Aug 1, 2023 - Food and Drink

Exclusive: NoDa mill house to be reimagined as a cocktail bar with a nostalgic story

Chief's

Photo: Clayton Sealey

A 123-year-old home on North Davidson Street will see new life serving cocktails by a local cocktail legend, classic snacks in a homey and welcoming atmosphere.

Driving the news: Bob Peters — who grew loyal following behind the bar at Pisces in the early 2010s, then became a citywide celebrity at the Punch Room at the Ritz-Carlton later in that decade — will join forces with burgeoning restaurant group Built On Hospitality to open Chief’s.

Flashback: When Peters thinks about his first cocktail, he’s transported back in time to his childhood home in Charlotte.

  • His parents, known to Bob’s children as Chief and Marmee, were known by neighbors, families, and friends for their hospitality.
  • You were always welcome in the Peters’ home, and when his parents entertained you were served a simple cocktail, classic southern snacks, and a warmth that made you look forward to your next visit.

“It was important to me that this new concept encompasses my dad’s witty, dry, thoughtful personality, as well as my mom’s heart and Southern charm,” said Peters. 

What’s happening: Peters and the Built On Hospitality owners, including renowned chef Chris Coleman, hope to recreate his parents’ memories and the experience of visiting their home with Chief’s.

  • The centerpiece of the space will be a cocktail parlor that is named after his late father.
Chief's
Photo: Clayton Sealey

What they’re saying: “To honor my parents in this way is a dream come true,” said Peters. “They taught me everything I know about hospitality, and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without them. I’m beyond grateful to the Built On Hospitality team for helping make my vision come to life.”

What to expect: A small cocktail bar, housed in a former 123-year-old three-bedroom 1,800-square-foot mill home.

  • Bob’s dad was an architect, and visitors can expect his influence throughout the space — simple, elegant, and intentionally put together.
  • The interior will be dark, with a parlor feel, lounge seating, cocktail tables, and room for 50-60 seats inside.
  • The outdoor patio, called “Marmee’s Garden” — a nod to Bob’s mother — will overlook North Davidson Street. If you are a frequent NoDa visitor, a neon sign displaying “the sidepiece at gyh” has been lit on the wall facing this yard for a few years.

The menu: Chief’s cocktails range from blue-collar to fun and nostalgic (think boozy root beer floats) to more sophisticated offerings. All cocktails will utilize fresh local ingredients, with the goal of creating innovative but approachable cocktails that represent Charlotte’s cultural and culinary scene.

  • The bar will serve simple and creative snacks, inspired by those Marmee served from her kitchen.

Details: The exact address is 3024 North Davidson St., housed in what is today a light teal-colored house with blue trim. The bar is across from the soon-to-be former Johnston YMCA.

The big picture: The bar will continue NoDa’s evolution into a neighborhood that blends longstanding late-night bar bites — hello, Jack Beagle’s — with some of the finest newer restaurants in the city — including Ever Andalo and Goodyear House.

  • Built On Hospitality has a great vision for the area, the partners see North Davidson Street as Rainey Street in Austin. A mixture of converted houses, main street retail, medium density, and a heart full of art, music, and fun.
  • The team plans more projects like this in the future.

My thought bubble: This fits into what NoDa is becoming and I would love to see more of the neighboring mill houses see new life as places that serve the community. The conversion of these century-old homes simultaneously preserves history while adding another fun addition to a vibrant and eclectic area.

What’s next: The team is targeting an early 2024 opening.

Related Axios story: The Goodyear House owner to purchase Haymaker restaurant in Uptown

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