Rattle off places like Angry Ale’s, Draught, Libretto’s, Prohibition, Neighborhood Theatre and Pint Central and you’ve created a list of some of Charlotte’s most popular spots. Get the minds behind these Queen City venues working together and you can imagine the end result will culminate in a new beloved post-work or Saturday afternoon gathering place.
It will be called “Flight,” and it’s taking over the space formerly occupied by Republic, next door to Bar Charlotte. Slated to open in early April, Flight is described as a “North Carolina-centric traditional beer and music hall.”
With 80 beers on tap, patrons will find their favorite pours and discover new ones. This includes all of the Charlotte staples, brews from fan favorite Wicked Weed in Asheville and creations from Raleigh and Wilmington. A traditional beer garden menu, including homemade brats, will complement the offerings.
The name “Flight” serves as a tribute to the phrase “First in Flight” emblazoned on North Carolina license plates, and reinforces the state-centric concept.
Andy Henson, owner of Angry Ale’s and South Side and one of the partners behind the new venture, explains that Flight aims to infuse a laid-back, neighborhood feel into uptown. For every dress code or mechanical bull found in the area, Flight counteracts with a chance to sip a beer and have a casual conversation, no dance parties required. Unless, of course, you’re so inclined.
For the project, Henson has partnered with Jason Astephen of Draught and Prohibition; Tim Dolan, a partner in Draught, Prohibition and Dandelion Market; Mike Libretto of Libretto’s; and Mario Flynn of Pint Central and Neighborhood Theatre.
But what is it like getting a group of entrepreneurs used to calling the shots in their respective venues together to collaborate? Actually, quite refreshing. “It’s nice to kick ideas off of each other, “Henson notes. “You bring a group of guys together and everyone has their own expertise.”
While the finishing touches are still being completed, Henson describes the vibe of the space as “rustic.” Picture a patio with a fire pit, long tables conducive to conversation, and a 70-foot bar made from local wood. In fact, the creator laser burned where each tree came from, so you’ll know whether you’re bellied up to a section that hails from Matthews or Myers Park.
Musically, Flight will be diverse. There will be a house band and local groups performing weekly, and national acts appearing several times per month. Open mic and singer/songwriter nights will also be schedule staples.
As they created Flight, Henson and his partners were inspired by the resurgence of commitment to keeping money in the Queen City, and want to continue to give Charlotte consumers ways to do this. He says, “Being in the restaurant business, I always lament how people will go to the chain restaurants. The craft beer scene here has sparked a commitment of people to try everything local. The breweries have really gotten people thinking, ‘Let’s go to the local restaurants. Let’s go to the local spots.’”
Look for more locally owned choices coming soon. The group is also taking the space formerly occupied by Cosmos and transforming it into a family-style Italian restaurant perfect for Sunday dinners and brunch.