Downtown Matthews ain’t that big, but it will soon be home to three bars owned by the guy who opened Carolina Beer Temple there in 2013.

The newest, Temple Mojo, is expected to open mid-to-late October in the former Mojo Cycles building on Trade Street, right across the train tracks from Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar, the second bar Carolina Beer Temple owner Rob Jacik opened in downtown Matthews.

“We’re helping to make Matthews a destination,” said Russ Conrad, who has been working with Jacik since Carolina Beer Temple opened. The two actually grew up in the same neighborhood and Conrad recently quit his job to help Jacik full-time.

Why in the world would someone open three bars in such a small downtown area? Conrad said Carolina Beer Temple often gets crowded, but Jacik didn’t want to expand that location and lose its cozy feel. Instead, he decided to open nearby bars that offer different experiences — bars that complement each other more than compete against each other.

Carolina Beer Temple has a coffee shop feel and is also a bottle shop, specializing in local and Belgian beer. Seaboard, which opened earlier this year, has a more upscale vibe and offers wine and more international beer styles.

Temple Mojo will be the only one of the three to sell growlers of beer and will focus on beer from Charlotte and the Carolinas, especially those that you can’t find in bottles or cans at local grocery stores.

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(A second Carolina Beer Temple is coming to Ayrsley. It will be larger than the original location and also serve growlers.)

Conrad said he and Jacik started looking at the Temple Mojo space at the end of last year. It was built as the town’s post office in 1939 and was most recently home to Mojo Cycles, a bike shop. Mojo Cycles still owns the building and will continue to operate its bike shop out of a building behind Temple Mojo.

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Temple Mojo and Mojo Cycles are independent businesses. Conrad and Jacik just liked the name, the bike theme, and the purple, green and black color scheme, so they decided to keep it.

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Mojo Cycles’ “business is pretty much just early morning to five in the afternoon,” Conrad said. “After that this building just sits here and does nothing. (Now) from five in the afternoon to later hours, this building could have a whole nother life.”

Details on Temple Mojo

– 28 taps, all of which will be available for growler fills. Temple Mojo will primarily feature local and regional beers that you can’t find in cans or bottles at the grocery store.
– The space, which was built as a post office in 1939, is about 1,500 square feet.

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– There will also be a patio out back, and the building has a grass lot beside it that can be used for weekly yoga sessions and live music.

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– The building will still keep a bike theme, so you might see bikes hanging from the ceiling and on walls. The Mojo Cycles bike rides will run out of the same location.
– Temple Mojo will have a “more athletic theme” than the other locations. Expect Carolina Beer Temple’s run club to move here to go with the bike rides and yoga.
Address: 195 N. Trade St., Matthews.
Hours: Noon-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday.

Photos: Corey Inscoe

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