Shop Talk Blog

Philosopher’s Stone Tavern closes after falling on ‘hard times’

mhames@charlotteobserver.com

The Philosopher’s Stone Tavern, a popular bar and live-music venue in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood, has closed after 10 years, according to a note taped on the front door.

“Unfortunately we have fallen on hard times,” the note reads. “While it breaks our hearts to do this, we have no choice but to close our doors.”

The letter, addressed to “loyal customers” and signed by owners Josh and Chris Settle, doesn’t elaborate on what caused the business to shutter, but it implores patrons to keep supporting local businesses.

“They will appreciate your good will and support,” the note says.

The Settle brothers opened the tavern on East Seventh Street and North Caswell Road in 2005 and offered a menu that included sandwiches, wraps, burgers and late-night appetizers with eclectic names such as “Wings of Wisdom” and “Nachos of Knowledge.”

Efforts to reach the owners Tuesday were unsuccessful. Mecklenburg County court records show that eviction proceedings started last week against Philosopher’s Stone, citing money owed.

“You will be missed P. Stone,” wrote one customer on the tavern’s Facebook page. Another wrote: “… If I knew the way, I would take you home. The Stone goes where we go. Gone but not forgotten.”

Fergus Horner, 32, and his group of friends discovered the Philosopher’s Stone – one of Horner’s favorite nightlife spots – closed over the weekend. He patronized the bar for three years, he said, and was shocked to see the business close so early in spring when he expected business to ramp up.

“You’d drive back (home) from work and just see a live band out there with people just enjoying themselves, drinking out on that large patio,” he said. “It’s a shame. It’s the best place for anyone that lives in Elizabeth.”

It wasn’t uncommon to see people playing cornhole or groups of people stopping by for a drink in the evenings, he said.

Charlotte City Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey, who lives in Elizabeth, said small businesses give the neighborhood “its flavor.”

After learning about the tavern closing, she said: “In many ways, I’m sorry to see that happen.”

Commonly known as “P-Stone,” the tavern was at the center of a conflict with neighbors in 2009 when residents complained about the noise from outdoor concerts. But on Tuesday, the area was quiet and the parking lot empty, aside from empty beer bottles on the patio table.

“It was a warm, lively place for people to go,” Horner said. “It’s a shame.” Staff researcher Maria David contributed.

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