Housed beautifully in what used to be a Charlotte city bus maintenance garage, Resident Culture’s South End location is an exploration of thoughtful details. Each room is designed to evoke the vibe of specific beer can label art from graphic designer Maryssa Pucket, such as the Lightning Drops main bar, the Country Kind of Silence dining room, the Dance 'Til You're Dead restrooms — to name just a few. The restrooms are a particular point of pride, with the hallway’s large disco ball casting a sparkling shadow on the neon-lit walls. The unexpected windows also provide dazzling skyline views of uptown Charlotte.
Speaking of views, we included large circular apertures above the booths between the main bar and the dining area, which allows the spaces to maintain an open feeling rather than closing them off completely. These areas, once two separate buildings, are joined by a large structural beam and two entrances that include yellow chromate chain curtains. These curtains also draw the eyes up to a beautiful red chandelier above the entrance to the basement stairs, as well as a system of color changing lights in the Lightning Drops room. Suspended among these lights, customers can find a larger than life, custom-made sculpture of the motorcycle-riding Lightning Drops main bar centerpiece.
Keeping the skylights in the Country Kind dining room was integral to the overall feel of this space, along with the addition of new powder-coated steel planters that surround them. This bright, flora-filled room is the perfect place to share a beer with friends, or to try the offerings from Resident Culture’s coffee concept, Killer Coffee. There is also a built-in stall for El Toro Bruto to make and sell their tacos and street food, the first brick and mortar space for the former food truck.
From the plush velvety materials on the backs of the booth benches, to the large garage doors that let in the light and keep out the heat, there was no detail left undone. The hot rolled steel sheets in the Lightning Drops bar draw a striking contrast to the existing, exposed and untouched patina of the walls in the Country Kind dining room, while the bundled railroad ties in the bar face tie it all together. Finally, we love the DJ booth above the bar’s cooler, and the spiral staircase that leads up to it. All of these details (and more) create a cohesive homage to good beer, good art, and good times.