Newest Mac’s Speed Shop to open in Matthews in less than a month

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Mac’s Speed Shop is set to open its newest location in just a few weeks. The new spot — Mac’s seventh and fourth in the Charlotte area — will be in downtown Matthews, at 142 E. John St.

Jeff Del Mastro, Mac’s director of operations, said the restaurant will open Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 — just in time to ruin all of your New Year’s resolutions.

“It was just a great opportunity,” said Del Mastro, adding that much Mac’s “biker crowd” comes from the south side of town, places like Matthews, Monroe and Union County.

The location, just a few hundred feet from the John and Trade intersection in downtown Matthews, used to be Finz Raw Bar and Grill, and, before that, Vinnie’s Sardine Grill & Raw Bar. Del Mastro and his team have totally gutted and transformed the space.

One of the biggest transformations: A huge indoor/outdoor patio with three garage doors and custom windows that can be opened and closed depending on the weather.

The indoor/outdoor patio, from the outside.
The indoor/outdoor patio, from the outside.

“We basically started over,” Del Mastro said. “We ripped down three walls and rebuilt the damn thing.”

Other key details about the new space:

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– The restaurant is about 5,000 square feet, including the indoor/outdoor patio.
– 60 taps, pouring beer and craft cocktails. (“We want our beer to be fresh all the time,” Del Mastro said.)
– 18-20 TVs.
– Two smokers in the back, where pigs will be cooked on-site. Fun fact: Mac’s typically goes through about 1,200 pounds of meat a day.
– Bike nights, live music, and a lot of the same things you’ll find at other Mac’s locations.

The atmosphere in the Matthews restaurant will be very similar to Mac’s other locations, Del Mastro said.

“We try to keep the same vibe,” he said. “People have come to expect and love Mac’s the way it is, and if we go one way too far to the right or left, trust me I hear about it quick.”

That includes the barbecue. Mac’s and Del Mastro take pride in the meat they produce. Each location cooks its own meat, using hickory wood to smoke the pork. And Mac’s placed fifth for whole hog barbecue at the 2015 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest — kind of a big deal.

This is real N.C. barbecue, Del Mastro said, and he wants everyone to know it.

“We kind of know how to cook barbecue,” he said. “It’s authentic North Carolina barbecue. End of story.”

Mac’s Speed Shop Matthews: 142 E. John St., Matthews.

Photos: Corey Inscoe. Rendering courtesy of Mac’s Speed Shop

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