Gastonia downtown business leaders expect growth in 2022

Executive Chef Ryan Allen works on a special pimento cheese dish during lunch at Barrister’s inside the Esquire Hotel in Gastonia, N.C., on Sept. 3, 2021. The restaurant, located at 168 W. Main Ave., plans to provide event rental spaces, offer more monthly classes and include a rooftop bar in its 2022 plans. (Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette via AP)

AP

Gastonia’s downtown business leaders expect the new year to bring even more opportunities for growth to the city’s Main Avenue corridor.

Restaurant owners are considering wine pairing events and expanded menus while other business owners say more services at their shops will draw more foot traffic downtown.

BARRISTER’S AT THE ESQUIRE HOTEL

“We want people to embrace what downtown Gastonia can be,” said Joy Dixon, the general manager of Barrister’s, the restaurant inside the Esquire hotel on Gastonia’s Main Avenue.

The restaurant, located at 168 W. Main Ave., plans to provide event rental spaces, offer more monthly classes and include a rooftop bar in its 2022 plans.

A private rental space, conference room and fitness room will be available on the sixth floor of the hotel for guests to book.

Some of the monthly classes will include cooking and art in addition to the restaurant’s wine classes held the last Wednesday of every month.

The restaurant will also open its rooftop bar in the late spring of 2022.

“We’re hoping that the lifting of the COVID restrictions will make the community feel more comfortable socializing here,” said Dixon.

DIOR PREMIUM BARBERSHOP

“I just want everyone to feel like they’re getting a quality service and feel at home at Dior,” said Mintz, the shop owner and barber of Dior Premium Barbershop.

He plans to offer massage therapists, nail technicians, hair-cutting and styling, lash technicians and esthetician services to the community in 2022.

“Dior is a one-stop shop,” said Mintz.

Mintz will host an official grand opening with food and fellowship in the first quarter of 2022 at the shop, located at 130 E. Main Ave.

He also hopes to have more community events throughout the year, including free haircuts for the youth, community coat drives and more.

“I want to target the youth because I want to show them different avenues to be successful,” said Mintz. “College isn’t for everyone and I want them to know that there are other trades and things they can learn.”’

He opened his business in September and says keeping God first positioned him to offer an upscale space in downtown Gastonia.

He hopes to inspire the younger generations in the area to keep God first so that they can achieve similar goals.

WHISKGAR’S

The cocktail and cigar lounge Whiskgar’s plans to hold a grand opening before the end of 2021, according to the lounge owner Jacob Hibberts.

“We’re very excited to offer downtown a unique area to relax,” said Hibberts.

Hibberts plans to host holiday events, a ticketed Kentucky Derby party, cigar, wine and food pairing events in 2022 at the establishment located at 190 W. Main Ave.

The space will also be available for booking in the upcoming year.

The establishment will provide cocktails, desserts and appetizer menus. Charcuterie boards, wine and cheese tasting will also be offered.

“I just want a place for people to release their stress and have a good time,” said Hibberts. “You can come and socialize with associates, friends and business partners.”