People are already signing up online to become members of the new speakeasy Dot Dot Dot. Located in the back lot of Park Road Shopping Center, the innovative cocktail spot is set to open mid-June.
Conrad Hunter (owner of Foxcroft Wine Co.) and Stefan Huebner (formerly of Cosmos Cafe and Heist Brewery) are the minds behind it, along with Stephen Toth joining the team as general manager (he’s coming from Ballantyne’s Gallery Restaurant) and chef Chris Virgili (who hails from Barrington’s and Good Food on Montford).
What that term “innovative” means to Huebner is a culinary-driven bar, since his background is in the food industry.
“All the best cocktail spots in town are coming out of restaurants,” he said. “We are going to be an actual cocktail bar, that serves food. There is a difference. The focus is, you’re going to come in and have cocktails and then have a little bit of food to nosh on. Not have a meal with great cocktails.”
The menu will evolve, but it currently ranges from a Moscow Mule, to a Manhattan, to the Corpse Reviver (English gin, cochi blanc, orange liqueur, lemon and absinthe) on the drinks list, and from steak tartare, to a Creole BBQ shrimp skewer, to oysters on the half shell on the food list.
There will also be a dozen carefully curated wines by the glass, five local draft beers and eight bottled beers.
“I think the drink that everybody is going to order is the Truffle New York Sour,” Huebner said. (Except for Hunter, who said he’ll order a Manhattan.)
The Truffle cocktail is crafted with Kentucky bourbon, orange liqueur, truffle egg white, house sweet and sour, and ruby port.
How to become a member
To join this private social club, you have to pay a fee of $10 and agree to the 12 house rules, which include no talking on cell phones, being patient for your handcrafted cocktail, and only bringing three guests per member.
Oh, and “Don’t be a jerk. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”
“It’s building a culture that we want in this building,” Huebner said of the rules.
This is the place you want to bring your significant other, he added. It’s not for “bros” hitting on girls.
“This is an experience we’re having,” he said.
Which is why there will also be no TVs in the space.
“We want you to leave work and leave it all behind,” Hunter said.
How to get in
From Park Road Shopping Center’s back lot, look for the three metal doors to the right of the Blackhawk Hardware garden center and just below the patio deck of Flying Biscuit. Come opening day, there should be a sign with the logo.
You’ll get buzzed into this far-right door and glide down a hardwood-floor hallway to the hostess stand. Then you’ll get buzzed through a second door and into the main bar, which can hold about 100 people.
When you walk in, take in the whole back wall, filled with liquor. Check out the wraparound booth lining the back corner and the 37-foot-long marble bar to anchor the space. Note the hardwood and copper elements acting as an homage to the 1920s.
Mere months ago, this was a 2,700 square-foot storage space built in 1955 with the shopping center.
Opening day, the revived space should emanate with old-school jazz and blues — a music mix meant for a good conversation backdrop. Later in the evening, there will be Motown, soul, James Brown and such vibes.
Huebner and Hunter met 20 years ago when Huebner’s band recorded its first record in Hunter’s former Charlotte recording studio, White Room Studios. So they’ve put some thought into the sounds of the speakeasy.
And as for the thought process behind the name, Dot Dot Dot, Hunter is a huge fan of the ellipsis.
“It’s something that denotes something that’s implied but not directly stated,” he said.
Or something mysterious …
Coming soon to 4101 Park Road #260B
Anticipated hours: Tuesday-Sunday,5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Photos: Justin Driscoll/SouthPark Magazine, James Fedele, Katie Toussaint