Aug 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

Protagonist will close its brewery in NoDa and move to a bigger spot



Protagonist is closing on North Davidson at the end of October. Next year, it’ll reopen in a larger spot not far away in Optimist Park.

Flashback: Protagonist opened its roughly 1,500-square-foot location in spring 2019 in the spot formerly occupied by NoDa Grocery at 35th and North Davidson streets. The nano-brewery was in a prime spot in NoDa and quickly became a popular patio hangout among neighbors. It started off serving small bites from its kitchen, but discontinued food after a while.

  • The plan was always to move into a bigger space once the original location’s lease was up, says co-owner Mike Salzarulo.
  • “It was our first location and it will be sad to say goodbye to it,” Salzarulo tells Axios. But, he adds, “you can’t just offer beer. You have to offer multiple things for people.”

Why it matters: Charlotte’s brewery scene is robust and continues to evolve, with new-to-town operators moving in, with independent brewers expanding to bigger locations and with some brewers having to close their doors.

[Go deeper: Complete list and map of Charlotte’s 40+ local breweries, plus the most popular beer at each]

Details: The new location will be at the second phase of The Joinery, an apartment complex spread across two buildings (1816 N. Brevard St. and 420 E. 22nd St.). The brewery will be about 8,500 square feet and will be similar to Protagonist’s LoSo location, which opened in 2020 with multiple bars, a sprawling patio and a pizza kitchen.

  • Salzarulo and his partners are considering having the Optimist Park location open for longer hours, with the possibility of serving brunch and coffee.
  • The goal is to open sometime in the second or third quarter of next year, Salzarulo says.

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