The light rail rushes to a squeaking stop at the New Bern Station in Charlotte’s South End, and as the doors whoosh open, an after-work crowd flows out, briefcases in hand. Just as quickly, many of them flow into the enormous brick building a few steps away. This is no typical happy hour: The 1950s-era former warehouse is home to a chic restaurant, café, brewery, and cocktail bar — all under the same (very high) roof.
In Suffolk County, England, where cofounder Dan Hyde’s family is from, a “Suffolk punch” is an energetic workhorse. That English influence translates from the name to the busy, pub-like community atmosphere — but not to the space itself. Instead of dim and intimate, it’s airy, with cement floors and a jungle of plants hanging from metal beams. Patrons belly up to a 50-tap bar, which wraps seamlessly around a corner into an espresso bar. Booths are packed with patrons ordering the Suffolk Punch Burger, made with Ashe County hoop Cheddar, fried onions, house-made pickles, and roasted tomato aioli on sourdough brioche. On weekends, the patio becomes a brunch wonderland, full of dogs and babies. It’s just what Hyde and cofounder Collin Ricks envisioned: Forget the food trucks and bar snacks — why shouldn’t you enjoy gourmet food with your brew? Why wouldn’t craft cocktails and craft coffee pair perfectly? What they created is a one-stop shop with all the bells and whistles.
To commemorate our 90th anniversary, we’ve compiled a time line that highlights the stories, contributors, and themes that have shaped this magazine — and your view of the Old North State — using nine decades of our own words.