Resident Culture Brewing Co. will celebrate the grand opening of its new South End taproom at 5 p.m. this Friday with live DJs, giveaways and dollar tacos from El Toro Bruto for the first 50 orders, limited to three per person.
Owners Amanda and Phillip McLamb and Chris Tropeano had considered a second location before COVID-19 and fell in love with the 17,000 square foot building dating from the 1920s.
“Even though it was in the middle of the waiting world and we weren’t sure what was going to happen – and we still don’t – it was a leap we all wanted to collectively take because the space was so special, ”Amanda McLamb told CharlotteFive.
The warehouse was Charlotte’s first bus maintenance facility, but was vacant before Resident Culture began construction with Liles Construction as a general contractor and Cluck design collaboration as an architect.
Now, Resident Culture is set to open its second location, featuring craft beers, new cocktails, El Toro Bruto tacos and a coffee bar coming this spring.
Resident Culture’s new taproom in an old space
“When we were exploring this space the bones in it were so beautiful that we wanted to conserve and conserve as much as possible and preserve as much of that space and what makes this space so special,” McLamb said. “And we were also inspired to bring as much of the experience of the resident culture to the South End and to this place (as we could). Much of this, of course, comes from the works of art that are unique to the resident culture. ”
The brewery’s distinctive aesthetic is courtesy of Maryssa Pickett, who has designed the brewery’s labels and created other artwork for Resident Culture since before it opened. Now, these labels create an immersive experience in every room.
“We’ve worked closely with Cluck Design and Maryssa to create experiences as you walk through each of these places, each one inspired by these labels and their individual artwork,” McLamb said.
The main bar was inspired by Lightning Drops, Resident Culture’s flagship IPA. The brewery commissioned artist Jeff Hamrick to bring the brand’s skeletal biker to life in the form of a hanging statue, with lightning flashing through his skull.
Under the building’s skylights is another bar inspired by the brewery’s Lager Fest, a festival he held in 2019. There are two private dining rooms upstairs. One is inspired by Pickett’s drawings and sketches, the other by the brewery’s Brother Flower IPA.
Even the bathrooms are reminiscent of the brewery’s triple IPA Dance ‘Til You’re Dead, with what McLamb describes as a’ funky death disco vibe ‘. Downstairs, a 6,800 square foot event space called The Gilded Cellar at Resident Culture South End will host weddings, concerts, art events and more when it opens later this year.
El Toro Bruto
McLamb first met chef Hector González-Mora when he opened Comida in Plaza Midwood. Later, she and her husband were among the biggest fans of Chilito Tacos, her pop-up concept. So when González-Mora was looking for a consistent place for people to pick up their orders, Resident Culture offered their parking lot.
The Resident Culture team saw first-hand how the chef’s hard work won him a cult following. .
“The three of us came back to this absolutely cherished person and food,” McLamb said. “He said yes – spoiler alert – and we’ve been building this thing since then and really let him run with all of his visions and dreams to create something that honors his story and his family. The talents he has in the kitchen are so amazing. It’s really fun to see him fly on his own and be able to create something he’s dreamed of for years.
This new concept, El Toro Bruto, will offer a menu of tacos, quesadillas and nachos. And fans of Chilito’s breakfast tacos will be happy to hear that these will soon be joining the menu, along with the scratchy pastries.
The brewery will eventually brew special beers to taste with El Toro Bruto’s menu, but for now, they’re making sure refreshing beers like Island Time and El Residente are on tap.
“There are definitely plans in the future to have some exclusive beers out there suitable for the cocktail menu, as well as the food, but they’re both pretty related,” Tropeano said. “I think the cocktails go quite well with the food.”
Speaking of cocktails …
These cocktails include La Esquina, a blood orange margarita with tequila, orange liqueur, blood orange juice, citrus and agave; Smoke on the Water, a blend of mezcal, tequila, citrus, cinnamon chili syrup and hibiscus and sparkling water; Normal Is Dead, based on bourbon, lime, orange marmalade and ginger beer; and Linger Longer, a new take on the espresso martini made with vodka, Kahlúa, Montenegro cordial and cold brew espresso.
Resident Culture South End will also be opening its coffee bar this spring, exclusively serving San Diego’s Cafe Mostra. Named Micro Roaster of the Year 2020 by Roast Magazine, Mostra Coffee has collaborated with Resident Culture (and many other breweries) on coffee-infused beers. This will be Mostra Coffee’s first location on the east coast.
“It seemed like a really exciting opportunity to offer something new to Charlotte and the people nearby,” Tropeano said. “We offered them the question and were super excited and humbled that they even considered it. We use their coffee a lot more and one of our signature cocktails will feature their coffee. We will give it the attention it deserves. We have some pretty fun plans for that.
District: Gold district
Hours: Initially, Resident Culture South End will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; noon to 2 am Friday and Saturday; and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Instagram: @ residentculture