Charlotte craft beer brewer: So much has changed, so fast
The Matthews brewery Jekyll & Hyde is expanding and will open a second location this summer in a historic building in downtown Belmont, roughly 12 miles from uptown Charlotte. Brewery owner Frank La Fragola, a New Jersey transplant, says he is looking to open other breweries and restaurants in Charlotte and throughout the southeast.
In Belmont, La Fragola has purchased 10 Catawba, a building that dates back to the 1930s that has for years operated as an event venue and wine/dessert bar, Fragola said. He added that he’ll keep the current 10 Catawba business open until June 1, then close for all of June and July for construction. The goal is to open the new Jekyll & Hyde by Labor Day, Fragola said.
Fragola and his team are investing roughly $3 million to renovate the 12,000-square-foot building to turn it into a new brewery, restaurant and event venue, according to a statement from the brewery Wednesday. When it reopens this summer, the restaurant will have an outdoor patio, two event spaces and expanding parking.
The new Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill will have the same menu as its Matthews location, according to the brewery. It’ll brew a variety of specialty beers, including an English Ale, IPA, porter, pilsner and lager.
Fragola, who moved to Waxhaw with his family from New Jersey a few years ago, said he has wanted to buy the 10 Catawba since he first visited it three years ago. One of the main problems with the Matthews location is that at 3,400 square feet, it’s too small for the events that customers wanted to host there, he said.
Fragola said he sees the Belmont location as the next step in the expansion of the Jekyll & Hyde brand, which he hopes to one day bring to other places such as Charleston and Florida.
“We don’t want to saturate Charlotte with the Jekyll & Hyde concept,” said Fragola. In Charlotte, Fragola said he is eying NoDa or Plaza Midwood for a taco restaurant one day.
Former Bar 10 and 10 Catawba owners Chad and Katy Hutcheson opened the facility five years ago. On 10 Catawba’s website, the Hutchesons said that events booked through May will be honored.
“While we will miss 10 Catawba, we have many other plans that are exciting, including renovations of our String Bean Market restaurant and the expansion of Seven Oaks Café at McLean,” Chad Hutcheson said in the statement.
10 Catawba is next to Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, the restaurant that opened in 2016 and is owned by father of the Jonas Brothers. A handful of other businesses have similarly opened shop in historic downtown Belmont in recent years, including the Rivermen Brewing and Mugshots Coffee and Tea, both in 2017.
“Belmont is a charming town with a great vibe” La Fragola said in the statement.