Dixie's Tavern closes, making way for a new park

Credit: City of Charlotte

Dixie's Tavern closes, making way for a new park

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by JEREMY MARKOVICH / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 21 at 11:39 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A mainstay of uptown Charlotte’s bar scene is abruptly closing.

Word spread on Saturday that Dixie’s Tavern, on E. 7th Street next to the light rail line, would close its doors for good Saturday night. An employee who picked up the phone at Dixie's Monday afternoon said it would open one more time tonight, from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. Mondays had traditionally been service industry nights at Dixie's, and the employee said the bar wanted to give bartenders, bouncers and others who were working Saturday a chance to have one final drink.

The bar sits on land owned by Levine Properties, which is working with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to develop a park on the land. “Their 15-year lease ran out, and we are preparing to move forward with the First Ward Initiative,” said David Levine, president of Levine Properties. “With the renovations that’ll be all around them, we both felt like it was time to call that to a close.”

Dixie’s Tavern was owned by the Bar Investment Group, which also runs BAR Charlotte and Blackfinn, among others. A call and email to that company was not immediately returned.

First Ward Park would sit on 4 ½ acres of land across from ImaginOn, between East 7th, 9th and Brevard Streets, just east of the light rail line. According to city plans, part of the park would be built on top of an underground parking deck for UNC Charlotte’s uptown campus. The plan also calls for 525 new residential units, and 40,000 square feet of retail space.

Levine said he expects construction on the park to begin this year, and be finished by mid-2015. He plans to rent out the Dixie’s space to another client, but he’s not sure when. “During the construction, their business was going to be difficult to run,” Levine said. “[We] really want to have an operator that is more catering to the broad community, and appealing to the families that go to ImaginOn.”

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