Thirsty Beaver

Coordinates: 35°13′17″N 80°49′02″W / 35.2213°N 80.8173°W / 35.2213; -80.8173
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Thirsty Beaver
The Thirsty Beaver in 2018
Map
Thirsty Beaver is located in North Carolina
Thirsty Beaver
Location within North Carolina
Thirsty Beaver is located in the United States
Thirsty Beaver
Thirsty Beaver (the United States)
Restaurant information
Established2008
Owner(s)Brian and Mark Wilson
Street address1225 Central Ave
CityCharlotte
CountyMecklenburg County
StateNorth Carolina
Postal/ZIP Code28204
CountryUS
Coordinates35°13′17″N 80°49′02″W / 35.2213°N 80.8173°W / 35.2213; -80.8173

The Thirsty Beaver is a bar (sometimes referred to as a dive bar) surrounded by an apartment complex, in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The establishment was started in a one-story building by two brothers in 2008. When established, the property was surrounded by vacant lots but in 2015, a development company purchased all of the land surrounding the bar. When the owners of the bar's land and building held out against two offers from a developer, the development company built apartments in a horseshoe shape around the bar.

History[edit]

The owners of the Thirsty Beaver are brothers Brian and Mark Wilson,[1] who lease the bar from the property owner, George Salem. The Salem family owns the building and the strip of land where the bar sits.[2] Salem has said that the land has been in his family for many years and he did not want to sell it.[3] The bar was opened in 2008 and it was meant to be a neighborhood bar.[4] The bar was surrounded by vacant lots at the time.[5]

The Thirsty Beaver is located in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.[6] It is one story tall and occupies 1,000 sq ft (93 m2).[7] The bar garnered attention when developers Crosland Southeast and Nuveen Real Estate began construction of an apartment complex in the immediate area and tried – but failed – to purchase the bar's property.[6] The Washington Post stated that "this small dive bar is a middle finger to the development surrounding it".[8] The bar's survival became what owner Mark Wilson referred to as "a protest".[4]

In 2013, the owners of the vacant land around the building erected a fence which surrounded the building. Patrons of the Thirsty Beaver began attaching signs of support to the fence and some attached brassieres.[3] The fire inspector assisted the bar owners in getting the fence removed and the bar remained open.[7] In 2015, CW Development purchased all of the land around the Thirsty Beaver for US$8.5 million (equivalent to $10.5 million in 2022[9]).[3] The land was sold to develop a 323-unit apartment complex.[7]

The developer twice offered to purchase the Thirsty Beaver property, but both offers were rejected.[7] The developer stated, "We've made several attempts through the entire development process to acquire that property, very unsuccessfully."[3]

When the owners of the land would not sell, an apartment building was constructed and wrapped around the Thirsty Beaver in the shape of a horseshoe.[1] The Associated Press said the bar had become "Charlotte's own version of the house from Up, the Pixar movie".[10]

Features[edit]

The bar has been described as "quirky". Painted on the side of the building is a large orange beaver with red eyes.[10] The Charlotte Observer noted that there are "dozens of bras nailed to the entrances".[11] On the walls of the bar are a picture of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, a poster for Bartles & Jaymes, and lunchboxes depicting the shows Hee Haw and Gunsmoke.[12] In 2015, a church was holding services at the bar on one Sunday afternoon of every month.[12]

In 2021, the establishment received national attention when Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones posted an image on social media of himself drinking there.[13]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Way, Emma (March 17, 2021). "In the 346 days the Thirsty Beaver was closed, Brian Wilson received countless calls and texts from regulars who were worried about the bar's future". Axios Charlotte. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  2. ^ Peralta Soloff, Katie (August 9, 2020). "With an influx of new development, does Plaza Midwood risk losing its identity?". Axios Charlotte. Archived from the original on May 30, 2023. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d Portillo, Ely (April 22, 2017). "Dive bar dwarfed by new apartments refuses to close: 'You're not going to push us around'". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on November 11, 2023. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Wurtz, Maureen (January 20, 2023). "Thirsty Beaver stands test of time, celebrates 15th anniversary". Queen City News. Queen City news. Nexstar Media Inc. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  5. ^ Hanchett, Thomas W. (January 8, 2020). Sorting Out the New South City, Second Edition: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875–1975. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: UNC Press Books. p. XXIX. ISBN 978-1-4696-5645-8. Archived from the original on November 11, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Buffo, Nick (October 15, 2021). "Changing Landscape: Residents noticing new establishments in Plaza Midwood". spectrumlocalnews.com. Spectrum News 1 North Carolina. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d Sprinkle, Larry (June 5, 2023). "Thirsty Beaver Saloon: A Charlotte institution that has stood the test of time". wcnc.com. WCNC-TV. Archived from the original on June 6, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Wile, Kristen (June 17, 2019). "A guide to local favorites in Plaza Midwood". Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  9. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Portillo, Ely (May 6, 2017). "Charlotte bar stands ground despite construction". The Washington Times. The Washington Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  11. ^ Janes, Théoden (April 29, 2022). "The 7 Wonders of Charlotte: An updated list of the city's most breathtaking places". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  12. ^ a b Funk, Tim (March 9, 2015). "Religion is on tap at this Plaza Midwood saloon". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  13. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha (October 1, 2021). "Mick Jagger goes unnoticed at N.C. bar on night before concert". NBC News. NBC News. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.

External links[edit]