When Chris Ingram first walked down the streets in NoDa during daylight one afternoon in 2000, he was drawn immediately to the live music outside of Salvador Deli & Market and Fat City.
Salvador Deli owner Stu Sloan was hosting free outdoor concerts in his parking lot during that time.
“Having music outside was kinda different to me, and new,” Ingram said. “The neighborhood had kind of a gritty feel, and I liked that.”
Ingram moved to NoDa in 2000 and opened JackBeagle’s in December 2010, next door to Salvador Deli. During construction of Beagle’s, he got to know his work neighbor, Sloan.
However, a few weeks before Beagle’s opened, Sloan was forced to close his sandwich shop, citing financial difficulties. Tragically, a few days after losing his deli, Sloan passed away, leaving a hole in the neighborhood’s character.
For the past couple of years, the former deli has served as the JackBeagle’s prep kitchen. Now, Ingram and his business partner, Mike Crowley, plan to bring that live music and neighborhood hangout back to the Salvador Deli space with a new bar.
Appropriately named Stu’s Barrel House, Ingram said they are hoping to open by September.
The full bar won’t serve food; it will have TVs, a stage for live music, and plenty of patio seating in front and to the side of the building. The existing parking lot was rezoned and will be taken out; only a small fence will separate the outdoor seating from the sidewalk.
Garage doors on the front and side will allow for an outdoor/indoor feel. Indoors will include a long, concrete-topped bar and community-style seating. The large table and benches will contribute to the bar’s “cozy, friendly hangout,” Ingram said. “You won’t mind coming in with shorts and a T-shirt on.”
Between the space at Stu’s Barrel House and at JackBeagle’s, Ingram said he is already envisioning the oyster roasts, barbecues and fundraisers he plans to host.
Dogs will be allowed at Stu’s Barrel House — not a big surprise, considering the owner named his other NoDa place after his own dog, JackBeagle.
A rooftop bar, which may not be finished by September, will include space for 40 people and currently has a view of the skyline.
“So we should have all your seating needs covered,” Ingram said.
Outdoor restrooms will be built, including three stalls in the men’s room and two in the women’s. No more Porta-Johns outside of JackBeagle’s, Ingram said. Also, no more hanky panky after having a few drinks, Ingram said.
“You’d come in [to JackBeagle’s] and the sinks were broken because somebody had been sitting on the sink — I don’t know why they were sitting on the sink, but your mind can run wild with that,” he said.
So, stalls it is.
“We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, just trying to make a nice, neighborhood hangout,” Ingram said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or if you’re 61.”
The painted animals on the front of Salvador Deli will stay put, Ingram said — in fact, the city’s rezoning committee requested that.
In addition to the name, the art will serve as just another throwback to NoDa as it began its transition into the Arts District.
“Stu was one of the original people down here that kinda turned NoDa around,” Ingram said, “and this was his space.”
Rendering courtesy of Chris Ingram