Feb 23, 2020 - Food and Drink

Cocktail bar Billy Sunday is now open in Optimist Hall



Meet Optimist Hall’s newest tenant: Billy Sunday, a Chicago-based cocktail bar known for its award-winning drinks and creative glassware.

The long-awaited bar, Billy Sunday, is now open on the ground floor of Optimist Hall. The exact address is 1115 North Brevard Street in Optimist Park, just north of Uptown.

If you like the drinks at Spindle Bar in the main food hall area, you’ll love the cocktail program at Billy Sunday. Both bars are owned by the same hospitality group, Folkart Management, and are led by the same mixologist, Stephanie Andrews.

“We are thrilled to bring Billy Sunday to Charlotte and meld into the fabric of local cocktail culture,” says chef and restaurateur Matthias Merges of Folkart Management. “While visiting a few years ago, I fell in love with the energy and aesthetic of Charlotte. I recognized a truly dynamic beverage community, and we’re honored to participate.”


Here’s everything you need to know about Billy Sunday.

Vibe: The indoor space is intimate with about 40 seats, and it’s cozy with black leather couches and red accents. FC Studio designed the 1,500-square-foot bar, which also includes a large patio with room for about 50.

Drinks: Billy Sunday is Spindle Bar’s fancier counterpart with hand-carved ice and house-made ingredients like syrups, tonics, and bitters. Plus, many of Billy Sunday’s seasonal cocktails come in fun receptacles — like a glass surrounded by blades of grass in tequila-based Keep Off The Grass ($12).

Highlights include …

  • Tea Time ($12) — a gin-based cocktail made with black tea, lime, Makrut lime leaf, and amchur. It’s served in a kitschy plastic bag.
  • Yes We Can ($12) — made with Jamaican rum, sake, tepache, pineapple, and lime, and served in a mini-can.
  • Billy Sunday Old Fashioned ($12) — a classic O.F., but with one difference: instead of bitters, mixologist Andrews uses amaro.
  • Keep Off The Grass ($12) — this green cocktail makes a statement with blades of grass poking out around the glass. It’s made with blanco tequila, green bean, lime, dill, and absinthe.

Cocktails range in price from $10-$15, and Billy Sunday also sells beer and wine.

Hours: Billy Sunday is open seven days a week. From Monday to Thursday, it’s open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. From Friday to Sunday, it’s open 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Optimist Hall: Billy Sunday is the latest addition to the massive redevelopment of a former mill, Optimist Hall. The 147,000-square-foot complex includes food stalls, restaurants, bars, retail, and office space. Fifteen tenants have opened so far, and there are many more coming this year.

Tea Time cocktail.
Billy Sunday Old Fashioned.
Yes We Can cocktail.

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