MATTHEWS – Rob Jacik spent some of the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 20, preparing his new staff at the Seaboard Taproom & Wine Bar for a wine tasting later that evening.
They would be uncorking bottles of Tooth & Nail and Force of Nature, two signature labels from Rob Murray Vineyards. The event would allow staff to whet their palates, so to speak, in preparation for a heavy round of grand opening celebrations.
The Matthews Chamber of Commerce will help Jacik celebrate the opening of Seaboard with a ribbon cutting Thursday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. A Business After Hours networking event will follow.
Seaboard also will tie its official grand opening celebration on Oct. 1 with the chamber’s 31st annual Artfest of Matthews. The downtown festival takes place Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Oct. 2, from noon to 5 p.m., in front of Seaboard.
Jacik loves the location of his latest venture, which includes a large front patio, a courtyard in the back, long bar and several tables with two, four and nine seats.
Jacik describes these different zones as “little pockets” where people can hang out.
TV screens around the bar showcase what brews are available at its 24 taps.
On this day, one could drink a Windy Hill Ginger Gold, a cider from York, South Carolina, or a Hacker-Pschorr Bavaria Munich Gold from Germany. You could pay $2.50 for either in an eight-ounce glass or $5 for a 16-ounce glass. The wine room has more than 1,000 bottles.
The Seaboard name and some of its décor inside pays homage to the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which ran adjacent to the establishment and is very much a part of Matthews history.
Rob and his wife, Megan, began their budding beer empire by building the Carolina Beer Temple in 2012 in downtown Matthews. They looked at potential locations for their craft beer store along the Interstate 485 corridor, including Ballantyne and Stonecrest.
“Nothing had the downtown feel,” Jacik said. “We didn’t want to be surrounded by big national chains. We wanted to be surrounded by small, independent businesses. We nailed it here. We couldn’t have picked a better spot.”
The Carolina Beer Temple comfortably seats seven people at the bar and offers seven tables, as well as comfy chairs and couches to lounge. Toward the back are shelves and aisles of craft beer with funky labels and quirky names like Arrogant Bastard Ale, Imperial Pumking, Stone Farking Wheaton Wootstout and Viking Blod.
The temple keeps people coming back with tap takeovers – events that highlight a different brewer each Thursday. Upcoming ones include Blue Blaze Brewing, Catawba Brewing and Sycamore Brewing.
With the success of the Carolina Beer Temple, Jacik realized the potential to grow with downtown.
Jacik not only plans to expand Seaboard by opening a brewery in the coming year, but he’s eyeing the opening of Temple Mojo soon. Temple Mojo will be the place to stock up on growlers and refills so you have beer on-the-go. Twenty-six taps will be available.
For as much as Jacik has invested in downtown Matthews, he may not be done.
“My vision is that we continue to make downtown Matthews a destination – that more and more people see this as an option as opposed to going all the way to South End, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Ballantyne or SouthPark,” Jacik said.
Want to go?
Carolina Beer Temple is located at 131 Matthews Station St., Matthews. Seaboard Taproom & Wine Bar, open now, is down the road at 213 N. Trade St. Temple Mojo, which has not opened yet, is located at 195 N. Trade St. Go to www.carolinabeer temple.net to learn more about them all.