The owner of Jackalope Jacks, a restaurant and bar in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood, said on Friday he has signed an 18-month lease to rent the Philosopher’s Stone Tavern next door and turn it into a dog bar.
Rob Nixon, who has owned Jackalope Jacks since 2001, said his landlords agreed to lease him the East Seventh Street and North Caswell Road property as part of an effort to keep the corner “alive” after the Philosopher’s Stone closed last month.
Often called “P-Stone” by patrons, the tavern closed last month after its owners apparently fell on “hard times,” according to a note that was taped on the front door. The letter, which was addressed to loyal customers and signed by owners Josh and Chris Settle, didn’t elaborate on what caused the business to shutter but implored patrons to keep supporting local businesses.
Once P-Stone closed, business at Jackalope Jacks started to dwindle, Nixon said.
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“It killed the corner,” he said. “Everyone thought (developers) were going to build something (there) the next day. We couldn’t afford the business to be shut down.”
Nixon has spent about $3,000 to renovate the building inside and out, he said. The dog bar will not have its own kitchen, Nixon said, but serve food from Crisp, Sandwich Max and the Peculiar Rabbit, a Plaza Midwood bar and live music venue Nixon and his business partner opened in 2010.
He said he wants to open the refurbished bar in the next two weeks. Names he’s considering include “The Watering Hole” or “Hare of the Dog.”
Attention has turned to Elizabeth and other eclectic Charlotte neighborhoods in the wake of a spate of apartment and mixed-use development in those areas. Nixon told the Observer last month that developers made plans years ago to build a mixed-use apartment complex on the corner in Elizabeth where his bar is located, and will likely begin work in the next two years.