By Dréa Atkins
Snug Harbor has planted itself firmly into the music community and bar scene of the Queen City. From Tal National to The Dirty South Revolutionaries, the eclectic mix of musical acts, both local and international, has garnered Snug with a reputation for growth and acceptance. Whether it is a water gun party (Squirt), a bad ass hip hop night (Knocturnal), or one of the bedrock events, Shiprocked (drag show and dance party), Charlotte knows that no evening at 1228 Gordon Street will be a dull experience.
Opened in May 2007, owners Scott McCannell, Kelly Call, Derek Ghent, Jason Michel and buyer Matt Shane, have had a passion to make their community a reflection of an arts/music scene with a pulse.
Tal National, West African guitar music, is on tour at Snug this Tuesday. The Dirty South Revolutionaries, DSR, packed the house recently to end their summer tour.
The same loveable, booze pedaling, hard rocking, drag showing, karaoke belting tribe that blessed Plaza Midwood with Snug Harbor, has opened up a sweet little bottle shop on the Plaza itself: Tip Top Daily Market. A market of carefully curated snacks, meats, cheeses and booze, Tip Top wants to be your new meeting place as well as well as your hip nearby convenience store for the munchies.
Located at 2902 The Plaza, next door to Hatties Tap & Tavern, the first thing you’ll notice is the abundant natural light streaming in and dancing off the polished wooden bar. We had a chance to chat with Jason Michel, one of the many owners, while his adorable daughter ate a King of Pops Popsicle from their cooler.
CLTure: So the most obvious question first, why Tip-Top?
Jason Michel: The name itself is a throwback to an old community store from NoDa. Some folks still remember it, but for us it’s about planting ourselves in this neighborhood right now. We eat, sleep and breed here, and we want cool places to gather, convenient places to buy adult beverages and what you need to make a party.
CLTure: What motivated the start of the new business? Snug Harbor seems to be growing.
JM: We’ve been nurturing and cultivating Snug Harbor for eight years, always with the thought in mind of building outwards in ventures that shaped this area of Charlotte. I was travelling to the beach one year and encountered my first true bottle shop and immediately thought, ‘I want that here.’ Hard to find small batch beers, unique wines, mixers, upscale snacks all in one stop! It was great! There are some good bottle shops already in Charlotte; we are throwing ourselves into that mix. We want to be the place you come with your laptop, hang out and meet some friends, or just run in for a juice or a six pack of microbrews. Ultimately it’s about neighborhood proximity and what is truly convenient for your lifestyle.
CLTure: Are there any ways you want to make yourselves stand out in the bottle shop movement?
JM: Sure, we are just getting started. We have also been inspired and mentored by some great folks in town, including Susan from Laurel Market. Ideally, we want to expand to have prepared foods, coffee, a back patio. We will be installing beer taps on the wall soon. We are having monthly tastings, too, to get traffic flowing. And Kelly, one of the owners, has an extensive culinary background, so she has been steering us in the direction of food selection and growing food offerings.
CLTure: My last question is what about music. Surely there will be music?
JM: It’s owned by a bunch of musicians, so anything is possible!
Tip Top Daily Market is currently open seven days a week from 12 to 9 p.m.