Monday, August 15, 2022

Raleigh-based burger joint coming to downtown Soda Pop District

The new spot (on the left in the photo) will repurpose a former soda bottling plant at 1002 Princess St. into a nostalgic burger joint. (PCD).

WILMINGTON — The Triangle’s Bowstring Brewyard announced Thursday its plans to open a second location in Wilmington next year. 

The new spot will repurpose a former soda bottling plant at 1002 Princess St. into a nostalgic burger joint. 

READ MORE: Did someone say chicken riggies? New Italian-American restaurant moves into former Pizzetta’s spot

Founders Matt Golden, Ben Yannessa and Brad Bowles hope to feature one of, if not the longest, continuous bar tops in Wilmington that can seat 42 people. The space will also include a covered patio area and a “yard” with seating, games and plenty of shade.

“When we first walked into the building on Princess Street, we just said to ourselves that this is a perfect fit for the next Bowstring,” Golden said in a press release. “We just love being able to feel the history of an old building, and with the wood-woven bow-truss ceilings it just immediately felt right.”

The building used to house The Electric Bottling Co., who made specialty drinks like Orange Crush, and was eventually bought out by Coca-Cola.

“Much like we highlighted and incorporated the history of Gulf Oil into our Raleigh location, we plan to do the same with the Electric Bottling Co. at the Wilmington location, with lots of memorabilia and antiques from that era,” Bowles said in the release. “We definitely have a few surprises in the works!”

The new menu will include classic diner fare — charbroiled hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches and salads. Local and domestic beer will be offered, as well as a full liquor bar with signature craft and frozen cocktails. 

The founders will work with MoMentum Companies to bring their vision to life.

“We know what a big impact they are making in the Raleigh market and is exactly what we were envisioning bringing to the Soda Pop District,” MoMentum President Terry Espy said.  

The last business to occupy the bottling building was Tidewater Brewing, slated to become Wilmington’s first co-op brewery. However, it never officially launched after Hurricane Florence hit in fall 2018 and damaged the property. Legal trouble also prevented it from coming to fruition.

Developers Andy Hewitt and Sandy Thorpe of Parastream Development purchased a group of parcels, including the 1002 Princess St. building, last fall for $8 million. The purchase also enveloped the 76,000-square-foot Coca-Cola building, 920 Princess Street and 909 Market Street.

In 2020, the developers turned a 1950s mechanic shop at 1020 Princess St., located a block away, into Hi-Wire Brewing. Cugino Forno opened next door earlier in the summer.

Bowstring hopes to open its doors by mid-2023. 


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