Jul 29, 2021 - Food and Drink

Two-story brewery and food hall opening soon at Atherton Mill

Trolley Barn Atherton Mill

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

Drinks: Trolley Barn has seven barrels. Buchy says they plan to rotate the beers weekly. You won’t find your Legion staples like Juicy Jay, but if a beer at Trolley Barn lands then they might add it to the Legion menu.

Trolley Barn, a new brewery and restaurant concept from the Legion Brewing team, is scheduled to open as early as Monday, depending on permitting.

What to expect: The 11,400-square-foot space will have indoor and outdoor seating, a second-floor mezzanine and patio with unobstructed views of Uptown, and three food stalls. It bears little resemblance to Legion.

  • Trolley Barn is like a giant playground for creative brews and food.
trolley barn atherton owner
Phil Buchy is opening Trolley Barn and his third Legion location within the next couple of months.

“Not only will we be fermenting beers here on site, but new ideas, too,” says owner Phil Buchy.

Background: Buchy, who also owns Legion Brewing, wasn’t looking for a new project when he originally toured the Atherton site in 2019. But when he learned more about developer EDENS’ vision for Atherton, with its shops, restaurants and preservation of the mill, he only had two words: “Hell, yeah.”

Check out this drone video of the construction progress. (Video by @willyjunc)

trolley barn atherton jay wallace cocktail program
This Jay Wallace, handing over a Negroni two ways and smoked.

Trolley Barn will also have a full cocktail program, led by Jay Wallace. Expect anything from Negronis to his take on a mezcal margarita.

The food: Trolley Barn will house three food stations within the food hall. The second floor will have its own bar and food menu with charcuterie boards and other snacks.

“The food program at Trolley Barn is an extension of what we’re doing throughout the venue; it’s all about experimentation,” says chef Gene Briggs. “We want to serve dishes you can’t get anywhere else in Charlotte.”

  • Green Works: A salad and grain bowl concept.
  • Daily Shift Food Co.: Handheld favorites like sandwiches, tacos and wings.
Trolley Barn - Chivito
Chivito — grilled steak, sliced ham, applewood bacon, jack cheese, lettuce, roasted pepper, tomato, and mayonnaise, topped with a fried egg. Photo: Courtesy of Black Wednesday/Trolley Barn
Trolley Barn - Santa Maria Steak Cobb Salad
Santa Maria Steak Cobb Salad — spiced grilled flank steak with eggs, avocado, corn, tomato, bacon, and herbed goat cheese served over romaine and local greens with a green goddess dressing. Photo: Courtesy of Black Wednesday/Trolley Barn
Trolley Barn - The Basic Bacon Burger
The Basic Bacon Burger — wood-grilled short rib, brisket and chuck burger with applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, onion, lettuce, pickles, and tomato jam. Photo: Courtesy of Black Wednesday/Trolley Barn
  • Brand & Steel: Wood-grilled meats and fish.

Background: The name, Trolley Barn, comes from our city’s electric trolleys that began operating in 1891 and ran to neighborhoods like Dilworth, Myers Park and Elizabeth.

  • The space that Trolley Barn will occupy quite literally was a storage barn for trolley cars — the original tracks were even maintained to prove it.

The big picture: When EDENS, a national retail developer, purchased Atherton Mill in 2007, they had big plans for what they felt could be the new center of gravity for South End. Fast forward 14 years and that vision is coming together in the form of 30 retail spaces taking up 115,000 square feet for dining, shopping and entertainment — topped with the 346-unit NOVEL Atherton.

trolley barn atherton stall
trolley barn atherton interior
trolley barn atherton upstairs
trolley barn atherton seating
trolley barn atherton first floor

[Full Axios guide: Everything you need to know about South End’s Atherton development]

Trolley Barn Fermentory
trolley barn atherton patio views
The second-floor patio has a giant TV and a skyline view.
Trolley Barn Fermentory
Views of Uptown from the rooftop patio.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in May 2019 and most recently updated on July 29, 2021.


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