New Belmont brewery blends craft beer and steampunk | Forum

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freemexy Nov 27 '19

A new craft brewery is poised to bring its history-meets-industry steampunk vibes to downtown Belmont later this year.
The Jekyll and Hyde Taphouse and Grill expects to open its doors by the end of 2019 at 10 E. Catawba St., according to owner Frank La Fragola. The some 12,000 square-foot-space was previously occupied by the 10 Catawba bar and restaurant, before La Fragola purchased the property this year. It was also a former automobile dealership.
It will be his steampunk-themed brewpub’s second location. Its lone location in Matthews opened in 2016, and many of the elements that have made it successful will be replicated in brewing equipment
The Matthews location keeps about 50 craft beers from around North Carolina on tap, along with wine, smoked bourbon and specialty cocktails — including several paying homage to its fictional late 19th-century namesakes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The bar and restaurant areas are designed to reflect the personalities of each character made famous in the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 work “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
“I want to walk in the restaurant, sit down and have fun before I’ve even done anything, before the servers come and give me a drink, before I have my meal I just want to have a good time,” said La Fragola, who is originally from New Jersey who has owned several Charlotte-area restaurants in the past. He is a self-proclaimed history buff.
“Once you walk in, the music is different too. We play rock n’ roll at the bar and adult contemporary in the restaurant. So literally it’s two restaurants that are mashed together.”
The brewpub serves made-to-order English, Irish, and American-inspired dishes. Hungry patrons can try tasty fare such as the Irish Cobb salad, Hyde’s shepherd’s pie, Guinness-glazed salmon and a number of gourmet burgers. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, and the business also does catering.
And La Fragola says to expect all this and more at the Belmont brewpub, which will employ around 70 people who will form the backbone of what La Fragola says is most important: Customer service.

The new brewpub will essentially have three separate rooms of entertainment; one with a bar facing the front entrance off Catawba Street, which opens into a larger main dining room with seating, another bar and spaces for live music. That bar will also open to an outdoor concrete patio space and beer garden that will be filled with fire pits, seating and corn hole boards.
A large event space is located upstairs, which can be rented out for weddings, corporate events, and other private affairs. In the ceiling beams are old nails and parts numbers from the old auto dealership.
And most everything—from décor to furniture to lighting will tie in with the steampunk theme, which is a genre of science fiction that brings together historical settings — such as Victorian-era London — with industrial machinery and decor. That means guests will see restored machining equipment throughout the interior, along with lots of reclaimed wood, metalwork and other custom-made pieces from steampunk artists. They include a “steampunked” butter churn, drill press and a vehicle diagnostics machine with a large switch that guests can throw to power up certain lights on the wall.He purchased about 1,000 late 19th-century books from a long-defunct library in Kentucky. The books will adorn the walls of a throughway known as “the library” that connects the front bar with the interior bar and restroom areas. Hidden bookshelf doors will add another layer of mystery to the library.