New Belmont brewery blends craft beer and steampunk
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    A new craft brewery is poised to bring its history-meets-industry steampunk vibes to downtown Belmont later this year.
    The
    Jekyll and Hyde Taphouse and Grill expects to open its doors by the end
    of 2019 at 10 E. Catawba St., according to owner Frank La Fragola. The
    some 12,000 square-foot-space was previously occupied by the 10 Catawba
    bar and restaurant, before La Fragola purchased the property this year.
    It was also a former automobile dealership.
    It will be his
    steampunk-themed brewpub’s second location. Its lone location in
    Matthews opened in 2016, and many of the elements that have made it
    successful will be replicated in Belmont.beer brewing equipment
    The
    Matthews location keeps about 50 craft beers from around North Carolina
    on tap, along with wine, smoked bourbon and specialty cocktails —
    including several paying homage to its fictional late 19th-century
    namesakes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The bar and restaurant areas are
    designed to reflect the personalities of each character made famous in
    the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 work “The Strange Case
    of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
    “I want to walk in the restaurant, sit
    down and have fun before I’ve even done anything, before the servers
    come and give me a drink, before I have my meal I just want to have a
    good time,” said La Fragola, who is originally from New Jersey who has
    owned several Charlotte-area restaurants in the past. He is a
    self-proclaimed history buff.
    “Once you walk in, the music is
    different too. We play rock n’ roll at the bar and adult contemporary in
    the restaurant. So literally it’s two restaurants that are mashed
    together.”
    The brewpub serves made-to-order English, Irish, and
    American-inspired dishes. Hungry patrons can try tasty fare such as the
    Irish Cobb salad, Hyde’s shepherd’s pie, Guinness-glazed salmon and a
    number of gourmet burgers. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, and the
    business also does catering.
    And La Fragola says to expect all this
    and more at the Belmont brewpub, which will employ around 70 people who
    will form the backbone of what La Fragola says is most important:
    Customer service.



    The new brewpub will essentially have three separate rooms of
    entertainment; one with a bar facing the front entrance off Catawba
    Street, which opens into a larger main dining room with seating, another
    bar and spaces for live music. That bar will also open to an outdoor
    concrete patio space and beer garden that will be filled with fire pits,
    seating and corn hole boards.
    A large event space is located
    upstairs, which can be rented out for weddings, corporate events, and
    other private affairs. In the ceiling beams are old nails and parts
    numbers from the old auto dealership.
    And most everything—from décor
    to furniture to lighting will tie in with the steampunk theme, which is a
    genre of science fiction that brings together historical settings —
    such as Victorian-era London — with industrial machinery and decor. That
    means guests will see restored machining equipment throughout the
    interior, along with lots of reclaimed wood, metalwork and other
    custom-made pieces from steampunk artists. They include a “steampunked”
    butter churn, drill press and a vehicle diagnostics machine with a large
    switch that guests can throw to power up certain lights on the wall.He
    purchased about 1,000 late 19th-century books from a long-defunct
    library in Kentucky. The books will adorn the walls of a throughway
    known as “the library” that connects the front bar with the interior bar
    and restroom areas. Hidden bookshelf doors will add another layer of
    mystery to the library.

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