Cork & Ale Grand Opening Oct 5th

Sliders shown with some of the wines available at Cork and Ale.

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Cork & Ale (formerly Black Chicken) is preparing to have their Grand Opening on Saturday October 5, 2019. The partnership behind Cork & Ale is excited to welcome the Waxhaw Business Association and Town of Waxhaw’s Mayor Steve Maher at 4:30 p.m. for a ribbon cutting with the public. From 5 to 7 p.m., Cork & Ale will host invited guests and wine reps for a private gathering. After 7 p.m., the restaurant will be open to the public and will feature a modified menu and small plates as well as prizes and giveaways with Emcee Scoot Pittman.

The ribbon cutting and Grand Opening isn’t all that is going on over at Cork & Ale. Co-Owners Bernard Arthur, Chris Martinez, and Steve Holliday purchased the former Black Chicken on April 28, 2019. Since then, they have worked together to implement changes that reflect their approach to business. “Our parent company, the “Better World Company” is designed as a holding and operating company with an explicit mission statement: “Humanize the business world one venture at a time.” explains Arthur. “There were several things that drew us to this restaurant. It was not as much the type of business as it was this specific business and location. The community of Waxhaw and Main Street Waxhaw was a draw. The vibrant community tucked a short distance from a major metro area combined with small town charm and inherent diversity make it stick.  Through our collective experience in the restaurant we found it set up with an amazing team, loyal customers and a support network with business partners that were more like family than vendors and that just made the decision an easy one.”

(LtR) Andrew Murray (of Andrew Murray Vineyards in Santa Barbara, CA) watches as Sam Seiden of Fine Wine Trading Company (fwtc) takes notes and Chris Martinez (co-owner of Cork & Ale) taste tests a glass in the dining room of Cork & Ale.

Martinez has been in Charlotte for the past 25 years but before that he lived in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. There he worked in many resorts and restaurants for many years washing dishes, waiting tables, bartending, and learning about what it takes to run a restaurant before eventually creating a software startup. Holliday, currently in Southern California with his family, has roots in Charlotte with an Industrial Psychology degree from UNCC and 24 years with Taco Bell working his way up to overseeing operations and franchises. Arthur, with his wife and family, recently moved to Waxhaw from San Francisco thanks to wife’s job flexibility and the restaurant opportunity here in Waxhaw. This diverse background means that the guys, who have been friends for a very long time, can rely on each other to make the business work.

Co-Owners Bernard Arthur and Chris Martinez enjoy the outdoor patio with a flight of beer and a glass of wine.

Cork & Ale is here for its customers. Over and over, all three of the co-owners talked about the customers and how they want to improve how they are served. “We see potential to elevate our wine events both with the diversity of our wine partners along with a variety in our menu for those events. There remains an opportunity to vary our offerings along with the frequency with which we do that.  We receive a constant stream of requests to complement our wine tasting events with beer tasting events and a menu to boot. We are working on that for the very near future.” Arthur explains. “With the physical space, there is an opportunity to make the space more customer centric year round and potentially use that entire space more efficiently and we are working on that with our landlord and the town of Waxhaw, both of whom have been more than receptive.  We have also been diligently working to improve the capacity and capabilities of our kitchen staff to quickly upgrade our menu and our business hours to better serve the needs in downtown Waxhaw.

The Caramelized Onion, Goat, and Veggie flatbread shown with a beer flight and a glass of wine on Cork & Ale’s outdoor patio.

We love that our customers have been respectfully candid in sharing what they would like to see as well and that has helped balance our approach to meet our customers where they are.” In fact one of the new menu offerings is a Pimento Cheese Quesadilla with Chicken that was actually created with the help of Tyler, one of the bartenders at Cork & Ale, and taste tested by customers. And the old favorites are still available including the flatbreads, pretzels, and delicious sandwiches.

Cork & Ale is located at 113 E North Main Street, Waxhaw, NC.

Cork & Ale brings not only a new name, uplifted menu, expanded offerings, and a bright future to town, but also embodies what make Waxhaw such an amazing place to live. Focusing on each other and the community reminds us all that what makes life so amazing is the friendships and relationships we make along the way. So if the next time you slide up to the bar at the Cork & Ale, don’t be surprised if the bartender reaches over and shakes your hand.

Cork & Ale – 113 E North Main Street, Waxhaw, NC; (704) 256 7756;; Facebook: @corkandalewaxhaw; Instagram: Cork & Ale

A small selection of Cork & Ale’s offerings.
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