Familiar coffee shop’s opening just the latest for this Belmont mill transformation

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Photo by Liz Logan

The Plaza Midwood and Belmont neighborhoods on Charlotte’s east side are slowly converging, thanks to the expansion of businesses along the Central Avenue corridor. Just before edging into Plaza Midwood proper, Louise Avenue is slowly being developed, with historic mills being transformed into living spaces, taprooms and, most recently, an expansion of Trade & Lore’s third coffee-centric location.

Just inside the historic Kellogg’s mill, redefined spaces have been taking shape while keeping the original layout of the structure. Doug Bradley of Hawthorne Mill Partners LLC, said this decision was an intentional one, allowing for historic preservation while new businesses fill this 60,000-square-foot tenant-occupied structure.

One of the first to build out was Advent Coworking, conceptualized by founder Kevin Giriunas back in 2016. As the space continues to expand upward, following the building’s original footprint, Giriunas envisioned expanding its offerings and reached out to coffee mastermind Lindsey Pittman of Trade & Lore for potential partnership.

Photo by Liz Logan

Pittman, who first entered the Charlotte coffee scene as a barista and evolved with the inception and ownership of Daily Press, has played a key role in expanding the ever-growing third-wave coffee scene. The original Trade & Lore is on Wall Street in Asheville, while the second sits above Salud Beer Shop, sharing space with Salud Cerveceria. The reputation of these two spots is what made inclusion in the mill space an ideal fit, falling in line with the craft coffee/co-working trend.

The conversation began off and on about a year ago, Pittman said, with the official planning beginning in September 2018, and conversations about what programs could look like. These programs have evolved into what it is now becoming, Pittman said.

Photo by Liz Logan

The wood paneling and cinderblock walled café sits next to The Space, the mill’s onsite yoga studio, with access to the outdoors via the string-lit patio. Shelves are lined with plants and high-end coffee, while walls are painted with murals by local tattoo artist Tom Michael and Pittman.

Bradley has taken special interest in this project. “Doug has done so much of this space himself — helping with the wood paneling, even offering to hang shelving himself,” Pittman said. “He has been so accommodating and pushed for us to be here.”

This location allows for a partnership between Advent and Trade & Lore, which will brew pots of Enderly Coffee for the coworking location. They’ll be replenished every few hours for the co-working clientele, just a short walk down the muraled hallway with original concrete flooring.

The mill, which houses Catawba Brewing, Oso Skate park and Lumberjaxe ax-throwing, is slowly transforming with the help of artist Nico Amortegui. Matt Wheeler, former kitchen manager of Common Market Oaklawn, is bringing his expertise to Trade & Lore’s food program, with sandwiches proudly featuring Duke’s Bread. Local beer can be found on tap, as well as wine from Natalia Roman with Sour Grapes, who specializes in natural wines.

Bradley hopes to continue the growth of this space by adding in a two-story restaurant with a rooftop terrace for which build-out has already begun. “We are looking to bring in more local acts,” Bradley said, “and have reached out to a few of the city’s key players and are looking to add someone who would be the right fit for our locally focused space.”

Photo by Liz Logan

Bradley has been very hands-on for the entire project, using his background in carpentry to help rework most of the spaces within the mill. His local, small business focus has helped cultivate what is transforming into a dynamically well-rounded endeavor.

“The vision of this partnership,” Pittman said, “is to have a wonderful shop and community space, bringing classes and collaboration, possibly even catering events with Advent.”

Pittman hopes to bring back her Countries Over Coffee classes she’d once held at Daily Press, staying true to her mission of “filtering coffee, not people,” as the posters say.

Photo by Liz Logan

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