Ahead of their move into Elizabeth, Charlotte Independence is looking to get to know its neighbors.
The county recently signed off on making Memorial Stadium the team’s new home and though they won’t make the move from Matthews until construction is finished — likely 2-3 years — the business side of the franchise has already moved into the former Spoke Easy space on Elizabeth Avenue.
“What we wanted was a location in Elizabeth so that we could spend a couple of years getting ourselves settled into this neighborhood and getting to know the market here,” Bruce Cairnduff, CFO, told the Agenda in an exclusive interview.
Coming with them is the new Jack’s House, a dedicated soccer bar and merchandise store created to connect with and draw in the neighborhood’s younger demographic.
“Everyone talks about millennials like they’re this, you know, special, wonderful source of all things great and good, but to be honest, for soccer fans, it really is that kind of market we want to focus on,” Cairnduff said. “That’s perfect for Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood.”
The location, and especially its walkability, allows for the creation of a stronger brand identity and a place for fans and players alike to hang out.
Inside, Jack’s House occupies the front half of the office -around 1,800 square feet.
Patrons can watch games on the 75″ TV above the bar and multiple others throughout the space, or hang out at the high top tables and in standing room.
Players will also be encouraged to hang out on site for viewing events.
The bar menu will stay at affordable price points and have a decidedly local focus, with beers from breweries and wine from distributors in town. At their soft opening this past weekend, NoDa Brewing was on tap.
“We like supporting the locals because they support us,” Cairnduff said.
While food won’t be served, patrons are encouraged to bring their own from surrounding restaurants and eat from the food trucks that will occasionally be on site.
Jack’s House is targeting an opening within the next 6-8 weeks, but don’t expect normal bar hours.
The initial hours will be built around the plans to watch the games, whether it’s an EPL, World Cup, Independence game or any other major sporting event. Eventually, they’ll begin to open more and more frequently.
“For us, it isn’t just a soccer bar, it’s an extension of the Charlotte Independence brand,” Cairnduff said. “It’s an extension of our efforts to build a loyal fan base for the team and give them somewhere to drink and watch games.”