Move over, Panthers fans. The Steelers and the Eagles have cheering sections here, too.
You'll often find them huddled around burgers, wings and beers on Sundays at Bull & Barrister, at N.C. 16 and Mount Holly-Huntersville Road in northwest Charlotte.
It's a safe distance from the Panthers' stadium, and they can make some noise for the teams they left behind.
You'll see Panthers fans right beside them during away games, and that's OK. There's cheering room for everyone at a place with 285 seats and NFL Direct feeding 33 televisions.
But football is a fleeting fancy. A more subdued crowd moves in for lunch and dinner throughout the week. They can find year-round excitement at the pool tables and a place to unwind in the cigar room.
Yet, it's mostly a neighborhood place for a meal and a brew. There are 18 beers on draft and 50 bottled specialty and craft beers.
Owners John and Noelle Wooten opened the restaurant about four years ago as Midtown Sundries. In June, they cut ties with the corporate office and changed the name to Bull & Barrister.
He's the bull – a former Wachovia financial services staffer – and she's the barrister.
General Manager Warren Robertson writes the playbook, looking for ways to connect with the communities around the restaurant.
“Being in a close-knit neighborhood where, after a while, the guests become golfing partners and friends – that was my biggest hope and what it has become,” said Robertson, formerly manager at Maggiano's Little Italy at SouthPark mall.
Part of the transition has focused on tweaking and polishing everything on the menu. The result is more fresh ingredients and items made in-house.
It's still mostly pub food, but Kitchen Manager Josh Cloak has tried to give the menu his personal touch. There's a Buffalo bleu chicken sandwich ($8.69), pastas, soups and eclectic entrées such as a salmon with tomato hollandaise ($13.99).
Shrimp and grits is a Sunday daily special. Home-style meals such as slow-cooked pot roast are offered as lunchtime specials.
The best-seller is Josh's Bourbon Street rib eye ($17.99). A close runner-up are the barbalo wings ($7.69 or $14.89), flavored with barbecue and Buffalo sauces.
“Being a locally owned restaurant, we can change some offerings and still keep things affordable for the neighborhood,” Robertson said.
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