Oct 31, 2023 - Business

The Grinning Mule in Plaza Midwood is now a honky tonk bar with live country music every night

Grinning Mule

Photo: Courtesy of Beth Kofoed/Grinning Mule

As of Wednesday, Nov. 1, The Grinning Mule in Plaza Midwood will be the Grinning Mule Saloon and Kitchen.

The new honky tonk bar aims to bring Nashville to Charlotte with live country music nightly. “It’s a mix of local talent and some national,” says owner Beth Kofoed, who owns the bar with her husband, Bart Kofoed.

Why it matters: Evolving from a cocktail-forward bar and restaurant into a music-focused honky tonk is one way Charlotte could be turning into more of a music city.

Zoom out: We’ve seen a growing number of live music venues opening recently in Charlotte, like Goldie’s in LoSo and Trio in South End. Both opened this year.

  • Charlotte Center City Partners recently organized the city’s first-ever Confluence Music Conference with performances, networking, discussions and panels , Axios’ Katie Peralta Soloff reported

Flashback: Grinning Mule opened in 2020 —months later than originally planned due to the pandemic — with an array of small plates and a cocktail program by local mixologist Bob Peters.

  • “Thankfully, Plaza is such a supportive community,” Beth says. “People really came out … and we’ve done well in the three and a half years that we’ve been open.”
The Grinning Mule has indoor and outdoor seating (with heaters for the cooler months) for about 100 people. Photo: Courtesy of Beth Kofoed/Grinning Mule

What’s happening: The Kofoeds are rebranding Grinning Mule to be the community bar they always intended it to be — casual, affordable, laid-back and fun.

  • They take frequent visits to Nashville to visit family and thought Charlotte could use something like the honky tonk bars they enjoy there.
  • Moving forward, you can expect a bar-forward food menu with lunch on the weekends, wine and beer. The draft mules the bar is known for will remain.
The vibes inside Grinning Mule will be less serious than they were before. Photo: Courtesy of Beth Kofoed/Grinning Mule

Details: The Grinning Mule is located at 1109 Morningside Dr. in Plaza Midwood.

  • It’s open Wednesday-Thursday 5-10pm, Fridays 5-11pm, Saturdays 12pm-11pm, Sundays 12pm-9pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
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