Score just opened on 36th Street, next door to the new home of NoDa Bodega. It’s at an oddly interesting intersection of clothing boutique meets coffee house with a dash of neighborhood bar, with an art gallery garnish.
I shouldn’t say “opened” — owner Jay Knox calls this “more of an extended soft open. Or a long-term pop-up.” He’s set an official grand opening for mid-January. After getting through the Christmas rush, they’ll undergo some slight remodeling, but then it’s business as usual.
So how would you best describe the overall Score concept?
Jay Knox: It’s a retail café, retail lounge. We want you to come in, hang out. We tell everyone, we want you to take it easy, slow down a little bit, enjoy yourself. Order a great hot quality cup of coffee to order.
We’ll have a full stocked bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. And on other nights, we want people to come in the same way. Monday through Friday we’ll have coffee and tea.
And then also our sweets. Our theme in our café is our sweets, so sweet treats that’s kind of where we are.
With our clothes, you’ll find them specifically made for our store and you just come and hang out. We’re just kind of your local place to come hang out, to just shop and eat, eat and drink. We’re trying to bring the concept of people here to understand the retail and the café and the food altogether, so that’s the goal.
How did you come up with a café concept/retail boutique?
We did a similar thing in a larger scale in D.C., with a restaurant and everything. But I’m from Charlotte, born and raised, and I was trying to get back here with my 2 year old kid. We were kicking around the idea of how there was something I could do back home.
So this is the way to build it, put it together, we love the food, we love the coffee, and we love the fashion so that’s where we’re at.
In terms of fashion, what all do you carry?
We carry men and women’s, footwear, accessories, jewelry, bags, and we pretty much stick with a casual style but we also do ties, dress shirts, and a lot of headwear.
Of all that, what really sets you apart?
Probably the uniqueness of our style. We don’t try to conform into any different particular brand, we are not super brand driven. We’re more: come in, find what you like. We manufacture all of our own clothes, we design our own clothes. We’re focused on the style and what might fit your style.
We’re trying to bring people here to understand the concept of the retail and the café and the food altogether.
What are the names of some of the designers?
Our core clothing brands, we do Civil, we do Bone (one of our most popular brands, it’s a brand designed here we mostly started in New York but we brought it back here so you can find it everywhere around).
As far as other brands that we carry, we have Vans, Nikes, all the core Adidas which are all identifiable brands.
In terms of café stuff, what’s serving?
We do local pour over coffees, made to order. So you do a light, dark, or medium roast.
We carry alcohol infused cupcakes, we do three different flavors every single day. We bring out fresh alcohol infused cupcakes, you can’t go wrong!
We also do bar chocolate, local artisan chocolate, and we just do pretty much a bunch of infused teas and flavored teas that are done locally as well. So everything we do from the café is local, all within about a five mile radius of our location.
It helps that you’re in NoDa.
We love the fact that we’re in NoDa. That was the reason for this. We looked at five different locations in Charlotte. We actually had two deals on two other places and we wanted to come to NoDa.
I live in Elizabeth and so I was close. NoDa’s growing, changing, getting better and better every day and we wanted to kind of branch it out on this end instead of right in the heart of NoDa. We want to bring some people out here.
What’s the general message you want to convey to anybody that’s interested in coming in?
We want you to come in, enjoy yourself, relax. Come in, shop without pressure.
You can come in and just chill and eat or you can just come in and buy some clothes and lace yourself up or you can just hang out. You know, I can buy anything. That’s the whole purpose of having a big nice sofa and a lot of sitting areas, you can just come in and chat with us and hang out with us.
Have fun, a place where you can come do multiple things. You don’t have to go to the mall, you don’t have to go way out of the way. NoDa’s not a big shopping destination so we give you that shopping here, and you can still hang out and have a few drinks and as the bars start opening you can have a few alcoholic drinks, just enjoy yourself.