The next time pint pioneers venture into Wooden Robot Brewery on South Tryon Street, they will notice a large opening along the back wall leading into Chef Rob Masone’s newest eatery, Kre8 Gastropub, which is expected to open the first week of March.

Removed wall leading into Kre8 Gastropub

This 60-plus seated addition, with an outdoor beer garden, will serve as an extension to the brewery, offering an eclectic menu of meat-forward specialties, plenty of vegetarian “kre8tions,” with a light sprinkle of vegan and gluten-free snacks.

Indoor-outdoor beer garden opening

Servers will be known as Foodtenders, and will take your order once you find your desired spot to enjoy a few brews with your buds. If you’re in dire hurry for a snack, there will be a walk-up window leading into the kitchen where you can order prior to perching yourself at a high top or barstool.

Quick note, this will not be a full-service restaurant, but rather a modified dining experience (so don’t expect immediate service). The space will also be separated by a custom-made barn door that can be used to seclude the area for private events and parties.

Foodtender’s shirts

After starting Twisted Eats food truck in 2015, Chef Rob’s gastronomical mindset has dished out celebrated concoctions like mac & cheese eggrolls, mouthwatering beer cheese and a Cuban sandwich that’s elevated with beer-braised pulled pork and spiced pale ale mustard, all of which will remain on his new menu.

“The inspiration behind our menu is familiarized food with a twist,” Chef Rob said. “I’m really excited for this next step in Kre8 and Wooden Robot’s relationship. We work really well side-by-side and have each other’s best interest at heart”.

Chef Rob Masone

In addition to out-of-this-world pub fare (hello, bao fried tacos), there will be heartier dishes, like pecan smoked salmon, lobster and congac baked gnocchi and sous vied pork tenderloin.

Pecan Smoked Salmon

“My team and I just really love beer,” Chef Rob laughed. “To be honest, my mind thinks in cups and quarts.”

Infusing Wooden Robot’s beers has always been his mission, but with new projects comes new ideas — insert smoked jerky and charcuterie slates here. Cheese and meats will be sourced from North Carolina creameries and farms, while the jerky will be made of center-cut rib eye that’s smoked, in-house, for over six hours.

Bacon Crisps, which will be featured on the new menu. They are so popular on the catering menu that there is a full-time employee dedicated to preparing them.

For wing fanatics, there will be two types available – dry-rubbed that have also been dry smoked or black wings smothered in ponzu and served with grilled citrus. These black beauties even require their own separate fryer for crispy deliciousness. They’re that special.

The interesting fusion of different cuisines makes for a good-looking menu and we cannot wait to come back next month to check out the finalized list.

Make sure to follow Kre8gastropub on social media for updates to follow.

Wooden Robot/Kre8 Gastropub: 1440 S Tryon St., Suite 110

Photos: Jess Bentley/Foodesign Associates, Kre8