleton when they close.

So let's have this discussion about the EpiCentre again in a year or two and see how successful it really is.

Anonymous said...

By the way, anyone whining about Epicenter's impact on other bars should keep in mind that this has been in the works and widely publicized for FIVE FREAKING YEARS.

The plan was hatched around 2003 and it was all over the papers constantly. The convention center was imploded in 2006. Yet here we are in 2009 and people act like God made the heavens, then earth, then Epicenter and holy crap where did THAT come from?! Get f*cking serious.

Bar owners had five whole years to adjust, adapt, hoard cash, pay down debt, renegotiate leases, expand, whatever. Some did, some didn't. If they didn't, it's their own fault and they deserve to fail. Good riddance, take your hipster, too-ironic-for-you clientele elsewhere, and let real operators jump in...the water's warm.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:47 said: "Funny how the most successful in bar in Charlotte, is redneck themed and has a mechanic bull in the middle of the place. Isn’t ironic."

Sometimes we like to "slum it" a little while still keeping all our teeth and our relations non-incestuous in nature, that's why it is so popular.

Anonymous said...

The Thirsty Beaver will put them all out of business.

Anonymous said...

Tools!

It is Ri-Ra not Ri-Ra's.

I repeat, it is Ri-Ra not Ri-Ra's!

George said...

Montford Monty, you are most certainly attached to Brazwell's with your smug little rant. It was fun for about a week before the bar was filled with gelled up, V-neck wearing 40-somethings that started showing up. Have fun, but you are now the same joke as the Epicenter.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if it is Ri Ra or Ri Ra's? You know what the writer was trying to say. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

We live only 12 min from uptown and we go out almost every single night, and we stay away unless absolutely necessary. Give me Pucketts, Thirsty Beaver, or the Penguin any day.

Anonymous said...

I'm constantly amazed at the comments regarding people over then 25 going to bars. Not everyone is married with kids. The over 30 crowd are alot of fun. They aren't out just trying to impress some little weasel is who driving moms car.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey River will not be open in 12 months either. Wait and see..

Anonymous said...

That place is a dump.

Anonymous said...

Downtown Charlotte needs some "grunge".

Kingward said...

The world can do with one less bar.

Anonymous said...

I still like eddie's place and the real providence sundries. Those are real neighborhood bars. I do have a feeling that epicentre will end up like city fair. Tsk tsk tsk you think people would learn. I wish they had just build that condo building and office building on the land that was proposed before the epicentre. It atleast didnt have the feel of a carnival cruise when you went to it.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Carnival cruise is exactly what the Epicentre feels like. Good call.